Friday, July 06, 2012

cat shit cazy

Arriving to pick Patti up early on the morning of July 4th from her care facility I was struck by the apparent contradiction of a laughing gregarious Patti and the progression of Multiple Sclerosis short term memory loss symptoms which had repeatedly erased repeated staff explanations for why she is up, changed, and dressed for an outing. “You’re all wingnuts!” according to Patti.

In route, experimenting with a question or two about my own diagnosis of lung cancer and surgery three months ago reveals she has no memory and/or resulting worry or concern.

Briefly I ponder the concept of memory loss and unrequited caring but decide that’s for psychobabblists over lattes.

Instead I decided to entertain Patti by sharing a recent revelation -  the secret to approaching the quarter century club as a MS spouse caregiver is … (dramatic pause)… I’m cat shit crazy.

I began my ramble by explaining that I have been reading about Toxoplasma Gondii in news headlines and found myself reminiscing …

road side marker "Shadow Of Death" the name applied to this locality by Conrad Weiser and other travellers on the Frankstown Path in the mid-18th century. It's local significance is now unknown.
I first heard of T. Gondii in 1987 when Patti was pregnant. Her OB/GYN raised the concern that some parasite thingamajig could transfer from cat feces to Patti to fetus (now known as our daughter Megan).  … With visions of the thingamajig from the movie Alien popping out of Patti’s stomach dancing in my head I had no problem assuming exclusive cat litter duty.

I just never realized that apparently the offer never ends kind of like offering to send peace keepers to Afghanistan.

Then after Patti was hospitalized with her first Multiple Sclerosis exacerbation in 1989 her neurologist also raised concerns about ol’ T. Gondii lurking in the cat litter because MS is an autoimmune disorder.

Bottom line I have heroically thrown myself on that grenade of the litter box over 9,000 times over the spouse caregiving decades and now apparently I am medically and certifiably cat shit crazy. – Explains everything!

“Explains everything … and more!”, Patti emphatically adds after catching her breath from laughing.

Curiously laughter seemed to reduce short term memory loss. Why not millions to study that instead of litter boxes? 

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 


  1. Thanks, I needed that!!! love you forever, my friend!!!

  2. I had to laugh when I saw the title of your post before I read anything, too funny with it all. They do say laughter is the best medicine (I'm sure I've written this in a comment before here, it sounds like I have). What gets studied in medicine makes no sense to me sometimes.

    hope its cooling down a bit there!



Blog Archive