Tag Archives: Rumba

Burritos or Betelgeuse……..

John and I were rumba-ing, quite nicely I might add, when my cell phone buzzed in my bottom. I was thinking I had the sexy rumba move down pat, but then realized it was my phone and the BIL (brother-in-law) moniker was flashing.

When I answered, I could hear a conversation but no one was talking to me. Obviously, it was some kind of a butt dial from one of the caregivers. I called the central caregiver dispatcher to tell her that she needed to call her peeps on their cell to disconnect BIL’s phone.

Ten minutes later, my butt jangled again. This time with some difficulty, BIL got on the phone and told me he was losing his mind.

After a long conversation with Howie, the caregiver, we were all losing our minds. Somehow, my BIL who hasn’t walked for 4 years had gotten out of his wheelchair and into bed with no visible assistance. He was distraught, he was disoriented and he was of the opinion that he could take care of himself.

Howie went to the Manager of BIL’s facility to investigate. Ten minutes later, I’m still trying to learn slow-quick-quick and the mystery is solbed. Howie reported that management had a freak out with BIL. At dinner no one could figure out why his power wheelchair wasn’t working. Management called the police, who came and pushed the behemoth chair to his room and apparently lifted him into bed, left him there and didn’t discuss it with anyone.

I have yet to come down on those people. First things first.

Howie says BIL was still very upset, so we leave the concluding ballroom class lickety-split and high tail to the apartment. We are seconds from pulling into the parking lot when my cell jangles yet again.

“Your BIL says he didn’t have dinner, so can you bring him something to eat?”

“Ummmm…it’s almost 10 at night, so I guess we can turn around and go to McDonald’s.”

I hang up, my hubby turns the car around, we drive 2 blocks, my phone rings. Life may have been so much better when there were no cell phones. Truly.

“He doesn’t want McDonald’s. He wants Taco Bell.”

Really? How distraught is he? I get his order and off we go to Taco Bell.

To make sure I get just the right order, I go in to Taco Bell. It is now after 10. This is a very small town. No one is in Taco Bell. No one is going through the drive-thru. There are three very sweet, young teens working behind the counter.

“Can I help you?”

tacos“Sure,” I said, “I’ll take a plain bean burrito, a 7 layer burrito, and a small Coke.”

The place is so empty my order echos throughout the joint.

“Can I have your name?”

I burst out laughing….because you might confuse my order with someone else’s?

“Ummm….I’m the only one here!”

“I know but I can’t place your order without putting a name into the computer.” I so wanted to say Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, but I was afraid my night could get worse.

She hands me a cup and I go to the soda machine. Now, I haven’t been in a Taco Bell in years and years. This soda machine looked like a pinball machine. it was huge, had blinking lights of all different colors bouncing around and if I had had a brain injury, I probably would have gone into a seizure. I had no idea how to get the soda I wanted.

In that moment. I realized I, too will be handicapped in my old age. I won’t know how to get soda, I’ll have to give my ID to get anything I want, and young people and machines will wonder why I can’t navigate a world as simple as Taco Bell.

And yet….. I was still laughing at night’s end because an empty Taco Bell can put a laugh out there, bad night or not, McDonald’s wasn’t good enough, and the demand for bean burritos was to combat constipation. So even in our old demented age, we aren’t always the one’s who will be full of crap (bean burrito, anyone?)

“You just have to Laugh…”

©Cathy Sikorski 2015





Or we’re gonna’ go round and round……..

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:

Message 1:

“Cathy, this is ‘L’, nobody got me out of bed for dinner, and no one delivered my meal either.”

Message 2:

“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