Seeing This More

I've noticed over the past couple of months that I'm seeing certain behaviors more and more during our Skype sessions each weekend.  Some amuse me and others leave me with my head cocked like the RCA dog listening to his master's voice.

In the TMI category, the behavior that kind of amuses me is that Lyn now spends significant time during our calls with her finger up her nose.  She's become completely uninhibited with this behavior during our conversations.  Mom can see it happening behind her because she's got Skype set to show a window of what her webcam is projecting.  Mom has tried reminding Lyn to get a tissue or to stop.  Lyn will shoot her The Look and a few seconds later be doing the behavior again.  So, Mom and I mostly pretend there's no show in the background and continue with our conversations.  It is just not worth the agita it would cause either of them to make an issue of it.

The other behavior, the one that leaves me puzzled is a facial expression Lyn is using more and more.  It is this one:

This is Lyn's smile for when she really doesn't want to smile.  It is her "I'm smiling because it is expected; not because I want to" smile.  I'm not sure why she's doing this so much at the moment.  Without asking her directly, I suspect that she interprets the situation as one which would warrant a smile because Mom and I are smiling, for example, but she's not sure what is the motivation for the smile.  Does that make any sense?  I'm thinking of times when people laugh because others are laughing; not because they get the joke.  I see this response with my youngest who will laugh to participate and hope to figure it out later.

I'll try to remember to ask Lyn what she's thinking when next we Skype and I see her put this expression on.  I wonder if she'll be able to articulate what's going on in her thoughts or if I'll get a non-sequiter.  Non-sequiters are interesting too, don't get me wrong.


  1. The smile you wrote about in this post so reminds me of what we experienced with my mother-in-law as time wore on in her journey with Alzheimers. She would smile and even laugh when we did, sometimes knowing why and often not. As her time got shorter, we came to cherish her smiles because they were so infrequent. It became a quest for us to get her to smile. We didn’t force it, but we shared laughter and conversations which would encourage her to smile. She's been gone a year now, and I still get tears of joy in my eyes when I think of her smiles.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing this experience. I greatly appreciate the voice of another who has experienced dementia or Alzheimer's in a loved one.


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