I’m late, (we’re late) for a very important date: Pt. l


I can’t believe we were late for our first doctor’s appointment in over a month.

When we finally arrived at the Medical Center I looked at my watch to see that we were 20 minutes late for Miss Cathy’s appointment with Dr K, her (new) neurologist.

It’s not like we were rushing from another appointment because of some ‘full calendar’ of places to go and people to see, we only had the one place and he was the only ‘people’ she (we) had to see in an otherwise day free of obligations.

So, there really was no excuse for our tardiness and all the drama it caused (to me, anyway).

We were going to see him to discuss the addition of Namenda XR to her drug cocktail, up till this point she’d only been prescribed Aricept for her Alzheimer’s.

I first told mom about her three month neurological ‘check-up’ the night before so she’d have (some) time to get used to the idea but not so much that she’d obsess or drive me crazy asking, “When do I see the doctor?” over and over.

The next day I reminded her again about the appointment while she was eating her breakfast in front of the television in the living room then went about my morning.

I didn’t come back out to check on her till 12:30pm (the appointment was scheduled for 1:00pm) and there she was, sitting in the living room watching TV, still in her nightgown.

“My bad”, I thought to myself, “ no reason to be mad at her for something that was totally my fault.” As her caregiver I should have checked on her earlier to make sure she was dressed and ready so we’d be on time.

Luckily her condo is only about a five-minute drive to the doctor’s office but with less than a half hour for her to dress and get out the door (and in the car, out of the car, in an elevator and walk the short distance to the doctor’s door…all of which take more time than you can imagine) I knew there was a better chance of John Boehner controlling his Republican caucus than us being on time.

Frustrated (but, I had to admit that I was more angry at myself than her) I ‘suggested’ she go and get ready so we could leave as soon as possible. I’m usually more on top of things, time management wise, but, what can I say, sometimes I think that she’s having a good day and monitor her less or (heaven forbid) get absorbed in something I’m doing for myself.

You might be asking yourself “Why didn’t he just help her get ready?”….Well, I’ll tell you.

The answer is that I’m (still) making a conscious decision to let her be as independent as possible and not step in and take over (until it’s absolutely necessary) where matters of her autonomy are concerned.

Part of what I struggle with as her caregiver (in addition to time management obviously) is the knowledge that if/when I start to do more for her (even if it’s under the guise of ‘helping’) it will send a message to her that she can just sit back and be taken take of.

So if I do ‘whatever’ it is that needs to be done for her then she’s absolved of any responsibility or culpability for her actions.

She may have Alzheimer’s but there is plenty she is still capable of doing for herself-dressing being one of those things.

So, we’d be late but I wouldn’t have to add the label ‘enabler’ to one of the many (mad) hats I wear as we prepared for this very important date.

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