The nurse from Sterling House phoned me yesterday. "Phyllis," she began, "It's straightened out now, but I need you to know..." and she detailed a medication error, a change made by the physician that was not transferred to the med tech, that she caught and fixed. Then she asked, " I heard you were writing a book about your husband's experience. If so, I have a suggestion for a title."
Intrigued, I of course told her about my manuscript. She advised me of several prominent people whom she has met who might promote my book and asked to read it. Finally, she told me her title idea and why she had chosen to share this with me."Never have I seen anyone take the path in this disease that your husband has been taking. His is the most atypical trajectory I have ever witnessed."
She is referring to several facts. Bob seems to have adjusted to the setting; he knows where his room is and to whom to go for help when he needs it. He goes to Betty who saves crackers and peanut butter for him, to Sandy for bananas or apples. He lets Anna scratch his back at bedtime, he is even going for five minute walks outside the front door with Leslie, the activities director, every afternoon.
But he's not nice. When asked by Betty to help her shred papers, he does do so for a minute, then throws the paper at her, exclaiming, "Why should I do your work?" He sometimes spits out or hides his medications, which I find when I clean his room preiodically.He claims to dislike the people who use walkers or wheelchairs.
He also dresses himself in layers and layers of clothing. He is still "collecting" books from all over the house, claiming they are his, but he is no longer writing his name inside.
Yet, when Steve met us at the Village Inn for lunch on Monday, Bob said, "This is seventh heaven. I have both of you here together."