Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It Takes a Village, Part Three

Plant City Barber
During the hospitalization of my husband and his recovery from the UTI, I got many wonderful suggestions from near and far. Basically, however, no one is in my shoes, living with my husband day after day, realizing his limitations, my time limitations and our finances. I am the decision-maker, the health care surrogate. No one realizes how stubbornness comes out in an Alzheimer's patient, who cannot be rushed to do anything--take pills, shave, take a shower, or get ready to leave the house. I actually have to combine patience with cunning.

However, last night nothing worked and I left the house and went to Sally and Jake's house. I felt like I was being bullied and ready for step two in the previous post. Let me explain.

Hubby's beard grew with his hospitalization. Last Thursday I stopped by his barber in Plant City and asked if the barber could not only give my husband a hair cut, but also a shave since the razor wasn't working so well with more growth of facial and chin hair. My husband didn't like the electric razor I got him for Christmas. We hadn't decided that he would become Santa, so we needed a solution.

"Get him a trimmer," the barber said on Thursday. "You can buy it at Sally's Beauty Supply." He wrote down three kinds I could get. He showed me how he maintains these trimmers with a tooth brush and oil. He explained that the trimmer can be used on the few hairs at the top of his head that just stick up. He can just go bald there. The trimmer will give him a "day old" beard look popular with movie stars. Why we even have a Sally's in our small town. They had one of the ones he recommended--an Andis Styleliner II. I bought it and last night was to be the trial run with a three-day beard my hubby had let grow since Saturday.

Now I have also been studying my meat and potato hubby. I also know he likes barbecue sandwiches, and the chicken salad or meat and cheese sandwiches I have been making him lately just aren't cutting it. I stopped by First Choice BBQ and got him some meat fit for a Southerner's sandwiches--pulled pork. It works like a charm. Kenny heats it while I am gone.

To also thank this wonderful community, I have to say that with not a lot of time on my hands a shower chair was acquired at an estate sale last Saturday--just what I had been looking for and we have the large shower for it. We are on our way to solutions. Only my hubby wanted nothing to do with old people's stuff. No shower chair for him when he showered Sunday morning. But I am prepared.

Sunday hubby waited until the last minute to take that shower and wasn't ready for church which now meets at 2 PM. I left for church, and really was sad that hubby wasn't by my side at church. However, Kenny was home from his church and was able to check on my husband and heat up some BBQ for him while I was away.

Back to my leaving the house last night. Hubby was angry I tried to use this trimmer that the barber had successfully used on him three days ago. Do I have to go to the barber ever time for his shave? He doesn't remember the barber.

Last night hubby also wouldn't shave with his razor. I was at wit's end when I got to Sally and Jake's house. I held back tears, but I am sure I sounded frustrated and angry. "He doesn't want me to use the trimmer on him, and he won't shave so I left the house," I explained to our friends on their back porch.

I texted Kenny I was leaving and he texted me, "Are you okay?" Then Kenny called me and said I did the right thing by leaving.

Last night I was bearing my soul, confessing my anger at the situation to Sally in person and to Kenny on the phone. Sally prayed with me. Jake got on the phone, called hubby and worked out a deal. Hubby would shave with his razor and the four of us would go out to dinner. Then Jake started shaving himself with his electric razor--that is after Sally told him where it was.

Was hubby ready? A deal had been brokered. I drove Sally and Jake to our house and parked in the circular driveway and Jake went to the door. Hubby had shaved and put on a clean shirt--well actually a clean shirt over the T-shirt he had worn all day. The four of us would go to dinner.

As usual we wives order for our husbands as they can't decide these days. BBQ for hubby and a grilled chicken salad for me. However hubby does ask for a certain adult beverage. Grandpa Johnsons's Restaurant didn't have a Scotch and Water so hubby settled for his iced tea.

At dinner I let a few sinful barbs fly about shaving--just wanted hubby to feel my pain, although today he will have forgotten all about shaving. No solutions yet, other than the nagging wife showing her pain and sin. There are no solutions for dementia eventually. Why am I hitting my head against a brick wall?

I do still like living in Plant City, my village of people. Waiting still to use my new skill the barber showed me. I am open for business, folks!


  1. Sounds very difficult, Carol. I can't imagine your frustration. Praying that God gives you peace and wisdom! I can always learn not to take even the smallest things for granted from reading your posts.

  2. You both are in my prayers. Don't keep hitting that brick wall- it will crack or your head will crack or both. God's taking care of both of you.

  3. Your post are bringing back so many memories of past times to me, but I must say...... God will never give you more than you can handle...I/we made it.......
    Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers!