Alzheimer’s Anecdotes, Chapter 15: Toilet Bowl Cannonball


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.

Two weeks after returning from Utah, Pam waits for her first appointment with her beloved Doctor Sarah, Medicine Woman.  She weighted 88 pounds in this photo, 5 pounds MORE than her low point in early January.

Pam waits for a medical appointment on February 18, 2015. She weighed 88 pounds in this photo, 5 pounds MORE than her low point in early January.

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.

The appointment with Doctor Sarah, Medicine Woman, went very well.

The appointment with Doctor Sarah, Medicine Woman, went very well.

Nurse Practitioner Sarah Bivens is deeply appreciated by her patients, one of whom gave her this "Dr. Sarah, Medicine Woman" plaque.  The plaque hangs on her office wall.

Nurse Practitioner Sarah Bivens is deeply appreciated by her patients, one of whom gave her this “Dr. Sarah, Medicine Woman” plaque. The plaque hangs on her office wall.

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….

Up for a game of Toilet Cannonball, anyone?  Alzheimer's sufferers welcome!

Up for a game of Toilet Cannonball, anyone? Alzheimer’s sufferers welcome!

7 thoughts on “Alzheimer’s Anecdotes, Chapter 15: Toilet Bowl Cannonball

  1. I have done that before, but NOT by my own doing. Tell her I am laughing. I did fall asleep on there when I was pregnant on my fourth trip for the night. I woke up and my feet were asleep so badly that they bent under when I took a step. I had to call for help just to get to a sitting spot while they woke up. Katy was a bladder sitter while I was pregnant with her.
    Dennis has taken to telling me that I am going the wrong way when leaving the driveway. I just tell him that those who head the wrong direction to go to bed in a three bedroom mobile shouldn’t give direction advice. He does that often. He headed down the long hall to use the bathroom last night and David asked him where he was going. He stopped in mid-hall to back up and go the other way. That was enough to tell him he was headed the wrong way.

  2. Got it. I’m just as happy not to have been born female; pregnancy with a bladder sitter would really amp my already “more than adequate” renal activity!

    Now I get head out to deal with Verizon. They say we’re over our minutes for the month, which should have been impossible, but count on the telephone company to do the impossible….

  3. I just had to sign up to “follow” you again as I looked to see if you had written since my last notification and of course you had….I was smart enough to remember this situation had happened to others… I just signed up again….lol thought I missed a bunch but I only missed the last 2 posts …… At least she was a happy cannonballer! I could see myself doing something similar and I’m supposedly “normal” even though we all have our quirks and I never leave home without at least 2 sets of keys for my car. Sometimes 3 as I lock them in the car…Each set in a different pocket or on my wrist…. Can you say air head? I learned early I lost keys and locked them on the car… Lol

  4. Becky: Got it. As it turns out, we’re all good. About a year ago, our account got changed from Unlimited Minutes to a mere 700 per month without my knowing it had happened. We think we know how this occurred, long story for another time, but the gal at Verizon who helped me today voluntarily backdated the switch back to Unlimited so that no overage charges would apply. Straight Talk sounds pretty good, but being out of contract for years as we are, we’re okay, too; phone bill used to be $103 on average but has settled in at $64 (for two phones) for some time now.
    Mary: Glad you found your way back. You didn’t miss that many posts because I simply haven’t been able to find a whole lot of time to write in recent weeks. Some of that reassigned time has gone to guitar practice, though, and the musical improvement has so far been worth it to me. Never had bothered to master any B chords but now have…discovered that another “new” chord, Gb, makes a mighty fine distant train whistle sound…etc.

    I wouldn’t describe Pam’s cannonballing as “happy”, exactly, but she did see the humor in the situation. That’s definitely a good thing. I’ll have to tell her about your “3 sets of keys”. She’s never once locked her keys in a vehicle during our 18+ years together, though she has lost the blasted things in her Black Hole of a purse more than once…:)

  5. Too funny! I’m glad Pam got a kick out of herself. I’ve done that before. It’s a long way down when the seat’s up. And the water is so cold!

  6. I presume the water is indeed cold. Can’t say from experience, though, not having personally performed that little maneuver.:)

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