Saturday, January 30, 2010
On Monday of this past week, I met with a nurse at Dad's current facility to do an assessment of him prior to his move to the new house. Basically, I sat there for an hour and a half, answering her questions as to his likes and dislikes and behavioral patterns. At one point, Dad and Del came into the room so Dad could use the bathroom. Dad seemed surprised and a little put out to see two people occupying his bed, but he didn't make a fuss. Del patiently led him into the bathroom, talking cheerfully to Dad the whole time, and shut the door. The interview continued, but my attention was now divided, focusing also on what was going on inside the little bathroom. I could hear rustlings and clinkings, the faint, loving chiding by Del as he helped Dad off with his clothing and checked him. Perhaps he even helped Dad onto the toilet. My mind was diverted with two thoughts: one; that my proud, intelligent Father was almost incontinent, a situation that would have both mortified and horrified him, and, two; a person not even related to my Father was helping him do that most private and personal function, with kindness and compassion. I had only a moment to begin to process what these two things meant to me before being pulled back by the nurse to continue our interview.