Saturday, October 24, 2015

Walking the Wheelchair

The last 6 days has been exhausting for both Anna and me. Anna has had a bad throat and running nose. I have walked multiple times a day to Anna's flat to see how he is doing only to find that he is asleep. I have had to deal with mild disorientation and mild hallucinations.  And, add to this, absconding attendants.

So I am tired.  Tired with the additional work needed; the regular monitoring of temperature, additional medication, following-up on which attendant will come to look after Anna, ensuring he goes out each day for a wheeled-walk, etc.

As Anna was too tired to walk, I insisted that we wheeled him around in his wheelchair for at least 45 mins every evening. Even though he was knocked-out and half asleep most days, whenever I asked him if he wanted to go out, he would say yes. I believe that even when Anna is half-dead, the answer to the question, "Anna, do you want to go out?" will be a resounding, "Yes."

Today was different.  Anna walked from the sofa, and out of the front door himself.  He then pushed his empty wheelchair towards the colony gates.  As he reached the gate, I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was standing straighter, and lifting his knees while walking.

Me:  "Anna, its so good to see that you are walking well today"

Anna: "You know when we were young, your Tatha used to give the three-of-us-brothers homework to do in the evening. Tatha would sit at one end of the hall and the three of us at the other end, doing our homework."

My heart sinks.  The disorientation seems to be back.  I can't for the life of me understand what walking has to do with homework as a young boy (Anna went to boarding school when he was 12, so this story has to refer to a time when he younger and was at home.)

Anna: "Every now and then we would walk the length of the hall, reciting what we were learning."

I still do not know where this is going.

Anna: "As we approached Tatha, the volume of recitation would go up so that he would notice that we were studying diligently."

At this point, I have got to ask, "Anna, does walking remind you of when you were a boy?"

Anna, looking at me and smiling: "Did you notice that the gate watchman was standing with some of his cronies?" Pause. "I wanted them to see that I was able to walk.  That I am not an old man who needs to be in a wheelchair. I had to walk well for them to take notice."

He did not sit on his wheelchair till we were out of sight of the watchman and his cronies!

I kid you not, this 87 year old, wants to show-off!!

1 comment:

  1. Walking this evening, I pass my father on his journey to the park, and tell him I'll see him there. When I finish my walk and meet him, he wants to see how much I am sweating. I then find out that he walked all the way to the park, 2x more than he usually does. "How come?", I ask. Anna responds with, "I had to show off that I can walk to the park too!". Seriously!!!?? :-)