Saturday, November 21, 2015

Public Embarrasment

Sometimes I feel punished.  I know its a mindset but it is difficult to not get bitter.  Anger is certainly an emotion that enters my heart near daily.  Why do I have to change my patterns, errands and wishes because Gary has dementia?  If I chose to get a "sitter" all the time, or impose on Heather more, I could have more freedom.  He is not so far along that I feel that is right either.  So, I'm stuck somewhere in the middle of this already in-between comparison to Hades.

Last Sunday, I took Gary to church.  It is a loving group where we have worshipped before since moving to Anaheim.  Because of Gary's constant repetition of many words he hears and due to his verbal processing (often loudly) of most thoughts, I am always on edge waiting for what jewel he may drop on humanity next.  Sure enough, a few minutes into the Pastor's sermon, Gary stood up.  I pulled on his jacket to get him to sit as I knew whatever he was processing was paragraphs behind the poor man's sermon.  I managed to get him to sit down without too much noise or shuffle.  Then, he started reading aloud the bulletin which I gave him to hopefully keep him quiet.  I tried to quiet him with the ever-dependable "shhh".  He merely repeated the noise several times growing louder with my frustration.

I could tell the folks in front of us were a little un-nerved.  How to handle? When the Pastor asked for folks to stand up who were ready to commit their life to Christ,  Gary took the opportunity once again to stand.  Well, who am I to keep the man from re-giving his life to Jesus....even though he was probably hearing some other message.

The rest of the service was uncomfortable for me.  Of course, the anger started.  Is it lack of control that invokes the anger?  Is it embarrassment?  Yes.

Then today, he really needed a pedicure.  I can't effectively take care of his feet so I choose to have him professionally soaked, massaged and clipped every so often.  I haven't found the right person who completely understands his behavior, needs and quirks.  Today, we came close.  The lady doing his manicure (I just asked for a pedicure and he decided LOUDLY, that he too needed a manicure) was very sweet and spoke English in a tongue he could clearly understand.  She told him that we were treating him  special because his birthday was this month.  He treated the entire audience within the salon's hearing range with his signature "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" and "That's more better than good."

The other discomfort for me is not knowing how loud he will be or what he might say.  (for example, he told the woman she had nice breasts and asked if he could touch them). I apologized and told him his behavior was inappropriate and that he needed to stop and that certainly he could NOT touch her. She understood, laughed and said she understood.  I watched her body language for several minutes and she really did seem to accept his mental disorder.  There was a woman around my age who was there with her adult daughters.  She sat next to him and talked to him while my procedure was being finished.  She asked how long he had dementia and that she had a friend in my "situation".  All I could say was that I was sorry for her and that I wish the disease on no one.  I gave her the blog address for her to share.  Perhaps it will help someone else.  Perhaps it is a hell that they would better cope with if they don't know what is coming.  I'm not sure that I want to see the future. 

There seemed to be a sigh of relief when we left.  All employees were tipped very well.  I will have to consider whether I go back to the same salon or find a new one.  Do they want our business?

So, one should be able to see why I am beginning to think that I can't take him anywhere.  I guess I will have to start shelling out additional dollars for a sitter, even for routine errands.

I will have him from Wednesday afternoon until Monday of next week due to the Holiday.  Heather and Xander are escaping for the weekend. Escaping.  Yes, I said "escaping".  Bless them both.  They put up with so much.

Pray for us all.  Sometimes being a part of a family and having committed to a relationship is hard.  I will not let him down. 

1 comment:

  1. We love you guys, and I personally don't mind if he stands every time I preach! If anybody gets upset they can just go worship elsewhere friend. Love you and praying for you. Call me next time you need someone to run to Costco for you. - PJ