It’s always hard when someone close to you gets Alzheimer’s disease but it’s especially hard when it’s someone that you rely on for your day to day functions. When Goldair first started burning my toast, I kept getting angry; huffing around the kitchen opening windows and waving a towel in front of the fire alarm, I used to say things like, ‘How hard is it to make a piece of toast really?’ or ‘I ask you to do one thing for me Goldair. Just one thing and you blow it.’
In hindsight I realize that my remarks to poor old Goldair were totally insensitive. Since realizing what the problem really is, I have tried to make it up to him by being more understanding and very patient. I pop the toast in but instead of just going off like I used to and leaving him to it; I potter around the kitchen doing this and that (pretending to be busy). On his good days (which are getting rarer and rarer) by some miracle, he remembers to pop the toast out before it gets to that charcoal stage. But other days (when he looks as if he is in a sort of trance) the toast goes in, Goldair's eyes glaze over and next thing I know, I’m running around a kitchen full of smoke shouting, ‘That’s enough Goldair. Please stop, please.’
For a while I decided to stand over him and just guide him through the process regardless of whether he was having a good day or bad. At first it was fine and I think he quite liked the attention too. But after a while, every time I stood with him, I noticed a kind of mocking murmur going around the kitchen. So I decided to stop that because I didn’t want him to get bullied by the other appliances. They can be very mean sometimes. And poor old Goldair, in his condition, just wouldn’t be able to stand up for himself against all of them. And thus, the catch 22 situation with my old toaster continues.