Miss Cathy has left the building: Pt l


This morning a woman that I could hardly recognize greeted me at my door.

“Can you help me find my pants?” She said as she started to put the yellow tee shirt in her hands on as if they were trousers.

Today was the second morning in a row that Miss Cathy was having this particular problem.

Even after I pointed out the obvious to her she didn’t really seem to comprehend what I was saying.

“What is that in your hands?” I asked, ” No……..don’t try to your leg through it, just tell me what it is.”

“This?” she said holding up the tee as if it were something new that she’d discovered, “It’s a shirt.”

“Right… and we put shirts on to cover up our tops and pants to cover our bottoms. So where does the shirt go?”

“On top.”

“Exactly! Only let me find you a fresh one”, I said getting up and rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. “I think it’s time we gave that one a break for awhile.”

She went to her room and sat on her bed to put on the blue top that I found on a pile of clean clothes near her bed looking perplexed. She said that she still didn’t know where her pants were as she started to pull at one of the other tops (in yet another pile) on her bed.

“Are these them?”

Into the breach once more to discuss breeches (what was and what wasn’t).

I rummaged round in her closet and finally located a pair of lightweight pants appropriate enough for her to wear during the unusually warm weather we’re having (94 degrees in April).

I also made a mental note to block out some time (soon) to clean her out her closet; I couldn’t believe how much of her clothes were scattered on the floor, the clothes were strewn about like something out of the mind of a heroin addict.

I looked back to see what progress she’d made dressing only to see that she was laying back in bed with the sheet pulled up around her shoulders saying she was tired as if she’d just worked a long hard day and it was bedtime.

Clearly, the ‘pant/shirt’ lesson had exhausted her but I had to remind her that it was only 8:30 in the morning and she needed to get up, have some breakfast and take her meds.

Before she’d agree to get out of bed she looked up at me and asked, “What’s wrong with me?”

“You have Alzheimer’s.”

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