On the good ship lollipop

9 01 2009

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On the good ship lollipop 
Its a night trip into bed you hop 
And dream away 
On the good ship lollipop

 

Yesterday was another visit to the doctor’s office.  It’ll probably take another two dozen times before I will NOT be overwhelmed with memories of the three of us going…now that we are just two.

Because he takes such good notes, the doctor remembered that she was “due” for another round of the MMSE (mini-mental state exam).  Now that a few more months post-funeral are under the belt, we needed to see where we were at.

The question round began.  The year came off without a hitch.  The month…skipped to February.  Day of the week was answered with a question in the voice then affirmed.  The date went, “the 8th!”, “no, maybe the 9th…no wait…”, “8th?”, “well…maybe, no…”, “yes, the 8th I think”  

“So is 8th your answer?”  “Ummm, yes…no…8th?..yes…8th!”

Some things that were wrong last time – were on the money this time around. Following the verbal directions wasn’t a problem.  Then the kicker…”Remember these three words: pencil, cat and truck.”  She repeated them.

On to the next thing – write out a sentence.  He asked politely that she not tell him where to go as someone last week had followed instructions and in fact had written a sentence reading, “Dr. D, go to hell!”  She wrote her sentence and he asked for those three words.

“What three words?”  “Those three words that you repeated.”  “I don’t know what three words you’re talking about…can you give me a hint?”   “No.” “Hummm, I don’t know.”  He said them aloud and she just shook her head like he was speaking Urdu.

On with the other tasks – spelling world backwards (skipped a letter, self-corrected, repeated with affirmation), copying a drawing, following written instructions to close her eyes, naming objects he pointed out (“well, that’s a telephone – that’s a pen,” chirped out with a hint of “you fool” in her voice).

All told – we are right where we were a few months ago.  Six shy of where I wish we could be.  We need to change up some blood pressure meds next week. What she’s been on since October isn’t really doing the trick.  Her pulse is low.  She cried a bit talking about their anniversary coming up next week (even tho in trying to remember what month we were in – she’d forgotten that she’d not yet celebrated her birthday/anniversary).

On the way out, I stopped to make her next appointment for early spring when we will start on what we call “memory meds”.  I can’t let the dreaded words out of my mouth yet…we still have Billy war-wounds that are a tad raw.

I laughed as I helped myself to a big huge cherry sucker in Billy’s honor…he would have grabbed a handful and the nurses would have just snickered. There is still a stash at the house in case any “little ones” come by.

On the gray two hour drive home, with that taste reminiscent of Luden’s Cherry Cough drops in my mouth…I tried NOT to feel like I was headed into a storm though the clouds were low and pregnant.  After all, we ended up on the “easy” scale with Billy.  He never wandered, never had to be fed, never forgot to call me “the Boss”…his ticker just quit first.

So just like Shirley’s sweet little voice reminding us that a good dose of dreaming can help us out…I took my time with that lollipop and never bit down on it.  I need to just take it for what it is ‘coz I don’t know what’s next.

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