Before you get angry

I wasn’t looking forward to today, I had a swag of appointments to take my dad to AND it was the first day of school holidays.  My dad’s appointments feel irritating but the reality is that his condition, dementia makes me so sad and frustrated that I want to get angry, really angry with someone, something – I can’t get angry with him (well, I don’t feel I can), so it’s got to come out the edges somewhere.  I was locked and loaded, just waiting to take fire.

We got to the clinic and the woman on the counter was dour (she always is, I think that’s just her disposition so I was expecting that).  What I didn’t expect was the absolute shirty manner of the nurse.  His abrupt manner truly took me by surprise as he shoved us around the room and poked and prodded my dad with little to no instruction and certainly no friendly manner.

I watched my dad getting more confused, feeling uncomfortable, not quite knowing what questions to ask.  I was about to blow my top.  I plotted – I’d complain, no! I’d put up a post in my social media, no!  I’d just have a go at the nurse, yes, that would feel good.

But then something strange came over me.
And I did the unthinkable

I said to him “so your day’s not going so well is it Greg” (not his name but that will do today)

The whole world shifted.
My anger disappeared, as did his.
My dad sat smirking, amused on his chair.

Turns out that the centre had overbooked the nurse, there were more sick people launching themselves at him left, right and centre AND he’d just found out his vehicle repair bill was over the top.

After I asked him that he lightened up.  He started to communicate.  It was like his trance was broken and all of a sudden the ‘inconvenient’ overbooked patients became people again.  He told me he might need to sell his vehicle, it’s too expensive.  We shared some jokes at the doctor’s expense.  Life was good again.

I imagined how it could have gone.  If I’d complained, if I’d played the drama card.  And I was pleased that just a few calm words made Greg’s day, and mine a whole lot better.

Before you get angry…