In addition to battling over exercise (or her lack thereof) I’ve fought with Miss Cathy through the years about a number of issues.
There was her wandering away from the kitchen while she had a skillet on the stove (usually turned up to the highest heat possible), murdering toasters (to date I’ve bought six toasters in three years after she’s managed to break them), her denial about her Alzheimer’s, her penchant for ‘doctoring’ herself (meaning she might decide to increase, decrease the dosage of her meds (or stop all together) based on what she thought was appropriate) and there is her propensity to forget if she’s taken her meds so she would either skip a cycle and not take them or double down and take the same meds twice in one day.
As soon as I realized what she was doing (three years ago she could be trusted to be responsible to take her medication as prescribed) but as time went on and her condition progressed (ever so slightly) and it was obvious that I had to intercede.
I took complete control over her meds after that, standing over her twice a day now like Nurse Ratched in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” making sure she swallows all of the pills and isn’t losing them or squirrelling them away somewhere.
Other things haven’t been as important (or as potentially life threatening) but you learn to choose your battles; whether it’s food, hygiene or seeing physicians.
Lately it seems that after every session she’s had with her therapist (and there have been less than a dozen in the past three months) she’s balked at going back.
Just last week we had come back from a morning doctor’s appointment and I could see that she was already eyeing her bed with a look that said she was ready to dive in for the rest of the day (and it wasn’t even 11:00 am yet).
So I quickly reminded her that she had a one o’clock meeting with her therapist, knowing that if she got under the covers nothing short of the promise of taking her to the casino and spotting her a couple hundred bucks would be able to blast her out of bed.
“I’m not going back there, I’m tired!” she hissed as she walked into her bathroom.
Tired from what is a discussion for another day but this was not that day.
And you know what, I was tired, tired of trying to convince her week in and week out that what she was doing for her emotional heath was just as important as her physical well-being.
I was tired of her schizophrenic reaction about going to therapy; most days she was elated to have gone, waxing poetic about how she’d “learned so much” and “how knowledgeable and nice” the therapist is/was.
Then flash forward to the day before (or day of) a new session and she’s railing about “what a waste of time it all is/was” and asking “how much longer did she have to go”
Jeez….who was she, Sally Field in “Sybil”?