What are words for? 

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Riding home the other day, the Missing Persons one hit 1980-something, wonder, “What Are Words For?” came on the radio and I began to sing along. The doll looked at me and asked, “How do you remember these lyrics?” Shrugging I replied, “I don’t know, I suppose somewhere in my noggin’ there’s a treasure trove of song lyrics–too bad the really important stuff isn’t stored in there as well”. 

Somedays being a caregiver or as I like to call myself, a paid companion; can be hard. Take last weekend when Mrs. K called me ten times asking to get her prescriptions refilled. “Yes darlin’ we’ve discussed this, you have a doctor’s appointment next week. That’s when you’ll get your refill” I explained 8 different times. Then on Tuesday when I accompanied Mrs K to her doctor’s appointment and she forgot I was there. While I waited for her in the waiting room, she was directed out a different exit and then wandered around trying to remember where she parked her nonexistent car. “You forgot me?” I joked, shortly after an office staffer came into the waiting room wondering if someone had brought her. Unhappy by these turn of events she replied sternly, I didn’t forget you I just didn’t know you were handy”.

All the ride home she lamented “I guess I’m beginning to show my age (93)” while I tried my best to encourage her. “If you had exited through the waiting room I’m confident we would have spotted one another and this would be a mute point”. But I know she’s troubled by these “episodes of confusion” as are her children and me.

The other night the doll and I watched “Still Alice” about a woman my age (early 50s) whose diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and quite frankly it scared the hell out of me. While there is no history of the disease in my family (thank God) my own inability to come up with the right words for something at times, makes me wonder. “Have I eaten or drank or smoked or ingested something in the past that induces the rapid growth of those amyloid proteins?  Will my “normal” memory issues become abnormal in the future? Will I one day be in need of a paid companion? So many questions I don’t have the answers to. 

****

“It’s funny…” The doll began. You and Dad are both singing the same song (Paradise By the Dashboard Light) yet with two different lyrics”. For the record I was the wrong lyricist. “Well she’s old, what do you expect?” My hubby replied before quickly backtracking, “I mean she’s too young for this song…” Laughing I swatted his arm and replied “Speak for yourself”. “I just did-knowing the lyrics. He replied while I sighed.  Don’t worry mom it sounds like a good song to lose the lyrics to anyway.” Both her father and I looked at her and yelled “Blasphemous!!” Before going back and stating the song over, if for no other reason than to bother her with them. 

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