After listening to the voicemail from Phillips Lifeline my first instinct (like any good doggie) was to abandon my evening, turn tail and return home.
But, since I’m a person and not a dog I sat in my car for a few moments to ponder the situation. Before I went anywhere I knew that I needed to call mom (and hope she wasn’t too freaked out and had her shit together well enough to answer the phone) and find out what was going on and get a feel for where she was emotionally.
I had just enough time as I waited for the call to connect (or not) to beat myself up alittle for not picking up the unknown call earlier and for not having the number in my contacts in the first place! (I have since added the name/number to my phone contacts list).
The names of the people on the emergency contact list that Phillips Lifeline had contacted were also running through my head.
I knew that I needed to call them back asap…including Phillips Lifeline…Oye!
To my relief (and surprise) mom did pick up the phone. She said that Ron, our upstairs neighbor and her unofficial third son, had come down to reset the alarm then gone back home.
She was clearly agitated, sounding like ‘fragile Cathy’ and said that she wanted nothing more to do with setting the alarm after I suggested she try again and then go back to bed.
I told her that I would walk her through the steps (something she’s done a thousand times but because of the Alzheimer’s each time is the becoming the first time) and tried to reassure her that she could do it but she was having none of it.
“Do me a favor and breathe with me”, I suggested, her anxiety growing when it should have been dissipating.
“I know you, if you don’t set the alarm you’re just going to lay awake and jump all night every time you think you hear something…you won’t get a wink of sleep.”
“Yeah, well”, she lamented, “then I-just-won’t-sleep-then. I’m not fooling with that damn alarm thing again tonight!”
“Okay then, if that’s you decision…” It was no use arguing with her so I said good-bye and hung up.
A deep breath then it was time to call everyone else that had been invited to this little ‘panic party’ and tell them thanks for the rsvp and that they could all go back to whatever they were doing, all the while parked not two blocks from the restaurant where I should have been répondez s’il vous plait for my own evening.