Friday, August 5, 2011

Part 2: What Rules?

Communication is very important when taking care of Grandma.   I have to constantly tell her where we are going, what we are doing, and why we need to do it.  She struggles with remembering it, but somewhere in her mind, I really think she is putting it together.

So, after the dentist took impressions, we had 6 hours to kill before her teeth were ready.  My mind was racing.  I asked her if she wanted to go get her hair washed.  No.  Would you like to get a manicure?  No.  Would you like to go eat at McDonalds?  Not hungry.  Well, is there anything you would like to do, Grandma?  Her response, "Well, aren't you driving?  Do you know what you want to do?"  So,  I made the decision to take Grandma to Sara's house.  At least there, Grandma could rest and watch a little TV.

I called Sara and woke her up.  She wasn't excited.  Sara lives out in the country.  Grandma was so turned around.  She tried reading every sign to figure out where we were going.    We passed a sign that said "Road Unsafe if Under Water."  She started to insist that we needed to turn around.  I told her it was ok.  She was a little relieved, but I could tell the road still worried her.  I assured her I knew where we were going.

We finally made it to Sara's house.  Grandma decided to rest and take it easy in the living room.  Sara has two very mean cats.  They hiss from the time I walk in the door until the time I leave.  Sara insists that they can smell my dogs.  I say they are just mean!

So, here is the scene:  Grandma resting. Me watching TV.  Mean cats hissing.  So, what could happen?  Well, naturally, those cats had to check grandma out.  One jumped on the back of her recliner several times and hit her in the head not once but several times.  Lol.  I told her she needed a cat.  She laughed and said no.  We watched a couple of shows and took a small nap.  She was ready to go after only 2 hours.

We went to Crackerbarrel to eat lunch.  I let her out at the door and told her to sit in the rocking chair by the door, and I would park the car.  After parking the car, I found her checking all the rocking chairs.  We went in and were seated immediately.  I ordered two kids vegetable plates.  This provided six vegetables for us to split.  Grandma kept watching out the window.  I reminded her that we were going to get her teeth real soon.  I knew she was hungry, but when our food came, she ate like she hadn't eaten in days!

I figured out from eating lunch with her that you have to share food with her.  If she thinks she is sharing, then she will eat more.  I told her to eat all she wanted.  I got one vegetable out of the deal.

I was trying to drag the meal out and kill an hour, but she ate so fast.  She wanted me to get the waitress to put her coke in a cup to go.  I told her to wait a minute and I would.  She pointed out several waitresses for me to ask for help.  I said we were in no hurry.  She handed me her coke and stood up to go.  I followed her to the front of the tables and told her to wait.  I found the waitress and Grandma was anxious.  The waitress showed up and when I turned around to give it to Grandma... she was out the door.

So, I went running.  I told the cashier that I was going to get my grandmother and would be right back to pay.  I found her outside checking out the rocking chairs.  I told her to sit in one and stay there until I got through paying for the bill or we would be washing dishes.  She quickly corrected me. I would be washing dishes -- not her.

I went back in to pay the bill and had the cashier laughing from the event.  She told me I needed to buy grandma a rocking chair.  I said that I would buy one and take it home today, but I really don't think it would fit in my little Honda Accord.  LOL

I went back to Grandma and told her I was going to pull the car around.  A nice young couple were sitting with her.  When I returned, I went to get her and heard her tell them...."Anytime you are in my area, look me up and come for a visit."  OH MY WORD!!!!  Here she is scared to be alone because crazy people are stealing her teeth at night, and she is inviting strangers over to her house.

We headed to Sheridan to visit with my uncle and cousin.  She still had her coke and cornbread wrapped in a paper towel.  She finished both and then started pushing buttons.  I assumed she was cold and wanted some warm air.  I rolled the window down and out went the coke.  I was in shock and told her that she couldn't throw stuff out the window.  I started rolling the window up and out went the cornbread in the napkin.  AAAGGGHHHH!!! next time, I have to tell her that she can have a coke but she can't throw it out the window.  I now know that the rules are different for Grandma now that she has dementia.  :)

Even though you have all these moments of frustration and misunderstandings, somewhere in the mix, you do have a moment when grandma realizes who you are and where we are going. On the way to Sheridan, she looked over at me and told me she really did love me for taken care of her.  Those are the moments you cherish and realize why you are doing what you are doing.  No, they don't happen often, but they are the most valuable moments I share with her. They definitely help me continue taking care of my grandma.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blog. Thank you for writing.


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