Squeezed onto a faux banquette that must have been intended for a toddler, I tried my best to sit quietly in the corner and not listen to Miss Cathy and Dr G debate the merits and side effects of statins, focusing instead on my ‘happy place’ (which at the moment was anywhere but there).
As part of my (self assigned) duties as ‘caregiver’ I’ve trained myself to be as unobtrusive as a butler (or how I’ve perceived one to be), fading into the background after I’ve chauffeured her to the appointed destination but available if need be.
I do this so that Miss Cathy can feel free to have whatever exchange she wants with whomever she’s meeting with, without a care or thought as to what I may think (and believe me, this works just fine for someone as self righteous and self absorbed as she is….she could give ‘two hoots’ what I think or how she’s being perceived…..I’m just saying).
I will say though, it’s hard to listen to the same questions and answers over and over.
But, they are her doctors; her meetings and appointments so the focus should be on her, I’m just the ‘transporter’.
And this works out just fine for the most part; at least it does on the days when she’s lucid, heaven help us all on the “off Alz days”.
I try, let me emphasize the word ‘try’; meaning I make and attempt or effort to do something (like keep my mouth shut), so my objective is to ‘try’ not to interject during Miss Cathy’s exchanges unless she’s misspoken or given the wrong answer to a question (and I do not hesitate to jump in when her health is at stake).
It’s my (self assigned job) to give factual answers and to fill in the background for whatever the doctor may have asked, hopefully without any sarcasm or added editorializing on my part.
But, it’s not easy to sit idly by when (I know) she’s fudging the facts (insinuating that she’s exercising when she’s not or being faithful to whatever she’s been told to do) or being obstinate (which is usually any statement that starts with “I’m not” doing, taking, making, reading, eating, or ingesting).
That’s when I have to take the “Hoke” hat off and put my caregiver bonnet on before my chauffeured ‘busy bee’ can verbally run too far afield.
“Why don’t you just give it a try”, I interjected, exasperated by all the pointless back and forth.
“We’re here after all, if all you’re going to do is question and then end up doing what you want to do anyway we could have just stayed home!” (Yeah, I know…not very ‘faded into the background’ of me)
“Yeah, well…what do you know, you’re just a layman, too!” she said.
“You’re not going to be the one taking the medication.” (Touché!)
“I know”, I said (and she was right)
“But I am your caregiver and I’m with you 24/7 so I can see the benefit of what you do and don’t do…what you take and don’t take.”
“Yeah well…” was her response, her voice trailing off in defensiveness.
“Whether you believe it or not, we’re all on your side here, nobody is trying to make you take anything that’s going to be harmful to you.”
“That may be, but what do you know”, she sneered, unaffected by my attempt at a kumbaya moment.
“Besides, nobody lives forever, you might drop dead before me.”
“From your lips to God’s ear”, I said.