My mom, sitting on the edge of the tub. Dried blood under her nose and chin. Cotton shoved hastily up her nose. Nervously fiddling with her fingernails. She’s not sure if she had a bloody nose but states very confidently to me “I hab codton up my nodes.”
Dad enters the room and says that mom had a bloody nose and wouldn’t quit picking at it so he put the cotton up her nose so she would stop. It worked. You just have to find what works.
“Mom, let’s clean you up and I’ll trim your nails.” I say. Sitting side by side on the edge of the tub chatting like this is normal…just another day. We finish up and I leave her to use the restroom before we head out for her appointment.
Out in the hallway I say, “Dad, she seems a little worse today” Yes, he is frustrated with the medication. It isn’t helping, maybe it is part of the problem. Then he says…”If I’m going to lose her I’d just as soon lose her, not see her live like this.” There it is, out in the open. The thing we think, the thing we hate, the thing that causes shame. And then he cries. For the third time in two weeks to my face, how often alone?