November 15

by | May 2, 2023 | Sky Writings with Electra | 0 comments

Of course, I would think over Dr. Michelle’s offer. Presenting at ASHA’s Annual Conference in Boston would be over-the-top awesome. The idea of a weekend away, and in Boston no less, one of my favorite cities … WOW! I hadn’t been away for many years! All I needed to do was ask ‘Davey-Sitter’ to stay over that weekend. And I knew he would. He always did.

My passengers, still in the corner waiting for me to make up my mind, listened as I ruminated out loud. Suddenly my thought process was interrupted when they began peppering me with questions.

PASSENGERS: “Wadya mean … ‘Davey-Sitter?’ “Why haven’t you mentioned this person before?” “How long has he/she been around?” “Is this person one of us?” “Blah Blah Blah!”

ME: “Ok, Ok, let me explain. You are my forever friends and  ‘Davey-Sitter’ is not. This person never reached passenger status.  Indeed ‘Davey-Sitter’ was expunged from my life shortly after Dave’s death … now watch out for the date. It may ring a bell, different from the telephone one you heard me answer previously. I’m talking about a mental bell. Dave died on November 15, 2007. Get it? That’s the same date as the upcoming ASHA Conference.”

PASSENGER #1: “Oh, so you never really got to go to Boston … right?”

ME: “Right, but pretend you don’t know that. Keep it to yourself. When Electra flies us into August, I’ll be answering the same ringing off-the-hook phone, just in a different month and on a different day.

PASSENGER #2: “OK, but before we leave, you better answer the current phone, cause It’s still ringing.”

I grabbed the phone and once again greeted Dr. Michelle, who wanted to know my decision. I told her, with great enthusiasm, how excited I was to present at the ASHA Conference, assuring her I would include “Dave’s Tale,” the book I had written for my grandson.

PASSENGER #2: “Whew, just in the nick of time. I was afraid Dr. Michelle would hang up before you got to the phone.”

ME: “I don’t think so, circumstances would never have allowed that to happen. Time travel just doesn’t work that way!”

PASSENGER #1: “Yea, I think we got that. But before Electra transports us to August, with yet the same phone ringing off the hook again, we Passengers talked it over and want to know more about ‘Davey-Sitter.’ Why wasn’t this person allowed to become one of us… you know, one of your passengers?”

ME: “Oh, you folks, although I love you to the moon and all, you’re asking a very difficult question. ‘Davey-Sitter’ is the nickname I gave to my paid caregiver assistant. Yes, that’s right, I couldn’t do it alone. No one person could take care of Dave, especially not me. But, there’s so much to tell, I just don’t know where to start.”

PASSENGER #1: “How about, ‘Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’ If that advice was good enough for Alice when she was in Wonderland, it’s good enough advice for you.”

ME: “Alice was in Wonderland and, in a way, so was I. Always wondering what I should do next during Dave’s tedious return to infancy. The best way I can explain why ‘Davey-Sitter’ never earned passenger status is to use idioms. As a writer, I don’t much like them but … they do come in handy.”

PASSENGER #1: “Just ‘go for it, we are all ‘on pins and needles!”

ME: “Basically I could sum it up by saying I was ‘between a rock and a hard place,’ or ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea,’ or ‘between Scylla and Charybdis.’ You know what I mean … I was in a ‘Catch-22’ situation.”

PASSENGER #2: “So we can assume you were stuck! Can you simplify, using only one word to explain why you were stuck?”

ME: “Hmmm, yes, of course, it was — ABUSE.”

After a collective “OMG,” from the passengers, Passenger #2 asked …

PASSENGER #2: “Just who was abused, you or Dave?

ME: “ME!”

Another collective “OMG” was followed by PASSENGER #1 who asked …

PASSENGER #1: “How were you abused? Was it physical, psychological, emotional, or something else?”

ME: “Not physical but certainly the others you mentioned. Add to that intimidation, subtle threats, frequent bullying, theft, and abuse to my home.”

PASSENGER #1: “So, next question … Why didn’t you fire this ‘Davey-Sitter’ and get someone else?”

ME: “As I said, it’s not that simple. Assistants are ‘few and far between.’ When Dave was evaluated by a physical therapist, the safety recommendation was a two-person-assist.  Meaning it would take two trained assistants to transfer Dave safely from bed to wheelchair or commode. My ‘Davey-Sitter’ was very strong with skill sets few had. Add to that, the difficulty of finding any assistant able to work a 12-hour shift consecutively during the work-week.”

PASSENGER #2: “You said 12 hours — That’s a heck of a shift! What about the other 12 hours?”

PASSENGER #1: “Uh Huh, and you said during the work week. That’s Monday through Friday! What about weekends?”

ME: “Both great questions. It was only a 12-hour shift for about 4 years. For the first 10, I worked from home in my upstairs virtual office. Dave was busy watching old OSU football games, looking at newspapers, cutting out articles, or napping downstairs and the doors were alarmed in case he might wander outside. When work took me to one of my nursing facility clients, I simply brought Dave with me.”

“At first, he was safe staying in the rehabilitation department of whichever contracted facility I had a meeting. However, as his Alzheimer’s advanced, and this was no longer feasible, I enrolled Dave in an Adult Day Center until his agitation became so severe that I was asked not to bring him back. By then, no one person could take care of him for more than a short shift. Dave required institutionalization. During his stay in a locked Dementia Unit of a private CCRC, Dave’s neurologist trialed him on a variety of pharmaceutical cocktails. Once the correct meds were established, I brought Dave back home. That’s when I needed an assistant who could manage him 12 hours a day, 5 days a week.”

PASSENGER #2: “But you still haven’t answered my question! Who took care of Dave the other 12 hours.”

ME: “ME!”

PASSENGER #1: “And what about the weekends?”

ME: “ME!”


I told the Passengers that the answer to ‘HOW’ had to be postponed since Electra awaited and we needed to fly on to August. However, I did explain Dave received hospice care during the last year of his life, allowing me to reduce Davey-Sitter’s daily hours from 12 to 7, retire from work, and stay home with Dave.

But the Passengers were insistent, wanting to know more about Hospice. I had to explain the hospice year was yet another long story needing to be postponed and to get ready to depart.

ME: “Buckle up, we are about to leave Blog Post #28 and continue on to Blog Post #29.”

“Are you ready to Go Electra?”

ELECTRA: “Ready!”

ME: “How about you Passengers? Are you ready?”


ELECTRA: “And away we GO!

Stay tuned to learn more …


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