01/19/2015 Meeting the Treatment Team: The Fantastic Four–Part III

Dawn, the home health aid who will forever be referred to(in my mind at least) as “the-woman-who-sits-and-stares-at-Jamey-when-he-showers“(she’s referred to as such since that’s how Jamey described her to Tracy, our social worker causing her to burst out laughing)–this is how the conversation played out—fast forward one and a half weeks from this meeting:

Tracy: So how has Dawn been working out for you so far?

Jamey: Who?

Tracy: Dawn, the home health aid. She comes to help you with your daily living skills like getting dressed, shaving….

Jamey(totally straight-faced) OH!!, You mean the woman who sits and stares at me when I’m showering?

Tracy: (bursts out laughing)

Well, Dawn was the third to arrive. When upon our door she knocked, I am pretty sure I heard the dogs say(yes, say..not bark). “Again?Seriously, !? Are you kidding me!?” They quickly realized I had heard them talk, so they went back to mindlessly barking. I really didn’t care about placating them anymore. I half-apologized to Dawn upon greeting her at the door. “I’m sorry, they’re loud, but they’re dogs and you’re a stranger. It’s just what they do–they’ll settle down.” She revealed that she also had dogs–large dogs as well. I immediately liked her for two reasons: #1–she has dogs and #2–she has my middle name as her first. Of all the people on the team, Dawn is the one we will get to know the best since she’s the one who will be here most frequently. She’s slated to visit three times a week to help Jamey with very basic things such as keeping him on task and focused when he’s grooming. I’ll admit to becoming laissez-faire with overseeing Jamey’s grooming/hygiene habits. It’s a somewhat complicated and sometimes emotionally-charged undertaking(sounds weird, I know), but I’ll get into that later. For me, it was simply easier to let sleeping Jameys lie, even if it meant that sleeping Jamey had been wearing the same shirt for so long, it was practically grafting into his skin.  A few minutes after Dawn arrived, Tracy and Mary Ann set up a schedule for next week, shook our hands and left. Caeley and I showed Dawn around the house(except for Caeley’s room which still had all those boxes of junk in them.) Once she’d gotten comfortable with the layout of our house(which took all of 2 minutes), she set up an appointment to show up on Wednesday. She asked if there was anything specific I’d like her to work with him on. I barely waited for her last word to jump off her tongue before saying, ” The Beard.” I would like you to get rid of “The Beard.” And I think he could use a shower.

"The Beard" in Transition

“The Beard” in Transition

2 thoughts on “01/19/2015 Meeting the Treatment Team: The Fantastic Four–Part III

  1. wow Kim. I just watched your video you uploaded,talking with Jamey about Lawrence High School friends and memories. I am impressed by the warmth, humor, and openness you two share. Thank you for sharing Jamey with us during this precious time. I was in school with Jamey since kindergarten through LHS graduation. Glad to see he is still full of his kind and humorous spirit. Many blessings to you, Jamey and your daughter, (And your sweet dogs–right there with you, devoted and holding space).


    • Hi Gail,
      Hmmm…so I just typed a really great response and it disappeared! Ugh! I basically said that I agree with you–Jamey is a very kind and gentle–and also funny person. In fact, it was his wit and humor that first drew me to him. Very few people make me genuinely laugh, but Jamey did. The irony of his illness is that as he’s gradually lost most mental sophistication, his appreciation for all things silly has increased tremendously. In fact, the goofier/sillier, the better. He laughs a lot now at things that neverwould’ve made him laugh before. And really simple things make him happy now, too, like The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. He could be in the deepest sleep, but somehow manages to wake up at 10 AM to start watching this shows back-to-back. And if you’re wondering, he prefers Drew Carey over Bob Barker and Wayne Brady over Monty Hall.
      Oh–and for the record–don’t let me dogs fool you. They were only standing watch by the bed because Jamey had a bag of goldfish crackers next to him. They were just waiting to see if he’d drop any crumbs!

      Thanks for your blessings, kind words and for reaching out.



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