WARNING: READER DISCRECTION ADVISED
So, there I was, on my hands and knees scrubbing feces out of the beige colored carpet hoping there’d be no tell tale sign of Miss Cathy’s ‘accident’ after I’d finished laboring over the stain, wondering all the while, “How the hell did I get here?”
I’d gotten used to being “Hazel the housemaid” and “Nurse Ratched with the meds” but this….this was something I had no pop culture reference for.
I had to reach back to the seventeenth century and Lady Macbeth’s, “Out, Damn’d spot!” to find something (somewhat) apropos.
Hey, I accept that ‘things happen’ being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s (and lord knows I’ve gotten used to quite a lot ‘happening’ since I’ve been here) but I couldn’t get over the ‘matter of fact’ way that mom talked about what happened.
I don’t know if I was more shocked by what she did or how blasé she was about it all.
Is alittle remorse, regret or (I don’t know) just some plain ole embarrassment a lot to ask (or expect) when something like this happens?
I pondered all this earlier as I gingerly watched my step walking down the hallway to get out of the front door so that I could go to the store for cleaning supplies.
After perusing the shelves I decided on the “Pet stain and odor remover for carpet”, boasting that it “cleans and freshens even the toughest pet stains”.
I figured if it was ‘guaranteed’ to make Fido’s mess vanish then cleaning up after Miss Cathy’s should be a breeze.
Still, I couldn’t get over mom’s straightforward delivery when she told me what had soiled the carpet.
“Oh, that…that’s shit”.
Since she was so calm and she seemed to have no shame or register any embarrassment in her voice I thought there was no reason for me to act surprised (or heaven forbid ‘shame’ her) so I took my cue from her as I continued my query in the best “everyday” tone I could muster.
“Um, how did that happen?”
She told me that she’d eaten too much of the watermelon I’d bought for her and she ‘felt something’ as she was walking down the hall. And that was that, no further explanation of why she didn’t make it to her bathroom.
The only real emotion she registered was being a bit perturbed (with herself I assume) when I told her that she’d made matters worse when she attempted to clean up the mess, that she’d only been successful in leaving a stain (which I was not sure I could remove once she told me she used Windex as a cleaner) and that she’d missed quite a few spots, and that there were still remnants of matter dotted down the hallway.
Thankfully, she passed the ‘smell test’ as I neared her person and I was somewhat relieved to know that she had the presence of mind to put the offending panties in the washing machine after rinsing them out.
So, back down on my hands and knees; spraying, waiting, gently dabbing, repeating the process (time and again), and amazed (and relieved) that the “odor and stain remover” carpet cleaner made good on its promise, I couldn’t help but wonder,” Did she think this was okay?” and “When did taking a shadoobie on the carpet become acceptable?”
I could only hope that this was the exception and not the new normal, but if it was a glimpse into the future, unlike Miss Cathy’s memory or cognitive issues (that I have no control over) then at least (in all matters poo related) I was armed with a super sized can to spray away stains from my memory.