Our journey into dementia and the health care system continues; it's a journey full of loops, twists, and turns. If we think we've got it figured out, we're quickly disabused of that notion!
Dad fell out of his hospital bed and broke his hip this past week. We're not quite sure how that happened as he'd been on restraints since in his world, he needed to get to work. Feeling a sense of urgency to arrive on time, he'd pull out his catheter, iv drips, and so on. He'd been wearing a mitt to prevent this, a restraint to hold him more or less in place, and the bedrails had been up. Obviously, something didn't get put into place at some point. The nurse found dad on the floor beside his bed with a broken femur.
And, so last Thursday found us in yet another building on another floor in another waiting area. Dad came through it all okay, and after a bit more than 24 hours in recovery, his nurse found him cheerfully singing. Dad agreed to eat breakfast with the nurse's help, and then promptly asked to be left alone so that he could continue his singing.
You need to know that I have never heard this man sing. Dance..oh, yes, dad loved to dance. But sing? Nope. So, in whatever world dad happened to be, and as confused as he was, he chose to sing. Somewhere in his heart, there's hope and there's joy. He chose to sing.
I've been reading Still Alice, the story of a woman diagnosed with early Alzheimers and dementia. Alice is a professor at Harvard, who teaches about cognitive functioning. She likens dementia to Seussville...she's neither here nor there. She explains that she can not even choose the days she'll remember. It's a beautfully written book, one that everyone should read, whether they live in the land of dementia or not. It puts a face on the disease; it's helping me to remember that in his heart, this man is "still Ed."
As we jouneyed to and from the hospital, I also amused myself with this book. In one of the lab assignments, Carla has us drawing Seuss like buildings. And, so a journal page was born. Dr. Seuss, meet my dad, and welcome to the world of dementia.
This card came together right after I finished the page. I had been playing with watercolors, decided to tear one piece up into strips, and glue it onto the postcard background. There it sat, probably for a month or so, since I had no idea where it was headed.
I found the woman in my pile of cut out images, doodled on her, added the bird, and doodled some more. It's my reminder to sing, no matter where I find myself, no matter what is going on. I need to choose to sing.