Billy Ray’s planned closet cleaning and shopping trip went very well. I am so grateful to Keddie Wanless and the folks at Corral West Ranchwear for making it successful.
As I have been sharing Billy Ray has gained so much weight because of thyroid issues, his recent diabetes diagnosis and a new medication for his bipolar. His clothes are like a security blanket – very hard to get away from him even if they don’t fit. There is no way to reason with him that they will no longer fasten.
I thought and practiced the lighthouse concept for several days about how to get the ill fitting things away from him without aggressive behavior. I thought about the way kids will do things for others when they won’t do it for their parents. I asked our consultant friend, Keddie to help.
We also know that if we take Billy Ray into a store with lots of attractive nuisances (meaning things that won’t fit or cost too much) or is unlikely to have what he wants we are asking for a meltdown or aggression in the store. Thus, my husband, Larry and I did a pre-shopping trip on Wednesday. We went to one Western store and discovered that they didn’t much selection of the part leather vests (like John Wayne in the movies) but they did have a lot of them that were fancy and far over our budget. Then we went to Corral West Ranchwear and found that they had much more of the type of things Billy Ray would be looking for.
During our pre-shopping Larry and I went to a leather outlet store in Sisters, Oregon which has all kinds of stuff for $20.00 or less. We bought a leather vest for $10.00 which he likes and a “cowboy hat” for $20.00 so we saved at least $70.00 by doing that and it also helped transition into today.
We can’t cram too much into his time between dinner and bedtime or he is up all night. Larry and I planned out dinner in advance and he put it together last night while Keddie and I went over everything in his closet with Billy Ray. I stepped back as much as I could and let Keddie work with him knowing that he might co-operate best with her. He agreed to removal of many ill-fitting or worn out items from his closet and they were carried out in boxes to be out of sight.
This morning he got up in a good mood, was delightful at breakfast enroute as we had promised him. It was wonderful.
At Corral West two sales people who were more than wonderful met us. Billy Ray really related to a young man in western attire who helped us a lot. We complicated their life a bit because we came after they have done inventory and they had to note everything but they took in stride.
The camera memory chip gave us the error message “card unreadable” so the pictures were all lost no matter what we do. I got several shots of Billy Ray looking the mirror while touching various items of clothing he was trying on. I so wanted to share that with you but it isn’t going to happen.
There have been two incidents of looking for things that were removed last night. In one instance we had a meltdown but I was able to redirect the situation after awhile. In another one, I told him what he was looking for had been taken to storage because it didn’t fit anymore why didn’t he look through his new things. He did and all was well.
What could have been a disasterous day worked because we throught, prayed and tried to understand what he needed to get the job done. Perfection NOT!! However, it was much smoother than it could have been.
Peggy Lou Morgan