Alzheimer’s is a rough disease, especially on the family of the stricken. But as with any other misfortune we encounter, it does have its humorous side. Learning to appreciate the humor sometimes evident makes it easier to ultimately deal with the sadness of it. And it is this bit of humor that often inspires an anecdote or two.
Dad has Alzheimer’s. He spends most of his day watching (or sleeping in front of) the TV. Mom has not quite decided when (or if) she wants to retire, so she works a typical 9 – 5 week. So we have a companion come in for part of the day to keep dad company and keep an eye on him, and then I “dad sit” the rest of the day til mom gets home from work. He is frequently most alert during the morning when the companions come.
A typical day has the companion leaving early afternoon, and usually dad is napping at that point. So I am usually up in my room doing this and that. I check on him every once in a while. But sometimes I get involved in what I am doing, so I will suddenly be surprised by a shout. “Steve are you awake?”
I always know what is coming next. “Can you find something for me to watch? There is nothing but shit on!”
So I head down stairs and do “the routine”. First I guide dad back to his comfy chair, assuming he has left it. Then I pick up the remote and hit the menu button. At this point Ninja Cat Gracie, who has assumed her throne on top of the cable box on the TV, notices I am there and insists on attention from me with her demanding whisper. I point out to dad that such and such a show is on, to be followed by such and such. It will be on as soon as the commercial is over. And then heed the demands of Gracie.
After a minute or so, I go back up to whatever I was doing before.
And ten minutes later … “Steve are you awake?”
Somehow dad manages to sleep through the actual shows, and only wake during commercials. In his memory addled mind, he thinks that commercials are all that is on.
The really funny thing is … don’t we all?