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To be continued…

Bill and I just stood there, staring at each other in total disbelief. I realised that in that moment our lives had changed forever. I could taste the dates in the dough mixed with the salty taste of my tears. Bill came towards me, I did not know what to expect. He started helping me to clean the dough from my hair and face. Then he hugged me and started sobbing a deep, primal cry that took hold of his entire body. We just stood there, paralysed, sobbing. Neither of us could speak.

We continued our day as if nothing happened. I rescued what I could of the rusks, the smell {owing gently through the house from the kitchen. (The {oors were clean, I scraped it off and baked it, thinking the heat would kill all germs…) That evening Bill said that he thinks we need to get help for him, that something was wrong with him and that he did not know what was happening.

The next morning I started googling, too scared to ask any of our friends for help or advice. I wondered if I should tell the children. I had no idea what to tell them – “your father turned the rusk dough on my head…” They would laugh and think it was a practical joke. What could this be? What help are we looking for? I decided to make an appointment with our GP.

Bill and I sat in silence in the waiting room of the GP, not knowing what we were going to say. Thank goodness we know him well. When we eventually got inside his room, I started crying. Bill was embarrassed and just sat looking at me. He started telling the doctor about the incident. I found myself making excuses, saying perhaps it was all my fault for annoying him, even though I knew this was not the case. The GP listened with sympathy and suggested we see a physician.

We drove home in silence, not knowing what to say to each other. The physician’s appointment was weeks away. What are we going to do in the meantime? I had fears of a brain tumour, perhaps dementia? I saw ghosts and had nightmares about what our lives would look like now that we are supposed to live a happy retired life. Neither of us slept well, I could feel the heaviness of Bill’s presence in bed. Our lives became a silent nightmare of waiting.

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