It’s not like we’ve never before discussed the risks and probable outcomes of a fall, but rather it is that Annie Oakley simply doesn’t think that these conversations apply to her. Her Robbie goes so far as to have Annie look into his eyes and promise him that she will take the precautions we all three discuss on a regular basis. But, it seems that all she hears is “bla-bla-bla-bla-ba”. What the heck do we do when our care recipients refers to the old people at the day care facility as if she was not included in that category? After all, in Annie’s mind, then, when we refer to the horrible outcomes for seniors of advanced ages, we are not referring to her. So, as you can see, we have a problem.
In the past in this blog, I have shared at least one story of Annie being fit to be tied that her bather was late, so she decided to bath all on her own with no one else in the house. Now this time here’s the deal. Our garbage and recycling are collected early on Monday mornings, so we scramble to get it all together and up to the curb on Sunday evening before bedtime. Several weeks back we followed the usual routine, but were not so good at following the usual procedure that sees us getting the empty garbage and recycling containers back down to the garage, house, etc. We both had way too much “stuff” going on and not enough time to think clearly. I seem to remember seeing the empty containers still up at the curb two days after their contents had been taken away. When I no longer saw these vessels on the lawn, I assumed that Robbie had put them away.
I think it was several days later when I thanked him for putting away the recycling and garbage containers. When I looked at him and saw the look on his face, I got the message that he did not make that happen, and we both now knew that neither of us had done so. So who in the heck did get them from the curb, down our rather steep driveway, and into their respective places? The answer of course was that Annie Oakley carried out this task, with cane in hand. We looked at each other in horror, relief, and then anger. Having both vented about our care recipient taking such a huge risk, likely because she didn’t like the containers still at the curb, we seem to have switched gears simultaneously, to wonder how the heck she did it, the marvel it must have been to see, and that we were saying nothing about her performance.
I must confess that when Annie pulls off these kinds of reckless stunts, I want to shake some sense into her (as my father used to say he was going to do with me). Yes, inevitably I am relieved, and then immediately feel terribly frustrated. But, given that Annie does not see herself as a senior, let alone a fragile one, I have to face the fact that almost assuredly her behaviour will never change, and that it will be one heck of a miracle if we are not left picking up the pieces, literally, before Annie’s journey has ended. And, as her caregivers, that is one bitter pill to swallow.
Yours in caregiving,