Alzheimer’s is a deadly serious topic, but sometimes laughter is the best medicine. So I’ll make a “Silly Saturdays” post weekly with some amusing story about Ed, giving us a chance to smile in the midst of our somber life situation. Please send me your own “silly” stories and I’ll post them, too.
Ed was in many ways a ‘typical dementia patient,’ experiencing periods of lucidity interspersed among long stretches of dementia. Yet at the same time, he had always been inimitably eccentric, and his dementia hadn’t changed that.
Whenever Ed wanted his way he shouted, “I’m in America! I can do (or have or say) anything I want!” He used that phrase when he wanted the facility to turn the parlor lights brighter rather than lower in the late evenings, when he wanted to eat in the middle of the night, when he wanted to be served Stouffers frozen dinners, and, of course, early on when he wanted his vodka.
And he turned the phrase around to avoid doing anything he didn’t want to do. He would say things like, “I don’t have to
get out of bed today. I’m in America!” Or he would declare, “This is America! I don’t have to get a haircut!” He sometimes firmly stated, “I’m an American! I don’t have to get dressed today.”
Above all, he was happy to be in America because he thought the American government was paying his bill for the Alois Center. I just let him continue thinking that!