“F*** You, Woman!”

Today J’s caretaker was due at our house at noon. This morning, I left J her usual Post-it on the frig, reminding her of E’s arrival. I also put the appointment on the kitchen calendar and left for work as usual, confident that all was well. 

At 12:07, I got a text from E: “I’ve been knocking and ringing since noon. Door’s locked, The dog’s inside barking (not in crate) but no sign of J. Any idea where she might be?” 

 I called E and learned she had gotten J on the phone, who had told her she was at her program at the Alzheimer’s Association. The problem with that: the program is on Mondays and Wednesday. Today is Tuesday. 

I then went through a series of calls to J, E and the Alzheimer’s Association. I was afraid E would go downtown to get J at the same time J would take the train home and they would miss one another. At one point, I got J on the phone. There was a lot of ambient noise. I asked her where she was. She said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you at the train station?”  She said, “F*** you, woman!” and hung up. The next time I called, I identified myself. No profanity and no hang up. 

E got to the Alzheimer’s Association and J was not there and had not been there.  One of the lovely employees drove E the six blocks to the train station, where E found J. Crisis averted. 

The rest of the afternoon went smoothly enough that I didn’t cancel my plans to meet a friend for happy hour. I was even able to chuckle at J’s “F*** you, woman!”  At around 6:15 pm, E called me to say J was back at the Alzheimer’s Association. This meant she took a commuter train from our house to downtown alone. Fortunately, there was an evening meeting at the Alzheimer’s Association, so the building was still open. Off I went to pick up J again. 

J could not explain why she had twice gone to the Alzheimer’s Association today. Not that I quizzed her. I have long known that just frustrates me and upsets her. I did express that J may need more help than she has been willing to accept to this point. Her response: “It’s been a good long run.”  

We have gotten through six years after J’s diagnosis with a two-day-a-week program at the Alzheimer’s Association, a Thursday night dinner group and a few hourly caretakers. J is still home. All in all, a very good run. And the fact that J knows that shows she still has moments of dazzling lucidity. 

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