Wednesday, February 19, 2014

3:00 pm phone call...."I'm riding my bike to the Chiropractor....."

Yesterday, around 3:00, Gary called me at work to say he was riding his bike to the chiropractor.  This an office he has visited on numerous occasions and its about 2.5 miles from the house.  Gary is in great physical shape and this did not concern me.  I told him to call me when he got back home.  About 4:00 he called to tell me he had gotten home but had left his wallet, jacket and cell phone at Dr. Doug's and that he had called them and was going back. 

I got extremely busy and work and was entertaining an incredibly upset student (that is a whole different blog :) At 6:30 my cell phone rang and the caller i.d. showed it to be Gary.  I answered but discovered the caller to be Dr. Doug who was using Gary's phone to call me.  Gary never showed at his office and he was closing and was very concerned.  I explained to him that Gary had been diagnosed with Dementia since he last saw Gary.  He suddenly understood the seriousness of the situation.  He said, "My, he hides it very well.  He appeared to be his same old jovial self."  I explained that Gary is VERY GOOD at hiding his disability and that is why he often gets into trouble.

He said that he really became concerned when another Chiropractor's office from about 4 miles away called his office to say that "somehow" Gary had gone to their office looking for Dr. Doug's office.  The two offices have no affiliation and Doug could not understand how Gary had gotten there.  I explained that he probably took the wrong route and got lost.  Meanwhile, Gary never showed.  Suddenly, we did not know where Gary was and it was dark.  The other Chiro's office went out looking for him.  Doug said that he would drive the main route and look for him.  (keep in mind that I work 45 minutes away).  He said he would call me and keep me up-to-date.

Meanwhile, I noticed that while I had been with the student, a strange number had called my cell.  About 25 minutes before, Gary had borrowed the cell phone from the sign waiver on the corner to call me.  Earlier, he had gotten lost as he went in the entirely different direction to go back to Doug's office.  He saw the happy clown on the corner with whom he always identified and waves to when we go by.  He asked the clown where the chiropractors office was and was directed to the wrong office.  So, I had a message that was 25 minutes old.  I called the phone number to what I later found to be the clown's.  He answered and was very concerned about Gary as he knew "something was wrong."  He told me the direction of Gary's departure so I called Doug and informed him.  He has gotten a call from the other office stating that Gary was at a local grocery store with someone from the other office.  Doug agreed to get Gary home and I would stop on my way home to retrieve the bike.

Gary then called me from someone else's borrowed phone to tell me where he was.  I explained that Doug was on his way and he was to stay there. 

Doug called back and said that Gary was with him and someone else (I presume the employee of the Chiropractor's office) was following him with Gary's bike.

Gary and I arrived out our house at nearly the same time.  I cried.  He didn't really understand what mental gyrations I had gone through.  Can you imagine how that 45 minutes felt?  The clown sign waiver even called to check on him.

One thing I do know.....many angels were watching over him.

I realized that he cannot do bike adventures anymore.  Its too risky.

Ironically (or God's intervention), today i was referred to an adult day care center near my college.  They gave me additional resources for low cost transit for the disabled.  My assistant went by there on her way to work to check on it for me....without my asking. i've started the applications and will make this option work three days a week as soon as all is processed.

The amazing part of all, how much people really do care.  I couldn't imagine going through this alone.....the agony of wondering where he was and wondering if he was ok was really strange.

This morning, I asked him how he felt about what happened last night with all the people who helped him.  He did not remember the entire event.  I reminded him and then felt bad about telling him.  Perhaps I should have just let him enjoy his morning since he won't remember anyway.......

Just now, 24 hours later, I read this to Gary before publishing.  He said, "Well of course I remember all those nice people helping me!"

Another day in the adventure.

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