Saturday, August 9, 2008

Double Booked

Some people think I’m insane when they see my calendar. Others just think I don’t realize each day has only 24 hours. Sometimes, I find myself double booked. Last Monday night I had two meetings at the same exact time, across town from each other. Just cancel one? Oh, heavens, no! I went to my BPW board meeting first, and then to the other, longer Memory Walk planning meeting.

Thursday night, I had a dinner meeting, on the opening day of the State Fair. After the meeting adjourned, three of us went to the fair and caught the end of the Air Supply concert. Who says you can’t do it all?

Friday was my day off, but my plans for the day: work a few hours, eat grilled hamburgers at the going-away lunch for our summer employee, and make my 1:15 appointment at W-K Chevrolet to get my oil changed. And then, what the heck, I might as well go to Brian’s Gym for a workout. Not a problem. Except, I got sick Thursday night. I’ll spare you the gross details, but I was violently ill. Kind of reminded me of the time I had food poisoning. That time, Jim hauled me into to the emergency room. After waiting two hours and no doctor in sight, I decided if I was going to die, I would much rather die at home in my own bathroom than the hospital’s public restroom.

I spent Friday totally wiped out. I slept, drank a little water, ate a few bites of bread, slept, called and cancelled everything, slept, and slept. By evening, I felt better so I stayed awake for a few hours, and then went to bed and slept through the night. When my alarm went off this morning—yes, I know it’s Saturday but I had a conference to attend—thankfully, I had slept off my illness. Late this afternoon on the way home, I stopped by work and finished the reports I planned on doing yesterday.

Have I always been like this? No! I became possessed after ten years of being a caregiver. All primary caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s know about the 36 Hour Day. As crazy as my calendar is, it is still calm compared to that of a caregiver.

I’m not sure what happened to the person I once was, but I think she evaporated into a puff of smoke. What happened to the days when I couldn’t find enough to do? What happened to curling up with a book on a rainy day? What happened to my own personal concerts with Jim singing and playing his Fender guitar?

Early onset dementia changed everything. I’m not the person I used to be, and I will never be that person again. I will never take life or love for granted.

Double booked? So what? At least I’m not triple booked. Often.
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