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.