When I arrived at my 93 year old patients house, she was seated at the dining room table with her husband.
"Would you mind if we took my husband on a walk with us today," she asked, "My daughter in law would be so happy. "
The husband we are speaking about is 105!!! Not a thing wrong with him except he sleeps a lot, cannot hear too well, cannot see too well, walks with a 4 wheeled walker and as his wife always tells me; "his favorite thing is opening the mail and sorting it in piles and re reading it over and over. "
I am here to see her. She broke her hip and is doing great. She is so attuned to her husbands every need that it takes awhile for her to realize I have come to help her with her recovery.
"He loves the red grapes.. they are so good." she says to me as she is looking at her husband. "go ahead honey, aren't they good this time. He also likes crackers with honey.. Its a particularly good combination."
And just when I have excused myself for a second, I come back into the room and I see my patient helping her 105 year old husband to stand up and put on his sweater and that is how I found myself with the wife on my one arm and her husband on the other side of me with his four wheeled walker going outside to catch the last of the afternoon sun.
We walked and talked as we went up their driveway (he commented on what a lousy job the last guys did who paved the road) His wife added; "yes but we don't care anymore.. We are not driving.."
I told them both how good they were doing with their walking and when we arrived back at the house, she told me that he could now go and sit in the living room and he will have his tea.
She took the tea cozy off the teapot and poured him his tea in cup with a saucer and put it down on a table beside him. The sugar bowl with the teaspoon was right beside him as were a few cookies.
"Go ahead honey, " she said, "I'll join you shortly."
He did not answer her but put two teaspoons of sugar in his teacup and stirred and looked at me and smiled and then looked around for his cookies.
"You would be surprised how hot that tea is eventhough I boiled the water over 1 hour ago. isn't that right dear?"
He looked for the saucer on which to put his cup of tea and folded his arms in front on him and closed his eyes.
"He'll fall asleep right here," his wife says as she came around with her own cup of tea.
As I get ready to leave, I tell her that I would prefer that she use her cane outside when she walks again:
"Oh no," she responds with well rehearsed timing. "that would be for old ladies."