This month has been a big month for me because I was challenged to practice what I preach. I needed objectivity for Mike, something I have none of, simply because I desire for him what may not always be in his best interest. A looming neurology apptmnt and my business coach’s reading of my last blog . . . . congealed into reaching out to a trusted professional whom Mike adores. The day of his apptmnt with his “au pair” as he calls her was both freeing for me and worrisome. I enjoyed my marketing calls without worry of rushing back to rush to the tension of yet another fruitless neurologist appointment.
I had provided a detailed list of what I wanted tested, answered, etc. I was hopeful. Until I was almost home, then I felt like it had been his first day at school–how did it go? What would I walk into?
But I parked a block from home and connected with our care manager. She gave a glowing report. She had accomplished what would have taken me another two years to accomplish.
She is a highly trained, highly observant, and highly objective professional. Mike did not fight her on each question, refute her statements. Instead he bantered, he probably flirted, and he was assessed and observed by the neurologist for a full two hours. A record in our experience. Next steps are in place for driving, for neuropsych, for MRI. That night he diligently started taking the medicine he had fought me about for the last month. Compliance. When I asked him how it went, he was quite pleased with the apptmnt, best yet. And the “au pair”, well over the moon.
When it comes to our loved one, we are unable to be objective no matter what degree, experience or commitment we possess. Our loved ones can divert, mislead and charm the neurologist, the neuropsychologist, the nurse. Our caregiving stress becomes the dominant take-home for the doctor. We can leave frustrated and empty-handed.
This walk of Dr Cate is one of honor and humility. I am honored to be the trusted and objective dementia coach for individuals and families. I am humbled to be on this path with my spouse.
My care team is expanding, and will continue to expand–because I know that a strong coach and a strong team can pull us through the toughest times.