Today in My History
All Right, Jack
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10 June 2016
Walt looked at me warily as if I were a time bomb about to eplode. Polly needed to be with me, but had that "don't touch me or I'll jump" look she gets when she's terrified. I was in the middle of a mini-meltdown. I opened a cupboard and trays fell out, with a loud bang and I slammed them back in the cupboard, then I got my chicken tenders in the oven only to realize I had left out a vital step in the recipe (this was not a Blue Apron meal) and had to remove them and see if I could fix it. Neither thing was all that catastrophic but I had just been at Atria for about an hour and a half and had left with all my emotions on high and was not emotionally prepared for minor kitchen disasters.
After the hour of repetitive conversation with my mother, which always depresses me, we had a major crisis. When I arrived, her door was ajar, not closed, which surprises me because you have to make an effort to leave it open, since it locks automatically.
She was worried, as she always is, because there was something she needed to ask me, but couldnt remember what it was. Then she asked me to check her door because there was something wrong with it. She said she couldn't get it to close and was afraid someone was going to get angry with her for leaving it open.
I checked the door and it was closed, and told her it seemed fine, which seemed to calm her. I chalked it up to one of the odd fears she sometimes has.
Toward the end of the visit, I got up to get her laundry to take home and wash and I noticed that her room keys were not on the counter where she keeps them. I didn't say anything, but started looking around and they were nowhere. She realized I was looking for something and asked what I was doing. I told her that her keys were missing. She immediately got what Walt describes as the "kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar" attitude and told me she knew nothing about it. She never used the keys. Someone must have put them somewhere.
She helped me look and at one point was standing in the living room saying "I can't even remember which shoes we are looking for." I am afraid I yelled at her that we weren't looking for shoes, we were looking for keys. She was sitting on the couch with her head in her hands and I felt guilty for letting her know how frustrated I was.
I looked everywhere, but they were nowhere. I even checked the refrigerator, where Alzheimers patients sometimes put things like keys. I finally was going to leave her my set of keys when I thought that maybe she had put them in her purse. Then I couldn't find the purse. She keeps it in a drawer, but it wasn't there. I checked all the drawers. No purse. I finally checked her closet and in a dark corner the purse was there, as were her keys.
I took out her checkbook, which I long ago put in her wallet to keep her from losing it (that system has worked well). In the keys search, I had found her AT&T bill and wrote the check for her to sign, but then found out that the return envelope was not there. I also went to get the newspaper bill, which I made the mistake of not paying 3 days ago. It was part of a stack of junk papers that needed to be thrown away but she wouldn't let me touch because she needed to go through it all. I pulled the bill out and told her NOT to throw that away. But of course she did.
The nice thing about dementia is that even when something unpleasant happens, you immediately forget it, so by the time I had written the AT&T check and packed up the laundry to go home, stopping to talk with her about a headline in the newspaper, she had forgotten all the drama of a few minutes ago. But of course I had not and got into the car still agitated. I usually take the long way home, listening to my audio book, to decompress, but the battery of my iPod no longer holds a charge and though it had only been played about 30 minutes I had not plugged it in, it was dead, so there went my decompress time.
Which probably explains my mini kitchen meltdown. Dinner turned out just fine.
This was Thursday and usually my Logos day, but I had accidentally agreed to work at Sutter, so Susan said she'd get someone to cover for me. (She apparently forgot because Sandy called me at 2:30 to ask if I was coming).
It was a quiet day at Sutter, not nearly as eventful as when I worked on Monday. The major trauma was that before I left the house, I couldn't find my Kindle anywhere. I finally decided that maybe I'd left it at Sutter and, thank goodness I had.
So when I was not dealing with flowers being delivered (there were three deliveries for the same patient, who had also received flowers yesterday as well!) I was enjoying the last chapters of Bill Bryson's "The Road to Little Dribbling," which I have been reading for awhile.
Nothing like Bill Bryson to lift the spirits! I've been a fan ever since I found "The Mother Tongue" decades ago and have read almost all of his books. Years ago, Walt and I were in Cambridge, England and I saw a display in a book store window. The book was Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island," a book he wrote driving around England, where he and his family had lived for many years, for one last look before returning to the US. Walt and I were driving around England and Bryson's book became our most delightful tour guide, as he visited many of the spots where we visited. Bryson is the master of the little known fact about things you never realized. In this new book, he is taking another tour of England to see how it compares with his first book. As in "Notes," this one is chock full of information you didn't realized you wanted to know and things about people you never heard of before.
I love his stories like trying to register at a hotel where when asked where he was from and he replied "London" the clerk asked how to spell it. Then she asked what country. He said "England" and she asked how to spell that and she told him that her computer didn't recognize "England" (the country in which she lives) as a country. And after trying Britain, Great Britain, and UK, she finally said that the computer recognized France, so she put in that he was from London, France.
He then lists a number of things you should ask yourself to see if you are truly stupid, one of which was "If you have been to a tanning parlor, do you think that because you cannot see that your eyelids are white, no one else can?" Hmmm...wonder how he came up with that one...
This book is filled with tales of marvelous vistas,
beautiful, walks, quiet beaches, quirky locations, eccentric people, and
quaint little towns you have probably never heard of but suddenly
desperately want to visit. And who knew that more people are killed in
England by cows than by bulls..? Or that a building in Sellafield is "the
most hazardous building in Europe" because it is filled with decaying fuel
rods from England's nuclear years, when nobody thought ahead about how to
safely handle such things.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The famous Jolly Fisherman of Skegness
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This is entry #5921