I worked from home at this point in time, and having Angus home everyday certainly put my routine a little out of whack at first. Slowly, but surely I noticed even more changes in his behaviour. It was a scorching hot summer and poor Angus only had a pedestal fan in his room which he commented on one morning over breakfast “You know, as hot as it is I’ve only been able to have the fan on the lowest level, it’s strange I know, but the noise really rattles my brain and I can’t sleep and it drives me crazy!.” He found this really unusual as he had never experienced that before.
He also made random comments about the noise of the traffic on the street outside and how it made him feel strange. He would often complain of feeling like he had a hangover when he hadn’t had anything to drink, and he stopped helping around the unit and spent more and more time on the couch surfing the net or watching TV, which I’ll admit annoyed me but also really concerned me. There was several times where he would lie on the couch with a migraine for days on end blaming the heat.
He suffered from memory loss regularly, double vision, loss of vision, nausea, and change in taste and hot flushes which became more and more frequent. He would talk to me often about how he had thoughts in his head that he couldn’t quite make sense of but he couldn’t shake them either and didn’t understand what they meant. More than once he told me that he was never like this before and his head just didn’t feel right, like it was just full of wool and not brains anymore. When I asked him how long ago he noticed these changes he realised that it was really just in the last six months, but more intensely in these past three months.
About a month after he quit his job, a friend of mine from Canada, Kara, who had stayed with us briefly when Angus first moved in, came to stay for a few weeks. This was great for me as she was also able to see the dramatic change in Angus compared to her first meeting him, and she confirmed that I was right to be concerned. It was also great to have someone else to keep Angus company while I worked, but at the end of each day Kara would report more frequent and more subtle oddities that had happened with Angus. Of course we couldn’t help but have a little giggle now and then, but not in a malicious way, more like a mother would when her toddler did something silly.
Now I am naturally a maternal person and whether you are five or fifty-five I will mother you to some degree, but I was starting to feel very much like Angus’s actual mother as he regressed further and further. Despite still being an intelligent man he had such a child like manner these days that it was hard not to think of him as one at times. He would ask the same questions several times over, have the same conversation several times over and struggle to find the words he needed to string a sentence together. As an example he told me once about a bath toy he had bought as a present for his niece.
“You know, they live in the snow have webbed feet and they are black and white?” he tried to explain.
“Penguin?” I offered.
“YEAH, that’s the one” he laughed “I knew what I wanted to say I just couldn’t get it”
I regularly had to remind myself that Angus was a grown man and could look after himself, but I was torn between my instincts screaming at me that there was something seriously wrong and my logic saying that he was fine and to just let him go. It was a Thursday night and Angus was going out with some friends he had met during some of his travels when he first arrived in Australia. Later that evening he arrived home with his friends and he called to me to come and meet them. Turning to face me after introducing his friends he went white as a ghost and the look on his face said it all as he mouthed to me that he couldn’t remember my name. Shocked as I was I quickly intervened and introduced myself before returning to my room. The various memory games he had been trying to help him remember were certainly not working.
The most noticeable and consistent quirk with Angus was his inability to remember people’s names, yet he had always remembered mine, so for him to forget mine had unnerved both of us. The next morning I was back on his case about seeing a doctor. He told me that he would go and find one and get it sorted; that day he got his eyes tested which was at least a start. The optometrist told him that there was nothing wrong that he could see and casually mentioned it might help to see a doctor if he was still concerned.
That Sunday night, our guest Kara asked Angus how old he was, and without hesitation he responded that he was seventeen. When she questioned his answer, he gave her the same response before quickly realising it wasn’t right. He thought for a few seconds trying to find the magic number in his mind before finally answering with unsure confidence that he was in fact twenty-seven.
Until the next chapter ‘Signs’ have an amazing day!