For the last two years a co-worker has been acting erratically. She just wasn’t herself. Not over the edge stuff, but behavior that made it hard to work with her. She would repeat the same stories OVER AND OVER and would only talk about musicals; constantly quoting lyrics from My Fair Lady and Damn Yankees. After the hundreth time of hearing the same story, we would tell her enough and sometimes say it unkindly. She lost interest in doing anything. She stayed home watching movies all day long on her days off.
She wasn’t always like this. She used to be very particular about her appearance but recently has taken to wearing the same blue sweatpants, white t-shirt with faded lettering and flip-flops…everyday for the last two months. Only in her early 50s, she used to have interests other than musicals.
Recently she was diagnosed with Pick’s Disease, a terminal condition where protein builds up in the brain, causing the lobes to atrophy. Most likely she will be in an assisted home within a year.
Now that her condition has a name, it makes it easier to understand her and harder for us to excuse our behavior toward her.