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The Duracell Bunny



It has been a mentally exhausting week. Not because I am immersed in deep or profound thoughts, but because Hubby has been vociferously communicating every thought that has come into his head. If one thinks about it, voicing everything that flashes through one’s mind is really quite excessive.

Chemically unbalanced by delays in medications being administered, Hubby has been very much like the Duracell advertisement, which stars a battery-powered bunny rabbit that is unstoppable and being a toy, has no need to take a breath! The only human analogy that I can make, is remembering when Hubby was on Steroids for cancer treatment. We went to a friend’s home for dinner with eight other guests. Hubby could not stop talking from the side-effect of the medication, and the guests were numb from the verbiage. They tried to redirect the conversation, to no avail.

There is only so much that one’s brain can deal with when assaulted with non-stop noise. In our case, each query requires an answer, and often the same one many times over. Other chapters have mentioned how he loves to read the newspaper out loud nothing is silent. He even emotes when sleeping.

Playing music invites Hubby to sing-along, which is an improvement over chatter. But at the end of the day, noise is noise. Music and singing is the better noise. I wish that Frank Sinatra had recorded more songs. I know the albums by heart now and am ready for fresh material. I sneak in a bit of John Denver, the Carpenters, Johnny Mathis, some show tunes, and get away with it. We need to expand our horizons.

A few minutes ago, Hubby demanded an immediate answer:

“What medication do I have on Thursday?” Not knowing where to begin among his 18 meds per day, I looked at him and said:

“Look on your medication list.” Hubby has a clipboard with a schedule and list of all of his medications so that I will not have to remember each detail at times such as these.

He responded: “I was not talking to you!”

A glance around the room told me that we were quite alone.

“There is no one else here. Who are you talking to?”

“I am talking to myself!” he responded with great irritation.

That was the first time that Hubby actually verbalized his situation. On the one hand, nothing is apparently required of me at the moment, but on the other, how am I to know when he will change his mind and his questions will then actually require a response? Tis a conundrum.

Hubby verbalizes every thought that enters his head. This volume of verbosity is difficult on those around him. It is quite literally impossible to do another task or think about something which concerns me when he is articulating. I certainly cannot write at my computer when he holds court.

Very awkward moments occur when Hubby attempts a review of our finances. Once he begins, he cannot stop asking questions. The questions are generally incorrect in their basic assumptions. His memories of that which he used to control, are muddled. I try to deflect the questions especially when someone else is in the house. My father used to say “Little pitchers have big ears!” He was referring to children, but once an aide has been hired, the privacy which we used to cherish, becomes difficult to protect. Hubby’s filtering system might stop him from discussing finances with a complete stranger, but would not stop him from discussing them with me when they are within ear-shot. It is very difficult to change the mental focus of a person in confusion. Even playing “Frankie” (as in Sinatra…), did not stop the same awkward and very private questions, from being repeated over and over.

Yesterday, Hubby went to his memory club, (Melabev), accompanied by his aide. I had five glorious hours to myself with no questions to answer. Within minutes I found myself talking aloud. Really not so loud, but I could hear myself. It was as if there was someone in the room, but having scanned the premises, nope, just me. I have heard that as people get older, they talk to themselves. This is beyond scary. Still, I must admit that I do find it comforting to say my thoughts aloud. In the old days, I always had Hubby to talk to. Now I can speak with our aide, but not about private matters, of course. My fascinating conversation with myself follows;

“I will clean up my room today. “

“Good idea. A day for me!”

“Then I will vacuum…”

“…and dust!”

There was much more but no need to share the exciting monologue with anyone other than myself. There was a bit of wit circulating for a long time. That said, talking to one’s self is okay, but be careful when you start answering as well! I think I may be doing both. This gives an added dimension to another famous saying: “She likes the sound of her own voice!”

I cannot help but wonder if this is similar to what Hubby is experiencing. At least I have no expectations of a response from anyone else. My filters are fortunately, still intact.

Hubby has always loved to talk, now he simply does not know how to stop. If only there was a Duracell battery which I could remove….


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Barbara Diamond is a journalist living in Jerusalem, Israel. She has been a political activist on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people for over fifty years, having participated in political and humanitarian missions to Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, China, and Europe to meet with world leaders on matters of concern. She has written over 100 articles for the Jerusalem Post and on her blog at The Times of Israel, hosted an English radio talk show in Jerusalem and continues mentoring others to pass on the torch of responsibility. You can reach her at [email protected] and visit her site at