Sunday, July 18, 2010
Though the day was just starting it was already getting busy when an elderly gentleman arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had another appointment at 9:00 am.
I took him into the exam room, evaluated his wound, saw that is was well healed, so I remove his sutures and redressed his wound.
While caring for him I asked if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he appeared to be anxious about being late.
He told me no, that he was going to the nursing home to have breakfast with his wife, like he does every morning.
I inquired about her health, wondering why she was in a nursing home.
He told me that she suffered from Alzheimer's disease and needed the kind of care he could no longer provide at home.
As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was just a bit late.
His voice and head dropped a little as he replied "No", she no longer knew who he was, that she hadn’t recognized him for several years now.
I asked him, “And you still go the same time every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?”
He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't remember who I am, but I still remember who she is."