Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Rowdy Customers In Wheelchairs

Visiting with Patti last night I believed she had been “voluntarily quarantined” in her room over the weekend with a cold.

Of course the first person I ask is the receptionist who looks at me as if I’m speaking Greek. Then after a moment, ‘Why Patti has been down to the lobby to visit me every evening, is that why she hasn’t been down tonight?” I could only offer “Never mind”, smile, and shake my head.

The strength of a care facility is its three shifts of staff for 24/7 care yet that is also its inherent weakness, as it takes constant communication between all those people. Plus residents cannot be restrained nor made to do anything against their will, and in Patti’s particular case she isn’t going to remember any “request” to comply with anything. <grin>

Apparently, at least one shift nurse over the weekend decided Patti had a cold and was trying to voluntarily keep her in her room. Patti had no idea what I was talking about, and after asking another worker who also looked at me as if I was an alien, I gave up the query and just visited. <grin>

Watching TV news with Patti I was surprised at apparent deterioration of “long term” memory. In discussing Chief Justice Rehnquist story I asked Patti if she remembered her thyroid surgery. (Patti did not have thyroid cancer like Rehnquist but instead Grave’s Disease and her thyroid was removed pre-MS.) After much prompting she finally showed some recognition, I think. It was odd in that while short term memory has been terrible due to MS, Patti’s long term memory has been strong. This was first episode of an event of long term memory problems that I am aware of.

We did share a good laugh over a story our daughter had found in the local newspaper regarding “Rowdy Customers In Wheelchairs”!  Police had been called to a local Wal-Mart store to quell a disturbance caused by a group of customers in wheelchairs roaming the isles throwing items at each other, laughing loudly, and believed to be intoxicated.. … Needless to say the story struck Patti’s fancy and she fell apart into laughter and wishing she had been there. Not only was Patti’s laughter infectious but the story certainly had a surreal appeal. Accessibility has come a long way. <grin>  

1 comment:

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