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COMMUNITY VOICE

While I like my family, I like my independence, too; thus, conflict

Monday, November 18, 2013 - 8:30 am

To say that I like my family would be the polite thing to do. I know this, but it would also be an absolute untruth today. I have one teeny tiny little diagnosis of dementia and my life is no longer my own.

They love me and only want the best for me. Sometimes I think I know what’s best and we go see the doctor and I find out I am all wrong. I don’t like the medicine that is supposed to put off the inevitable. I throw my tantrums, and somehow my family makes sure it is my body by bedtime.

I have also decided to become Mrs. Independent. I want to walk when I want, go where I want and see the world that is beyond my front porch. Not happening at my house, no siree! Gotta have someone with me at all times. The few rare occasions I have been able to sneak out, my daughters, Jamie and Amy, and my husband, Jim, go bananas thinking the worst thing could possibly happen, did.

A situation happened this past weekend and I needed my space. I went out the door on my merry way. Didn’t get 30 feet away and I hear my familiar ring tone (“Venus,” by Frankie Avalon). “Are you coming home or do I come and find you?” my daughter Jamie asked. “Come and find me!” and I hung up my cellphone as loudly as I could.

As I wandered around, I saw a small, frail kitten on the roof of an abandoned house in my neighborhood. She was terrified and perplexed as to how to get out of her situation. I relented and called Jim, and we waited on Animal Control together. My thoughts went back to a time when I was rambling around in the neighborhood shortly after being diagnosed. Jim was frantic and called 911. I do not remember much, other than the fact that Officer Ramon found me and stayed with me until Jim arrived. (I had other encounters with the good officer, but those stories are for another day.)

My thoughts went back to the kitty, and I thought how much I was like this frail, small, confused kitten. I could see my family’s sense of worry then. Officer Gabriel Hall from Animal Control came, and she saved the little kitty’s life. Officer Ramon saved me, too. What he saved me from is undetermined, but I have learned that left to my own devices I can end up stranded on a roof, too.

Don’t tell my family, but I like them again.

Patti A. Hagadorn is a resident of Fort Wayne.