Me: “Are you about ready to go to bed, Joe?”
Joe: “Nah, I don’t think so…”
Me: “How about ice cream? Are you ready for a little ice cream?”
Joe got a giant grin: “I’m ALWAYS ready for a little ice cream!”
Me: “Okay, I’m going to help you get up now so you can walk to your bedroom.”
Joe: “You want me to walk?”
Me: “Yep. I’d carry you, but I’m not quite strong enough.”
Joe: “Are you sure, cuz I can hold on pretty tight!”
Me: “I don’t think we’d get very far.”
Joe: “But we’d be quite a sight, wouldn’t we?!”
I just finished my commute from Seattle to Portland via train to arrive at Joe and Dot’s house, where I was greeted with two great big smiles.
After we all chatted for a bit, I asked Joe if he needed anything.
Joe: “Like what?”
Me: “Like a glass of water or a snack?”
Joe: “Nah, I think I’m alright. There is one thing though…”
Me: “Yeah? What’s that?”
Joe: “Well see, I’ve got an itch on my back here…”
Me: “Uh-oh…sounds like you need a back scratchin’.”
Joe: “Yeah, I was thinking that you looked like someone who could do a pretty good job at that.”
Me: “I do huh?”
Joe grinned: “Yep.”
Me: “Okay, turn around and I’ll scratch your back for ya.”
Joe: “Now that’s what I call good service!”
I was tucking Joe into bed last night and I asked him if he was warm enough.
Joe: “Not quite…”
Me: “Would you like another blanket?”
Joe: “I don’t think we’ll need another blanket. Once you crawl in beside me here, we’ll be plenty warm.”
I laughed: “Well I won’t be crawling in bed beside you, so I’d better get you another blanket.”
Dot came in then to give Joe his goodnight kiss, as she does every night. She puckered up her lips, closed her eyes, and moved in for the kiss. Joe’s eyes got really big and he tried to cover his head under his blanket.
Dot: “Don’t you wanna kiss me goodnight, Joe?”
Joe: “Oh…is that you, Dot?”
Dot: “Yes, it’s me! Who else would be giving you a goodnight kiss?”
Joe: “You were going to kiss me??”
Dot: “Of course I was! What’d you think I was trying to do?”
Joe: “I was worried that you were going to bite me.”
Dot: “I’m not going to bite you! Now, do you want a goodnight kiss or not?”
Joe puckered up real quick, and Dot planted a big kiss on his lips. Joe grinned from ear to ear, and then he looked at me and puckered up again.
Joe: “Okay, who’s next…?”
Q: How many times does a person have to lock and unlock the front door of the house before an old lady with dementia actually believes that the door is, in fact, LOCKED??
A: Infinity. Because it doesn’t matter whether or not a person PROVES that the door is locked when an old lady with dementia is certain that a mob is planning to break in and rob the place and kidnap the cat.
We were sitting at the table eating breakfast, when I felt Joe’s eyes on me. I looked over at him and he was just grinning ear to ear.
Me: “You look like you’re in a pretty good mood today, Joe!”
Joe: “Yep, I guess so.”
Me: “I bet it’s because you’re wearing your red shirt. You look really handsome in red.”
Dot: “Red has always been a good color on him.”
Joe: “What’s so good about it?”
Me: “It brightens up your cheeks.”
Joe: “What good does that do me?”
Dot: “We’re the ones who have to look at you, and you look good in RED! Now, eat your breakfast.”
Joe: “Does it make me look taller?”
Joe: “Does my red shirt make me look taller?”
Dot: “Oh for heaven’s sake…”
Me: “I think it makes you look taller, Joe.”
Joe’s eyes lit up: “Well if it makes me look taller, then maybe I’ll have a better chance of picking a cherry from the cherry tree!”
Dot: “We don’t have a cherry tree.”
Joe: “But if we DID have a cherry tree; when I wear this red shirt then I’ll be taller, and I can pick cherries.”
Me: “You’re right, Joe. You’d be tall enough to pick the cherries AND you’d look very handsome while doing so.”
Joe beamed: “See Dot, I told you so.”
Dot: “I think maybe you’d better not wear red anymore. It gives you a big head…”
Joe: “No Dot, see my head only looks bigger because my red shirt makes me look so much taller.”
Lois tried to “run away” in the middle of the night, using her bedside commode as a walker. She didn’t get very far, since she could not figure out how to unlock the door.
Me: “Where are you going, Lois?”
Lois: “I’m gettin’ the hell out of here is where I’m goin!”
Me: “You’re not going to get very far carrying your commode. It’s really heavy.”
Lois: “The WHAT?!”
Me: “You’re trying to use your toilet as a walker, and it’s too heavy for you to push around.”
Lois: “I just figured that I might need to use the toilet while I’m walking to Sylvia’s house.”(Sylvia is Lois’s long deceased sister.)
Me: “How about we visit Sylvia tomorrow when there’s daylight, and you can be sure to use the bathroom before we go?”
Lois: “Well, I’ll think about it.”
Then right there by the front door, Lois decided to use her commode. As she was sitting on the pot, she smiled at me and said, “Boy, these portable toilets sure are handy!”
Me: “Yep, they sure are.”
This has been one of the most difficult days with Lois that I’ve ever had. Some days are just like that with folks who are suffering with dementia, and it’s sad.
At one point this afternoon, I escaped to the caregiver’s bedroom to take a breather from having to answer the SAME questions OVER and OVER and OVER again. Of course she followed me into the bedroom, and just stood next to my bed glaring at me and scratching her butt with her hand down the back of her pants.
My patience was nearing an end when I said, “Lois. Will you please not scratch your butt right next to my head at least?!”
Lois looked at me bewildered and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Me: “Lois, look at where your hand is right now.”
Lois pulled her hand out of her pants: “It’s right here!”
Me: “Okay, now look at where my head is.”
Lois looked confused for a moment, and then put her hand right back down her pants: “I don’t see the connection.”
Welcome to my world.
Nothing like spending an hour putting together healthy Greek chicken pizza for our dinner (using the supplies that I paid for myself) just so that Lois can complain that it’s “okay, but I don’t know why you had to dump so much salt on it…”
I explained to her that the kalamata olives are what makes it salty, but that I used them sparingly, and the pizza is actually very healthy.
Lois: “You can explain that to the doctor after I’ve had my heart attack from all of this salt.”
Me: “I can make you something else…”
Lois: “No, no, I’ve lived long enough anyhow. Have you fed Baby?”
Me: “Yes, I put food out on the patio for her.”
Lois: “You didn’t put any of those thingamajigs in her food, did ya?”
Me: “No, of course not.”
Lois: “Are you sure? Because she’s too young for a heart attack.”
Me: “Yes, I’m sure. I just gave her soft food.”
Lois: “You didn’t pour a bunch of salt all over it, did you?”
Me: “Lois…why would I add salt to Baby’s cat food?”
Lois: “I was just making sure.”
Me: “There are no salty thingamajigs on Baby’s food.”
Lois: “Maybe I should trade her then.”