The Test

medical kitTomorrow I’m having a colonoscopy. From here on out we’re referring to it as The Test because c-o-l-o-n-o-s-c-o-p-y is too much to type. This has been scheduled since early last month. I let Steve and our son know and had already arranged for a friend to take me for the appointment. She’s not a morning person, yet, she’s picking me up at 7:15 tomorrow morning. What a friend!

Most of the time, Steve’s memory issues are not noticeable, but he sure can’t remember that I’m having The Test. It’s amazing! I would hate to have to assess Steve’s memory based on these incidents because it would look like he’d had a marked decline over night.

At one point we were discussing The Test and that my friend would be taking me. She could also take Steve with us because I thought that he would of course want to go since his wife was going to be having a medical procedure. When we discussed this again a couple of weeks ago, aside from having no knowledge of my going to have The Test, he asked if he needed to go. Our son told him that he HAD to go for “Mom’s appendectomy” which I then had to correct. At that point I realized it would probably be easier for Steve to stay home.

The track banquet was scheduled for this week. First it was scheduled for Friday, but had to be changed. I’m friends with the woman who was scheduling it and asked if she could schedule it for a night besides tonight. There is no way I could attend after drinking the stuff. I was very relieved when it was scheduled for last night, and told the family. Steve wanted to know why. Again I explained about The Test.

When I wrote out Steve’s calendar for this week, The Test is included on Friday so he’ll remember it. This week it has been a topic of discussion because I have planned the meals I cooked around what leftovers I could heat for them tonight since I wouldn’t be eating.  The discussions have also included that tomorrow will be the first day we let our son drive to school. As you might imagine, this is BIG! To top it off, our son has to meet with a group for a school project. They’ll be meeting past 6:00, when I have to start drinking the stuff. We discussed that our son would be taking Steve’s car to meet with the study group at the high school.

Steve came home from the dentist today and it was the first time we’d both been here in seven hours. I’ve been on a liquid diet all day in preparation for The Test. It hasn’t been bad. Steve asked how my day had been and I said it hadn’t been bad considering I hadn’t eaten in preparation for The Test tomorrow. He did not seem to remember The Test. I reminded him that our son would be taking Steve’s car to his group meeting. Five minutes later, Steve said, “I know you’ve probably told me, but are you going somewhere tonight? What are we doing for dinner?”

I wasn’t a nice person when I responded. I told him I wasn’t going somewhere tonight because I can’t because I have to drink the stuff at 6:00. I’m not making dinner and frankly, I don’t care whether or not they eat. I had planned dinner for 5:00, but now our son won’t be home so when he gets home, they can heat leftovers or pick up fast food, but I didn’t think that would be a good time for me to be cooking something in the kitchen. Honestly, it was worded much, uh, stronger than that.

Sometimes we wonder what causes our outbursts. Not this time. I won’t even say it’s because I’m hungry because I’m not. I’m not looking forward to drinking the stuff in two hours or to The Test tomorrow, but really, that isn’t the problem either. The problem really is that my husband, the love of my life, can’t be the one to take me for The (stupid!) Test tomorrow and doesn’t even understand there’s a reason to be there. I don’t like realizing this and I don’t like how I responded.

As with other things I encounter on this journey, I have to learn from it and do a better job moving forward. It seems as if this time, The Test is involving a bit more than what it would seem and includes responding in a kinder, more loving manner. Hopefully, I’ll be able to improve my grade from my current “F-”.

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Avatar of G-J

About G-J

I am a caregiver for my 59-year-old husband, Steve, who was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment in December 2009. His employer put him on disability and he had to retire one year later when he couldn't return to work. I am also the mother to our son who is now a high school senior. We have a cat, Sagwa, who rounds out our family. In addition to blogging here, I volunteer at my son's high school in the scholarship office, teach a class I created called, "Keep Your Brain Buff" at our city's Senior Center, lead a writing group at the Alzheimer's Association, and advocate for people with all types of dementia. In November, I will be participating in my third Walk to End Alzheimer's.

9 thoughts on “The Test

  1. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Ahhhhh, G-J. I’ve got a catch in my throat for you.

    I love that you wrote this out. I love that you wrote it because this is such a hard thing to write out. It’s hard to feel, it’s hard to share.

    We all understand. We understand how much it hurts and how hard it is to find that loving, kind response. When your heart is breaking, it’s hard to find the love.

    Please let us know how it goes tomorrow.

    P.S. Do you want a WAIT Buddy? I know it’s usually for the times you wait for your caree but you’re waiting and we can wait with you, if you’d like. :)

    Reply
  2. Avatar of RichardRichard

    GJ, so sorry to hear about you anxiety with the upcoming test tomorrow. Could it be your husband is nervous about this test and his way to not make things worse is to find a way to not go with you? I have known people that this is their defensive mechanism, turn people against them to leave unhappy because it hurts more if when they leave their happy? Curious, have you asked him why he doesn’t want to be there or told him how you feel for him not going?

    Reply
    • Avatar of G-JG-J Post author

      Well, Richard, that’s one of the challenges of MCI. If I was dealing with you, I could have the discussion. However, as Steve explained after I apologized for being less than nice, it didn’t bother him because he doesn’t process things the same way I do. It sometimes makes it challenging to know what to say, how to say it, how often to say it, and to know whether or not something wasn’t heard, or wasn’t understood.

      I worked out well that Steve stayed home.

      Reply
  3. Avatar of KathyKathy

    G-J,

    I’m sorry, I had to laugh at your response to Steve because I saw me and Hubby in those roles.

    It is so hard to see the declines in our spouse. They seem to be accepted easier when it feels like a slow, gradual and smoother transition, we adjust, find a work around, put the balance back feeling like we did it as a team. Yet when we are faced with something we can’t seem to do as a team, the issue seems magnified, we can feel alone and that’s a scary place when we have always depended on our spouse to “have our back”. It’s a hard reality to swallow and I feel for you.

    You didn’t make a failing grade G-J. You learned something painfully important. The learning process was difficult. You will make the necessary adjustments and should another issue arise, and it will, next time your response will be a little different. That makes it a passing grade, I promise.
    You did well considering everything.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Stand up, brush off and tomorrow the whole thing will be behind you. (had to)

    Email me your phone # and I’ll be your Wait Buddy tomorrow. I’m attending Special Olympics and watching my BIL participate in Bocce Ball! I can keep you informed of all the action :)

    {{{BIG HUGS}}} my friend

    Reply
    • Avatar of G-JG-J Post author

      Kathy,

      It’s okay to laugh! I laugh at some of the things you write about, and about my own situation when I can look at it from a distance.

      You always offer words of reassurance and comfort, and I appreciate it. I also appreciated your being one of my WAIT Buddies Friday! :)

      Reply
  4. Avatar of PegiPegi

    Hope things went well for you today. It’s so difficult when the one person we’ve always counted on for support, can no longer give it. I can’t imagine your heartache that he couldn’t even remember.
    We are all here for you, and understand. You did not fail at anything, you had a moment. And if it happens again, remember, you’re allowed to be human! Your path is not an easy one; and for the most part you walk it with grace and ease. You should be proud of youself for all those times.

    Reply
  5. Avatar of ejourneysejourneys

    Hi, G-J — I hope all went well on Friday. I understand the outburst and the reason behind it. It’s a tough, tough gear to shift. I agree with Pegi — you did not fail at anything. You persevered through a rough spot and the heartache that came with it. (((Hugs)))

    Reply

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