Sometimes a girl has just gotta’ dance. Whilst deep in the Rumba, the dance of love, according to our ballroom dance instructor, I actually turned off my cell phone. I take this ballroom dancing seriously, since I read it is the number one hobby that can stave off dementia. Plus, my husband can’t believe I have found an activity we can do together where children, siblings, parents, caregivees, nurses, insurance companies and doctors can’t get in touch with me.
After 90 minutes of “slow……..quick, quick” and wine and cookies (okay, there are other perks to ballroom dancing), my husband and I are happily re-connected, refreshed and ready to go home.
As we leave the dance floor and enter the parking lot, it’s snowing like a blizzard out there on November 13th. This should have been my first clue of disaster.
Fine. I’m refreshed, I can deal with the first frostbite of the year. Then I checked my phone.
Two calls from my brother-in-law. Two messages and a few other missed calls and texts from his caregivers. Uh oh.
The good news is my brother-in-law called. At least I know he can dial his new phone. He insisted I bought a completely useless phone that he couldn’t operate. So there’s that.
I cringed for the bad news as I listened to the messages:
“Cathy, this is ‘L’, nobody got me out of bed for dinner, and no one delivered my meal either.”
“Cathy, it’s an hour later. Don’t know if you got my first message. I didn’t get dinner. Wish someone would have warned me that I wasn’t getting dinner tonight. I guess I’ll be ok.”
It’s now 90 minutes after the second message…the exact amount of time it takes to learn the dance of love with 6 variations. I call him back. No answer. Either he has passed out from hunger, someone came to his rescue, or he gave up and went to sleep.
I text the last caregiver who I know was with him to give him his night meds. No response. I make an executive decision to let it go until morning. Based on his overall weight and eating habits, I’m pretty certain missing one meal won’t end his time here on earth.
The next morning on my way to his facility, I called his caregivers. I wasn’t planning on taking this side trip to see him, but I wanted to reassure him that I received his phone messages and was taking care of business. They assured me that someone had set up his meal for dinner. I’m not so sure. My brother-in-law doesn’t have dementia. He just generally only thinks about things he cares about and leaves the rest to me.
When I get to his room, after breakfast, (I wanted him to be fed and in a good mood………I learned a thing or two from having toddlers), I asked him if he ever got dinner last night.
“You called me twice last night to say no one brought you dinner, remember? Did you have dinner or not?”
He looks at me like I have the head of Medusa, or am speaking in Italian.
“I don’t remember calling you or if I got dinner, but I just had breakfast, so what’s the big deal?
I just Rumba my way out of the room………….slow….quick, quick…..slow….quick, quick.
“You just have to Laugh…………….”
©Cathy Sikorski 2014