I’m an Innocent FED Part 2

Politically correct terminology has always been a thorn for me. It’s even thornier for people living with dementia (aka PLWD). Wow, the acronym is as cumbersome and draining as three kids under five in the supermarket. And what happens if you can’t remember the phrase or letters? Well, there is no avoiding it. This brings us to politically correct purgatory (aka PCP – oops!) or politically correct hell (PCH – which is sorta like PSCH). Our memories aren’t great, but joy comes from the executive functioning glitches. Check this one out.

At Teepa Snow’s two-day coaching training for those who care for FED (folks enjoying dementia), they handed out small cups of applesauce and little cups of water during one of the sessions. Sorta like doctor office cups or small cups for water coolers. (are there water coolers anymore?) It was about two o’clock and I was sitting at my table of four.

I thought to myself. ‘Well, how nice is that. A mid-afternoon snack served at our break. With spoons for the applesauce no less. Cool!’ I reached out and ate my applesauce. It was cool and sweet. Way good. I was surprised, really, that my partners didn’t partake. I was thinking about encouraging them to eat up, but that morphed into gluttony when I decided I could slurp theirs, too, since they apparently didn’t want them. The words were moving over my tongue and just waiting for my lips to part when someone from the front asked whether we had the cups for the afternoon demonstration. Oops. That’s why they didn’t join me. The FED thought it was super funny and only the lady at the next table joined in the fun and shared her applesauce. It got a lot of laughs in multiple tellings.

P.S. Back to part one. There has got to be a better word for urinal. I mean the toilet isn’t always called the poop place. So how about the men’s liquid site for disposal. (MLSFD)

My Last Hoop

They all thought, at least those who have been around awhile, that I was going for the baby, midrange, left-handed hook. The baby hook is always closer – almost a layup (pretty impressive). I always heard ooh’s and ah’s from the boys sitting in the bleachers awaiting their turn, talking sweet, talking junk, momentarily away from the world. They hadn’t seen it in awhile – especially when it went in. So ugly when it doesn’t, but so nice when it does.

But I wasn’t. Well, actually I was but the dude who was guarding me got a little out in front of me. I saw an ugly turn over, a train crash, a dumpster fire, or some combination of all three. I twisted back to the right and pushed off one foot, putting up a right handle and in it went, not perfectly but accurately.

Those were the last competitive points I would make. I racked up points while playing for three years in high school, at Rose playground, and about another 6,251 at the Jewish Community Center. And then there were the points I scored during my final game and that final shot.

My left knee ended pretty messed up, only getting worse as the years wore on. ‘I’ll just have surgery,’ I thought. But dementia and anesthesia do not mix. It can make dementia worse permanently and occasionally, worsen it to the extreme. Clang.

I’m an Innocent FED Part 1

I’m an Innocent FED, Part One

If there is a two car fender bender and one of the drivers has dementia, who is more at fault? Come on, friend, you know you want to say the dementia dude or dudette. The dementia finger lies heavily on the scales of justice toward guilty by reason of dementia.

In the same vein, I’m the only dude at the two day coach’s training led by Mrs. Snow and her all female team. The thirty care workers are from various facilities that care for ‘folks enjoying dementia’ (FEDS). All women. Yes, I know that sounds misogynistic and I am a recovering sexist pig with back sliding tendencies, but my thought was a bit more simplistic. I get to have my own personal bathroom. Urgency issues, both with continence and frequency, can be handled in calm and uninterrupted luxurious privacy. Until….

I hit the handle of the urinal as I fastened myself up. Something made me look up prematurely to find the urinal not shutting off. What to do first….a FED sequence hurdle. First, I buttoned up my pants after sucking in a gut that’s not really mine. Water started to overflow onto the floor. ‘You’re kidding me,’ was the first phrase that came to mind right after the word ‘shit’. I jiggled the handle a few times – perhaps three – fully expecting a minor accident when the water turned off. I jettisoned this analysis as the water was moving toward the bathroom door.

No option. I had to give myself up to the receptionist who, I must say, was professionally unjudging and comforted me by saying she would call the maintenance dude. If he has been a woman, I’m sure I would have heard God chuckle a little. I went back in and jiggled the handle and it stopped. Much liquid on the floor. I didn’t go there, but told the lady at the front desk, who I now wanted to marry, that there was a pretty big mess, but the overflow had stopped.

So two conclusions were unavoidable. One, I was the only dude on the ship so shrugging my shoulders palms up feigning how could that have happened and who was responsible for it, was not in the cards. I was the only dude. Guilt by gender.

But what about fault? I had become friendly with the building Manager and had told her I had dementia. I saw her later and told her about the overflow in the men’s room. I had expected to be met with empathy. Nah. I got a terse, “I know.” Maybe FED stuff, but ‘I know’ sounded a whole lot like ‘I know it was you and I know your dementia somehow screwed things up’. Guilty without trial.

So to my brothers and sisters who are working with FED, a lesson. There is no shame in dementia. But, there are good times and bad times to bring up for discussion.

If you don’t think this is funny you got some work to do to get your FED certification.