Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday Woes

Talked with my mom today. Yesterday was a really bad day for my grandmother. She had a tantrum of sorts. I say tantrum because I am still in denial I guess about what is really going on. I am just not ready to face all of this and I can't seem to articulate my feelings very well these days.

My grandmother has her favorite Nurse's Aides and she follows them around if she is feeling nosy or lonely. Yesterday she was following N around all day. Around dinner time, N puts Granny in the dining room. She is okay with this until other residents start coming in. Then she gets agitated and leaves. So N takes her to her room and then she brings her tray to her. Now Granny has forgotten that she had started to eat dinner when she left the dining room. She gets mad and kicks her tray table and informs N that she will not eat. You see, she thought someone else had eaten part of her food and so she refused to finish it.

In comes mom at this point. My grandmother has started to cry. Now this is an unusual event. Mom has not seen her mother cry since I was in the SECOND grade and I am now in my ....let's just say it has been at least a decade and leave it at that. In a nursing facility, you usually get a shower every other day. Mom and I switch off on visiting Granny. One of the things we do for her is give her a sponge bath everyday and change her linens everyday. This helps to keep infection down and makes her more comfortable. Yesterday mom could not lift Granny out of her chair to put her on the toilet. So she calls N to help. Once they get her moved to her bed, she call my mother by name. I think it has been about 2 months since Granny did this. Before that, about a year, maybe longer. She tells mom that she thought she was dying and then she saw her.

Today is my day to go. I wish I could say I was looking forward to it. I wish I could say it will be a joy to see Granny. But I am scared. What if she starts crying? I have NEVER seen her cry. How do I console her if I can't understand her? She is not a baby she is a scared 92 year old woman. She doesn't know me anymore so I cannot rely on that. Her memories are few and far between so I can't go there. I hate to confess this, but there are days when I just can't get the right attitude before going to see her. She can sense this and thinks that I am upset with her when nothing is farther from the the truth than that. I could never be upset with the woman that loved me as much as my own mother does.

I look at her and think to myself, "God, please let me keep my mind as long as You let me keep my life." I don't want to be her age and have to depend on the kindness of others just to acquire the necessities of life. I know this sounds selfish and self-centered, but when you really think about it, who do you trust to take care of you? You spouse? Your children? Some stranger that talks on their cell phone while they literally shovel food into your mouth? What I wouldn't give for just one more 5 minute coherent conversation with her! Dear God, please give me strength today.

Old age ain't no place for sissies. ~Bette Davis

I fear vastly more a futile, incompetent old age than I do any form of death. ~William Allen White

In dog years, I'm dead. ~Author Unknown

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt


  1. sober white women said...
    About three years ago I back to Chicgo to see my dad before he passed. It broke my heart that he did not know me.
    Hang in there.
    Thanks for stopping by and please come by again. I love meeting new people.
    If you are ever back in this area you will have to let me know. I love meeting bloggers,.!
    a corgi said...
    hi; just found your blog; you and your mother are very devoted caregivers to your grandmother; that is sooo sweet that one of you visit every other day and help with her care; you always seem to hear of stories that elderly people are put into nursing homes and then forgotten by their family; it is refreshing to hear of a family honoring their grandparent/mother and trying to keep her as comfortable as you can

    I have to agree with you; I would hope that I don't lose my mind/memory; I would rather lose my physical ability. My momdied almost 3 years ago and was sharp as a tack until about a week before she died when she was really sick and they had her on morphine a lot; that made her a bit confused and "loopy" but up until then she could recall details and events correctly; she was 85 when she died. Conversely, my husband's mother has been suffering with dementia for the past 3 years with a steady decline in her memory; it is sad for my husband to see that decline in her when he remembered how vibrant and sharp she was as a younger person (she's in her mid 80s)

    I hope you have a nice Fourth, whatever you do


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