Thursday, July 21, 2011

Learning to be okay with that -- whatever it is

Yesterday I was sitting in the car, waiting for him to come out of the supermarket, thinking about how one of the hardest things about living with Alzheimer’s is that you cannot call them out on behavior that you normally would. You cannot really hold them accountable when they embarrass you and make fools of themselves. Since he fell and hurt his shoulder, he has decided to let his arm hang as if it were not attached because that gets him attention, and he is talking about this thing to any stranger who will listen. And I just have to be okay with that.

Now, this morning I am sitting at my laptop, watching a baby hummingbird sipping from a feeder right outside my window, thinking about how the medications must be doing him some good. Last summer he could not have formulated a plan in his mind for keeping cold water on hand. However, last night he placed a new case of bottled water on the floor near the refrigerator and said, "I’m putting in six bottles on the top shelf. When you take one out, put one in on the bottom shelf."

I was stunned.

"That’ll work," I said, thinking, by golly that will work.

And now it’s later, and he has asked me a question that left me just as stunned as his plan for the water. Only in the other direction. He asked if he was driving me to the hospital when I have knee replacement surgery next month. He got really upset when I said yes.

"Would you rather I stay in a hotel and take a cab to the hospital?"

"Well, don’t you need a car left there?"

"How long do you think it will be before I can drive?"

"How long will I have to be here by myself?"

The multiverse is imploding.

"It will be between two and four weeks. I’m going somewhere for rehab."

"And I have to stay here and look after the dogs?"

"Yes, and you can bring them to visit me when you pick up my jammies and bring me clean ones?"

"I have to wash your clothes?"

"You can do it. I know you can, just like I'll do for you if your shoulder needs to be operated on."

I could hear him grumbling for several minutes.

Truth be told I am having this surgery now while he can still take care of himself and the animals. I'd say it is just in the knick of time.

And I have to be okay with that, like Paul, in Phil. 4:11, "content under any circumstances."

Paul had to learn this. It was hard for him. I can relate.