Don's manual wheelchair has two speeds: pokey and barely moving. Yesterday, Don and his chair were stuck in the latter gear while I was trying my best to rush us along so we could get to UPS before they closed. The wheelchair wasn't the only thing stuck. Don was in one of his aphasia driven singing moods.
"Boom, boom, boom boom," he belted out all afternoon, doing his best impression of Dean Martin without the martini glass in his hand.
Don has a good voice, he really does, but one word songs get to you after awhile. "Boom, boom, boom, boom." How many times can you hear that 'song' before you want to take your finger pistol out and blow that 'boom' out of his mouth in hopes it will fall back to earth with the letters in a different order? A 'boo', 'moo' and 'ohm' once in awhile would be nice. Is that too much to ask from the gods of aphasia?
He can't say much but one of his working phrases is, "I love you." It shocks me when it comes out because before the stroke it wasn't something Don said very often. He was a big, macho guy and not given to sentimental talk. Now, the phrase comes out in the weirdest places. For example, yesterday we were having lunch at a near-by restaurant and I was wearing my mother hat, saying things like: "Don, don't try to kiss the waitress with food in your mouth. Remember the time you got ice cream in her ear?" "Wipe your mouth." "Okay, you've hugged the waitress three times already. That's enough for this trip." I usually wait until the object of our conservation is out of ear shot when I say these things, but I must say them. He's got impulse control issues since the stroke and if you let him go unchecked, he tends to cross over that line between 'friendly' and 'creepy.' So as I sat there watching for his next indiscretion, and worrying about me crossing over that line between being a 'nagging wife' and a 'caring caregiver', that's when Don looked at me with puppy dog eyes and the gods of aphasia let him say, "I love you. Boom, boom, boom, boom."
Today, Don has a two word song on his mind. "Valentine's you. Valentine's you." Thank you, gods of aphasia, for giving Don a new song to sing on this very special day. ©
[image above: 1909 post card]