Monday, February 9, 2015

9 Feb 2015 : I will catch an infection at this "madivay mandapa"

Anna stays in a rented, ground floor apartment a few houses down the road.  I manage the house and all support staff as his diseases prevent him from doing so. I visit him at least 2 times a day. Once, early in the morning when he gets up and has his first cup of coffee and the second, when I return from work.

Our morning meeting gives me an idea of what the day is going to be like for him. Some days he is fine and some days it starts like this:
Ganjam Mantapa, Basavanagudi
Photo courtesy

Me: Hi Anna! Good Morning.

Anna: Sangeeta, I will catch an infection. When are we moving out of this Madivay Mandapa?
(A madivay mandapa is a place where marriages are solemnized.  Normally a building with a large hall with many adjoining bedrooms, where the bride and her family stay during a wedding).

Me (choosing to ask about the location and not the health warning): Anna, why do you think we are in a madivay mandapa?

Anna: When are we moving?

Me: Anna, we are in Sheikh Sarai, at home.  We are not in a madivay mandapa.

Anna (looking at the attendant, and speaking Kannada that the attendant does not understand): He said so.  Aren't we in a mandapa?

Me: No Anna. We are in Sheikh Sarai. Anna, why are you thinking of a marriage?  Did you dream of one?

Anna: No

Then I look at what he is eating with his morning cup of coffee.  There is a biscuit and a yellow puffed-rice mixture.  Now I understand!

Me: Anna, is the mixture reminding you of early morning coffee at a wedding?

Anna: Yes. (The frown on his face reduces!)

I don't know what this symptom is called, or whether small episodes of disorientation is caused by Parkinson's medication or by dementia.

What I have come to understand is that I need to be more observant and cognizant of external stimuli.

Finding linkages between stimuli and Anna's comments helps me understand better what he says.

When I get it, it is an Ah-Ha moment for me.  And for Anna, I think it is a moment where he knows he is understood.

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