Everyone knows how hard it is to fix your TV when the cable is out, but only somewhere between 2.4 million and 5.1 million Americans know how hard it is to fix the TV when the cable is out, AND have Alzheimer’s (Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center). Yesterday, my grandpa was one of those 2.4/5.1 million Americans. He had the cable box upside-down, the remote batteries out, and was sitting in the middle of the living room grumbling about the weather.
“Whatcha doing Grandpa?” I asked casually, though it was pretty clear what was going on.
“Well the electricity won’t work!” my Grandpa shouted, as though I were the deaf one. He was pointing at the TV, his eyes narrowed. “How will I be able to watch the news if this danged thing doesn’t start to work?!”
“Can I see the remote?” I asked, “Maybe I can help you a bit?”
“Well I don’t think you can. It’s been like this all day.” (and you’re a woman) he added mentally.
I pried the remote from his ninja grasp just as my phone began to ring. “One second Grandpa, my phone is ringing!” I said, pointing at my phone. Of course this all fell on, quite literally, deaf ears. He couldn’t hear my phone ringing or what I had said, all he knew is that I pointed at my phone. He smiled and nodded, pretending to understand.
After a quick call, I popped back into the living room, stuck out the remote and tried the first logical solution: the power button. Low and behold, the color grew on the screen and the cable started up.
“How did you DO that?” my Grandpa’s eyes were wide and his mouth hung open in astonishment.
“Oh I just tried a couple buttons.” I said, trying not to make it seem so obvious.
“How did you know what to do? Who did you call?” he was suspicious now, looking at me from under his eyebrows, pondering what outside help this silly woman must have contacted.
“That was my work calling. It didn’t have to do with the TV.”
He stared some more, clearly not able to hear me. “But how did they know to call you. How did they know my TV wasn’t working?”
“They didn’t, Grandpa. That was COMPLETELY unrelated!” I laughed, though I knew my explanations were useless.
“I don’t know….” Grandpa replied, letting the last syllable drag, “I think you had help.” (because you’re a woman) he added mentally.
He folded himself up on the couch and turned the volume up to max.
“Can you hear that?” he asked me, barely audible over the screaming of the television.
“You know, I think I’m getting better ears. I don’t know why but all of a sudden I can just about hear everything! I don’t have a problem at all!”