It's not new. He does it all the time. He obsesses over a coming event. Like say he has a doctor's appointment on 9/19/12 at 11:45... That totally throws him. And he'll think about and ask me about it over and over again every day until the day. "What does 11:45 mean?" the :45 part throws him and he can't decipher digital clocks anymore. He can't decipher dates, either, and wonders where the 19 went on the years.
His newest thing? His drivers license is expiring soon. He's still a decent driver. He never ventures farther that 2 miles from the house, never goes out before 10 or after 2 to avoid traffic, and certainly knows he can't see to drive at night. So he's still ok behind the wheel, relatively. But the thought of renewing his drivers license stymies him. He'll pass the eye test fine and will probably get the certification from his eye doctor anyway to save time at the MVA. So all he really has to do is wait in line, fill out a form and give them $30. I'll probably fill the form out for him in advance, too. The arthritis makes his handwriting a bit messy.
But that knowledge isn't stopping him from dwelling on it and having fits about it. He's impatient and needs things done right now. RIGHT now. But he can't renew until a month before it expires. So he will hector me about it until then. Not because he enjoys hectoring me, though he is a crotchety old bastard, but because he can't quite grasp it and can't let it alone. He never could leave things alone, being so independent, but the not grasping how it works now is the part that bothers him.
His license expires in March. So 5 months of this.
At least he knows not to call me when it is dark out unless he's having a medical emergency. I used to routinely get calls telling me all his clocks are wrong. They say the same time but they're wrong. They say 3:00 but it's pitch black outside. So what time is it really?
It's 3AM, Archie. I gotta go to work in 3 hours. Why don't you go back to bed?
Soon, it will be the thermostat. Switching from Cool to Heat. I can talk him through it over the phone. That's easy. I will probably do it for him dozens of times. It's frustrating. Not for me (unless he does it at 3AM) but for him. He knows he was master of that thermostat for decades. Installed it himself. CUSTOMIZED it so I had to grok the customization for 5 minutes instead of the 5 seconds a simple thermostat takes to comprehend for someone with my faculties. I can't reteach him, but he, ever optimistic in his way, think he can be retaught.
He does relearn for a short while. A week maybe. Then it's back. Or gone, rather.
Same with figuring out email. Or his file system for his bills. Or how to write a check. It tests both our patience at time.
If this were the Navy, back during the war, they'd give him an APC Pill, pronounce him right as rain, and send back on Watch.