I couldn’t do any work on Gypsy due to the light drizzle, so I spent the day selling things on Ebay. Not very interesting. This story I’m about to tell you, however, is.
This actually happened a few weeks ago.
The whole #1 and #2 concept is difficult for dementia patients. They often don’t know if they have to go, they sometimes think they’re in the bathroom when they’re not, and as the disease progresses, they definitely let go of any sense of propriety.
One sunny day, my mom and my aunt took my dad on a walk at the local park. A few minutes into their walk, my dad said that he needed the bathroom.
“Number one?” My mom asked.
“Can you hold it until we get home?”
“No,” he said.
“Okay then.” She turned him toward a tree, helped him with his zipper, and told him to go for it. My aunt stood guard a few feet away in case anyone walked by.
A minute passed, and nothing came out. My dad shook his head. Assuming he was finished, my mom looked toward my aunt and called out, “It’s okay, he’s done!”
She turned back around to find that, in those 3 seconds, my dad had dropped his pants to his ankles and started pooping. In the middle of the park.
Squawking, my mom hurried to take her jacket off and block the view from any potential passers-by. Luckily, no one happened to stumble upon the scene.
My ever-prepared mother dug into her purse for some tissues and a plastic bag. She hurriedly cleaned my dad up, pulled his pants up, and picked up his stools. I wasn’t there, but I imagine that she muttered a panicked, “Oh my goodness,” a few thousand times.
When they finally arrived home my mom helped my dad through the front door. My dad suddenly paused, turned to my mom, and asked, “Have you ever seen someone do a BM in the park?”
Laughing, my mom replied, “No, but there’s a first time for everything.”
So far, my dad has pooped in his pants in the middle of a restaurant, peed on the living room floor, peed in the bathroom sink, and now he has pooped in the middle of Bayfront Park. My mother is a saint for dealing with it all, and with as much humor and grace as the subject will allow. Dementia patients don’t make life easy for anyone, but they can certainly add a refreshing unpredictability to an otherwise mundane life. The key to keeping your sanity when a loved one suffers from dementia: just go with it.