Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ohhh, I was a dahctor?

I didn't go to see Abe today. I can't believe I held out and listened to myself. I knew if I went I'd never get back to my work. I called and left a message for the nurse that I'm taking him to the doc for a check-up Monday. I'll call to talk with him later.

I don't think I've been aware of how consumed I've been by this particular illness. I've probably been, and still may be, in denial. I know Alzheimer's is a brain disease, but I can't help admitting that I've been (in a child-like state?) thinking I was somehow responsible.

How could this brilliant man who was, as a pathologist, at the heart of a hospital, not remember the names of the bones in the body, much less that he was a doctor. He remembers that sometimes, but not too long ago he asked me: "What kind of business was I in?"

I said, "You were a doctor."

"Ohhh, a dahhhctor? Hmmm."

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or to ask him if he was in the Bronx again, working in his father's grocery store perhaps. Or holding onto his mother as she peddled garments on the street. I just sat there next to him and held his hand.

Instead of going to see him today, I drove to Group Health to get my flu shot. On the way, NPR: David Sederis was reading his Great Dane/mother story (from Me Talk Pretty). I laughed so hard, I cried. God he's funny.

I didn't know today was the start of flu shot day at that clinic. It was mobbed but a lot of fun - generations of sleeves rolled up waiting for a stick. Amazing how fast medical people work. I was in and out in 10 minutes.

On the way back, more NPR. Another story. This time Brady Udall reading his armadillo story (Story Magazine, Autumn 1999)for This American Life.

Abe said once he retired all he wanted to do was read the stacked up New Yorkers and listen to NPR.


rilera said...

Just one more sad thing about this disease; it robs our loved ones of their very being.

Esther Altshul Helfgott said...

Hi rilera,

Thanks for writing and for linking me. I'll do the same.

I was over at your blog this morning. You offer resources that I have not connected with yet.Much appreciated. I'll be in touch, Esther