Cannonball versus a toilet bowl? As an Alzheimer’s anecdote, this should be a good one, right?
Well, why not.
It’s been a while since I wrote one of these chapters, but not because nothing has been happening in the World of Pam. In truth, it’s at least in part because so much has been happening in my wife’s universe. Her Sierra Vista doctor unilaterally and arbitrarily cut her pain meds by nearly 20% in November. The pain increase was too much; it knocked her down hard enough that she couldn’t maintain her “safe weight” of 90 pounds. By the time we got her to her daughter’s Nurse Practitioner employer in northern Utah, she was down to 83 pounds and courting death.
The plan was for her to live full time with her daughter’s family. I would commute. She made it 26 days, then called me to say, “Get me out of here!” Which, of course, I did. Hey, I knew the chick couldn’t live without me!
In the meantime, while in Utah, she quit smoking, breaking a 43 year habit she’d never been quite able to conquer before.
She’s been smoke free since January 15, 2015. Quit in the middle of the day in the middle of a cigarette. She suddenly thought, “What am I doing?!” Broke the cigarette in half, stomped it to death in the driveway where she was standing at the moment, and that was that.
Her absence from Arizona had another unforeseen benefit. Having treated out of state for a month, she was free to seek a new doctor locally without being branded as a “doctor shopper”. I had a hunch, checked it out–and bingo! Her favorite Nurse Practitioner, Sarah, who had moved to Tucson for a time, was also back in Sierra Vista and in business for herself. We’ve gone to Pam’s first appointment with Sarah. It couldn’t have gone better. Sarah is the only medical practitioner anywhere who truly knows and understands my wife in depth. The connection between the two women is powerful.
Celebration all around. The Utah odyssey turned out to be brief…but definitely worth the price of the whistle when all was said and done. Never mind that we’re still living with a house full of boxes packed with Pam’s worldly goods, scheduled to head north to Utah in early February but never delivered. She called for her white knight to come to her rescue one day and a half before they would have been loaded into a U-Haul trailer for the trek north.
It has not been boring.
This morning, she greeted me cheerily and told me, “I got up to go to the bathroom during the night, and guess what? I lifted the seat like a man, then sat down in the water!”
“You did?” I wasn’t surprised; nothing Pam does really surprises me. She pretty much wore out my surprise reflex long before Alzheimer’s reared its crosswired head.
“Yep. It’s happened at least twice before, too. Except those times, I stopped before I hit the water.”
“I didn’t hear you scream.”
“I didn’t scream. You should have heard me, though, I was laughing so hard.”
Most likely, I was sound asleep when she did her toilet cannonball thing. Laughter is not likely to wake me at that point; screaming would be required.
Interestingly enough, this is a new type of Alzheimer’s manifestation for my beloved. It’s the first report of gender blending at the toilet, starting out as a guy and then ending up as the wet woman cussing out the dude who left the toilet seat up, all in the same motion. Except she didn’t cuss. She laughed.
Bet if it had been me who caused her cheek double-dip, there’d have been some cussing, or at least a scowly-frown and a severe tone of voice. After all, she lets me know I’ve erred whenever I forget to reset the handle after showering….