All the staff who work on Wayne’s unit are angels but there are special angels among them.
One team (an LPN and care aide) can bathe Wayne so wonderfully that he does not require pre-med.
I stood outside the bathing room and listened – he was laughing and having a good time instead of being so stressed that I could not bare it.
They joke and give him stuff to “play with” in the water.
There was absolutely no resistance during the process until it was time to rinse his hair.
“Hey,, what’s going on. Hey, hey, no, no”.
“All done, Wayne.”
And it was over – - -
So Wayne has a lovely wedding band, yellow gold with 3 diamonds.
For years he wore it in the care home. Often wondered if he would lose it but things went well til November 2012.
He started taking it off and kind of “fiddling” with it. Care aides would find it in clothes or on the floor.
One day a kitchen worker heard a “ping” and Wayne’s ring flew out of his hand and landed in the stainless sink she was working at.
The staff gave it to me when I arrived and I decided to take it home. He seemed not to notice.
Now, over a year later, he is pulling on his ring finger til I fear he will do damage. I guess the answer is to buy him a cheap ring and save his finger!
Dad did it
Mom did it
My Sis does it
My Bro does it
Certain friends do it
Favorite cousin does it
Now, for the first time in knowing Wayne over 50 years and being married for over 48 of them, Wayne did it – once to me.
He was very sleepy resting in a recliner, covered in a warm blanket.
I got on my knees and told him I was “Jean, your wife.”
He smiled at me dreamily and said, “Zhjeannie.”
I nearly fell flat. Never heard him ever refer to me as Jeannie.
When I recounted this to my neighbor, she said he always referred to you as Jeannie to them! Who knew?
Was feeding Wayne yesterday when he refused the food, sat and stared at me.
It was exactly like we do when we think or do know someone and the wheels are going.
“It’s me, Jean, your wife. Wayne and Jean and Brian and Mark.”
He focused a bit and then smiled enough to light up the ward.
“I love you.”
(Again, we were sitting with the cop and his wife and he just marveled. Told Wayne he loved his big smile.He hasn’t spoken those words in awhile. “Merry Christmas to me:)
It always touches me when a person says, “So how’s Wayne doing?”
We both know he will never “heal or get better” but the mere fact he has a name and is remembered by name just makes my heart swell with joy and thanksgiving.
Some people have never met Wayne but he’s still “one of us” – that is so wonderful.
Usually I’m OK talking about him and his condition but the other day after inquiring about Wayne, the person asked how long we have been married.
I couldn’t talk at first and then croaked out 48 years before succumbing to tears which overflowed.
I felt sorrier for her than for me as she felt badly but after regaining my composure, assured her it was a wonderful question:)
This applies also to families suffering illness of a loved one – we tend to shy away from asking but it’s important that person is remembered in conversation – however difficult at the time.