Friday, July 26, 2013

If I had a hammer...

Cleaned the back bedroom and found all my "weapons" to fight critters and the guy trying to steal Grandma's false teeth.

Bring it!  I'm all tooled up and can knock anything out!  In addition, I have one crazy Grandma who doesn't have time for silliness!  You just got to love her!  Cause, I sure do!  

I did have a special moment with her this morning.  After she kept me up until 3:30, she came in around 8:00 am looking for her teeth.  We have been fighting every night about how she is perfectly capable of taking care of her teeth.  She wouldn't let me hide them but I watched her last night hide them in the kitchen. She thanked me when I retrieved them for her.  Then she called me by name without any prompting.  Last but not least, she thanked me for taking such good care of her.  She knows her mind is all mixed up but she truly loves me and appreciates all I do for her.  That was one of those rare moments that I cherish!  They are starting to get few and far between, but it is enough to remind me of why I help my dad.  She is family and family take care of each other!  No matter how hard or trying.  Oh!  And she hugged me at least 3 times like old times!  I knew it was a real Grandma hug and not the Dementia.



It is 12:30 AM. I'm laying in bed about to drift off into that wonderful land of dreams.  I'm still on somewhat of an alert because I can hear Grandma getting up and down.  I hear her go to the bathroom.  I hear her rummage through drawers.  I realize how many times she is flipping the lights on and off.   I have a fan going to drown out the noises, but tonight it just isn't working.  I can hear all the sounds of the house.  I'm laying there still and trying to drift into a good sleep when I hear it.

The window had just enough light from the street light outside to where I can see the curtain move.  I hear what sounds like a scratching noise on the window.  I'm thinking quietly to myself and make a mental note of what "weapons" are in the room.  The normal three hammers, two flashlights, a baseball bat, a couple of sticks, a hand grabber of some sort, and Grandpa's shoes.  I'm not going to lie!  I was scared.  I hear it again.  This time it is running along the wall. In the corner, there is a box of pecans.  I hear it go thru the pecans.  I turn the light on and grab a huge foam board that Grandma had from a family reunion.  I still hear it in the pecans.  So, I hold the box closed with the foam board.  Grandma conveniently hid a red shoe under the bed.  I grab it and place it on top of the box.  I wasn't about to open the box.  I knew in my heart it was probably a mouse and then it would be crazy all up in that bedroom.  So, I secured the box to where the mouse couldn't get out.

I lay back down in the bed and then I hear it run along the wall behind the headboard.  I hear it go around the electrical wires for the television.  I turn the light back on and there it is staring at me from the diet coke can I had been drinking earlier in the night.  He ran when that light came on.  He was probably the biggest roach/water bug I had ever seen!  He ran back under the bed.  I grabbed the hammer and went after it on the other side.  I cornered him at the foot of the bed.  It was one of those western moments.  The showdown....the enormous bug or me!  It was definitely going to be him.  I tried hitting it with the hammer but he moved towards the wall.  I followed him up the wall with the hammer.  I finally hit him really good and he fell 2 feet to his death below the window.

Now, that I had taking care of the critter, I laid back down to go to sleep.  Turned the light back off and put my weapon back under the bed.  I laid there for four or five minutes listening to the fan go round and round to circulate the air in the room.  I hear the same noise again.  AGAIN!!!  This time in the bathroom.  This time it really did sound more like a mouse.  It was a scratching noise.  Sounded like he was scratching plastic.  Then I hear it in the other bedroom.  I really didn't want to get back up and chase what I thought was a mouse but I knew I wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep with all the critters running around.

I went to the bathroom first with hammer in one hand and flashlight in the other.  I shined it around the room and saw one roach in the middle of the floor.  Bam!  Then I heard the plastic scratching noise.  A mop bucket was in the corner.  One had fallen into the bucket and was trying to get out.  Bam!  So, after taking care of the critters of the bathroom.  I decided to venture into the other room.  I thought if it is was just another water bug or roach then I had this under control.  I opened up the bedroom door.  All lights were off.  The other bedroom doors were closed.  I listened intently to hear where the critter was running.  I heard it in the other bathroom.  I got ready to turn the light on to catch him running around.  Hammer was ready in my other hand. When I flipped the light on, there was the biggest critter I had ever seen going into the cabinet under the sink.  This critter was GRANDMA!   Evidently, the cleaning supplies were not in order under the sink.  So, she decided to slowly slide them back in place in the dark!

I told her what had happened in the bedroom with the water bugs.  She wanted to know if I got them with the hammer.  I said yes to all her questions.  I finally turned back to go to bed.  When I hear her say "I told you we needed a man for protection!"  I replied, "All they want to do is make babies!  We don't need no man or babies!"  :)

P.S.  Daddy will be spraying tonight, and I will be throwing out all pecans!  Grandma's squirreling habits are causing the problem.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Making Babies!

I'm going to try to keep this G rated.  As the Dementia gets worse, Grandma starts to regress in years.  She may look every bit of 87 years of age, but in her mind, I think she believes she is in her 20's.  When you are young and full of spirit, many have their mind set on relations with the opposite sex.  My husband constantly informs my girls that all boys think about is being with girls.  He thinks he is an expert on how boys think.  Grandma evidently is convinced that this is true of anyone that stays at her house.

Tonight, Grandma informed me about some girls that have been staying in her house.  They like to sneak out at night and get with those boys.  They are forbidden to be with those boys.  All they want to do is have babies!  I guess I didn't learn my lesson from last night.  My curiosity really got the best of me and I had to know what she was thinking.

She said "My sisters and their friends just use me as a cover!  They come over here and tell their momma that they are spending the night and then they get with those boys!"

Me:  "What do they do with those boys?"

Grandma:  "You know....make babies!  Just makes me sick thinking about all the babies!"

By this time....I am about to bust a gut.

Me:  "What do you mean, grandma?"

Grandma:  "I don't have no time to be taking care of no babies!  They need to go on and take their business else where!"

Me:  "Well, who do you think is making these babies?"

Grandma:  "Everybody that comes over here thinks they need to go make babies!  This is just silliness!"

Me:  "Grandma, I promise I am not making any babies!"

Grandma:  "Well, I hope not. You would just need a good spanking for that!"

And with that statement...she went to bed.  

So, if you stay at Grandma's house, try not to make babies.  She don't need no babies and would prefer you take your business elsewhere!  Priceless!

Moving and Playing the Game!

You can usually talk to someone and know when something isn't right.  At that point,  you follow your gut feeling and go with the flow.  That is exactly what happened to me tonight.  This gut feeling told me that Grandma was going to be upset.  So, instead of upsetting her even more, I played along with the delusion she was having.  I think my husband told me once to just go with the stories instead of confusing her even more.

I arrived at Grandma's to find her pulling dishes from every cabinet in the kitchen.  She had every fork, spoon, knife, cup, saucer, bowl, and pan stacked in the kitchen.  She looked at me like a deer in headlights when I walked in the door.  I guess I startled her when I walked in her door.  She informed me that we needed to hurry and load this stuff up because "the lady" was using them to serve dinner.  I asked who was the lady. She replied with a lady from the church.   She wanted to know if I had a car.  I nodded yes.  Grandma jumped into action.  The next thing I know...we are loading all the dishes in my van.  She started pulling clothes, vinyl records, photo albums, suitcases full of junk, and every dish she owned out of every corner of her house and loading it in my van.  After the first three loads, it was far too late for me to stop her.  I had to just go with the delusion.  Toilet paper, magazines, photos from the walls, decorations, and shoes came pouring out of Grandma's house.  She packed my van with so much stuff!  I tried three or four times to tell her enough was enough.  I tried to reason with her by saying we would take this load and come back for the rest.  She just kept bringing more and more stuff.  We loaded a telephone, scrapbooks, a painting, another tape player and almost all her china.

I finally convinced her to get in the van to go.  She agreed.  I pretended to lock the door as she got in the van.  She saw her lawn chair and wanted me to grab it.  I ignored the request.  We pulled out of the driveway.  She said she was tired and didn't understand why we couldn't just spend the night.  I said we could but we would have to unload everything eventually.  She told me to just drive.  At this point, I noticed the neighbors across the street watching and trying to figure out what in the world we were doing when we left.

I rounded the first corner.  AS SOON AS WE TURNED RIGHT....She realized we were at her house, but it was too late for me to fix what was about to happen next.  Grandma let me know real quick that I wasn't pulling anything over on her.  She knew I was just trying to get her out of her house.  I tried to argue, but it was pointless.  We drove to my parent's home.  I saw my dad in the doorway.  I motioned for him to come out and talk to her.  He was reluctant, because I think he sensed that I was in big trouble with her.

She let him know that I was being silly and trying to move her out of her house.  We both informed her over and over and over and over and get the point...we were not trying to do any such thing.  I finally told her that I was going to take her home.  She calmed down and gave in a little.

As we pulled out of Dad's driveway, she informed me on how to get to her house from his.  We went back home.  The neighbors at this point had lined up lawn chairs in their yard across the street.  I don't know if they knew we would be back soon or just wanted to watch to see if there was anything worth stealing, but there they sat watching and laughing.  

We pulled in the driveway.  After being chewed out for over 25 minutes, I was ready for more.  She turned and looked at me with the sweetest face and lovingly stated:  "Thank you honey for bringing me back home.  I didn't want to stay in that other town tonight."

You just want to scream at her and try to figure out WHAT IN THE WORLD?  But it is pointless.  We unloaded the van.  I piled everything back up in the kitchen and dining room.  I'm sure the neighbors had a big laugh.

I went straight to my bedroom and threw myself across the bed.  She came in and gave me her teeth and said she was going to bed as well.  I replied "that is probably a good idea!"

Of course, the thought of all that stuff being piled up in the dining room got the best of her and within an hour, she was up and putting it all back where it belonged.

Moral of the story, don't play along with the delusion...unless you are willing to play the entire game.  I had to play the entire game and this quarterback was wiped out!  Wait, I guess I was a receiver or tailback.    Quarterbacks control the game, and Grandma was in complete control of moving her stuff!  I just ran the play that she called. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Finalist for Best Personal Blog!

I was a finalist for Best Personal Blog!  Very cool!  What an honor!  Check out the other blogs.

Thank you, Dementia!

Thank you, Dementia!

Thank you?  Yes, you read it right.  Dementia is all about the mind and what is lost from our loved ones.  But sometimes, when our loved ones lose someone then the grieving process is really easy.

It has been almost three years since my grandfather passed away.  He was 92.   He hurt his hip and went down fast from that point.  While we were losing Grandpa, Grandma was oblivious to the situation.

Tonight, when I came in the door, she was doing her usual packing and moving from one room to another.  I asked her what she was doing.  She told me about Grandpa going to Hot Springs and wanting to get a house over there.  I just went along with the story.  She said she was having to pack everything and get ready for the move.  I asked her about the clothes and items on the table.  She said she didn't know how they got there.  She reiterated how upset she was with Grandpa.  She said that she wished he would just get settled and stay in one spot.

We tell her all the time that Grandpa is dead and he isn't coming back.  Do you know how hard that is to say every single day?   And why do we say it?  Grandma isn't going to remember it.  She isn't going to cry about losing him.  We only say it for our benefit.  She will ask when Grandpa is going to get there.  I tell her that he is dead.  She gets sad all of 30 seconds, and then she wants to know if she can put the suitcase under my bed or the vinyl records behind the headboard.

How many times have you heard about  married couples dying within a few months of each other because their hearts are broken from their loss?  June and Johnny Cash died within 4 months of each other after 35 years of marriage.  I have no idea if Grandma and Grandpa shared that kind of love for each other.  I do know,however, whenever you saw one, the other one wasn't to far behind.  They were married for over 60 years.  Even if they didn't love each other like Johnny and June, I'm sure one would be lonely without the other.

This is why I am thanking dementia.   Grandma hasn't grieved for Grandpa.  She goes about her daily task waiting for him to get home.  We can tell her about his death and where he is buried, but she forgets and starts over.  I truly believe if the dementia was gone, Grandma wouldn't be with us today.  She would have died within a few months of Grandpa. Not from old age or an illness, but from loneliness and a broken heart.

I know this blog is not like my other post.  It is just something that hit my dad and I.  We were discussing it with my other grandmother earlier tonight.

There are some funny conversations with her about Grandpa.

Grandma:  You can't sleep in this bedroom.  This is Ellis's bedroom. He will be back soon.

Me:  Ellis died.
Grandma:  YEA! (A very sarcastic tone) Sure, you better stop that lying!  You don't know one thing you are talking about.
Me:  (Thinking to myself, Grandma doesn't even know what I am talking about.)  He died 3 years ago.
At this point, grandma usually gets a little flustered, then she comes back with how she is going to tell my daddy.

I give her 5 minutes then she comes in to my room and forgets we had the conversation.  From this point, I am not going to tell her.  I'm just going to play along.  Let the fun begin!    

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dinner and a Grandma

Many times, Dad has had to miss birthday dinners and family get togethers in order to cater to Grandma at night.  Saturday night, he decided to bring Grandma to Famous Dave's for my sister's birthday dinner.  Grandma was uneasy about the trip but she got ready.  She spent Wednesday night hiding her shoes.  So, on Saturday when it was time to go, the only shoes Dad could find was the red shoes missing soles.  She put the shoes on and got in the car. Her gray stringy hair hanging down her back.

I was warned by text Grandma was on her way.  I knew in my mind this was going to be a treat for not only her but for Dad too.  We arrived around 6:00 PM at the restaurant.  Mom, Dad, Grandma, and 10 other relatives were waiting on us.  I naturally took my seat beside Grandma.  She didn't know my name, but she recognized me to some extent.  She was glad to see us but I could tell she was overwhelmed by all the faces.

She nibbled constantly on chips and appetizers while we waited on our food.  I videotaped her with my phone.  She would be talking and when she saw the camera, she would shut up!  I was really wanting to catch her make some comments.  My sister's ring caught her eye.  She told me she had lost her rings. I told her that she had hid them in her house.  I started filming her again and she saw herself on the phone.  She smiled and said "Hello".  As soon as the camera went off, she said she looked like an old hag.

We ate and carried on with our dinner.  She saw my sister and mom talking.  She thought they were talking about her.  I told her that they were talking about me.  She said they kept looking at her and making comments.  I told her again that they were talking about me not her.

She ate everything on her plate.  She really enjoyed the meal and enjoyed visiting but you could tell the night was taking its toll on her.  She finished up her meal and said she had a little headache.

Around 7:00 PM, the fun started!  The waitress arrived with the check and gave it to Daddy.  OMG!!  She looked at me and wanted to know if he was going to pay for the meal.  I said yes and told her daddy always pays for the meals.  Sara told her the same thing.   She was upset about this situation.

Grandma:  He can't afford to pay for YOUR meals. He is my husband, and I am a nurse.  I work at the hospital and we can't afford this.

Me:  It is ok, Grandma.  He does this all the time.  (WRONG COMMENT)

Grandma:  You need to pass a basket around the table so everyone can chip in and pay for all this food.

Me:  It is ok.  We are fine.

Grandma:  Yeah..You want him to pay.   I know how you all operate.  You take us out to eat and make him pay.  You stick us with the bill, and you get off scott free!

By this time, I was laughing.

She started getting agitated.  She mumbled something to daddy.

My mother, looked at Daddy and said:  Sweetheart, do you need something?

Grandma asked who she was.  I told her mom was Daddy's wife Brenda.

She gave mom a look and nodded at her.  She had made several looks towards mom.  Mom said the seating arrangement would be different the next time.  LOL

Grandma decided she had enough of all this commotion.  She pushed her seat back and said she was going home.

Everyone was looking at her and asked her where she was going.  She walked towards the other table and grabbed a paper towel to blow her nose.  I went to her and told her that we would be leaving soon. She was ready to go right now!  I asked her if she needed to go to the bathroom.  She said she could wait until she got home.  A 45 minute drive, I didn't think she could hold it.  I offered to take her to the bathroom.

We get in the bathroom.  It didn't dawn on me until she was trying to operate the electric paper towel dispenser that she didn't understand what to do.   Kiley and I were laughing when she pushed the motion sensor to get towels out.

We got out of there quickly and she told me I wasn't moving quick enough.  I led her out to the van.  Daddy opened up the door for anyone riding with him to get in.  Grandma made a line to the van.  She got in and held her head.  She had all she could take.

Grandma Fears

Dementia has almost put Grandma in the state of fear all the time.  She is scared of someone coming in the door at night and losing her teeth.  I stayed a couple of nights and witnessed the fear of "the man" and losing her teeth.

I arrived at her house early.  We watched a little tv together.  She likes Wheel of Fortune.  She doesn't really get into the game but likes Vanna's dresses.  We had a good visit.   Then I decided to head to the back bedroom to go to bed.

Grandma asked if I wanted to sleep with her.  I told her I was fine in the back bedroom.  She sarcastically asked me if I wanted the bed all to myself.  I tried to respond but all I got out was a simple "Yes".

Grandma:  Yeah!  Selfish aren't you!  I hope that guy gets you tonight and then you will scream for me to come in here!  I won't come because you don't want me in here.

As quick as she told me how selfish I was, she then turned and told me that she didn't want me to slip out of the bed and out the front door.  She knows my daddy and he won't allow that foolishness!

Another night, I stayed with her.  We did  the routine of getting ready for bed.  I put her teeth in the cabinet.  I listened to the story about how the woman comes in her house everyday and takes the mates to all her shoes.  This woman evidently only needs one shoe and likes to surprise people.  She also likes to come to Grandma's house and move her stuff around.   This action just infuriates Grandma.  She does not like people to touch her stuff.  We spent an hour hiding stuff under my bed and in the closet in my room.

Around 8:15, she came in and asked me:  You got my teeth?  There is a man that comes every night and gets my teeth. (my dad)  He puts them in the cabinet in the bathroom.  I don't want him to get them tonight.  I will hide them in the window.

I responded with a nod and told her to go ahead.  She hid the teeth and left the room.

About 20 minutes later, she came back in the room:  You got my teeth?  There is a man that comes every night and gets my teeth.  He puts them in the cabinet in the bathroom.  I don't want him to get them tonight.  I am going to hide them in the closet.

I nodded and told her where she had hid them in the window.  She moved them to the closet and went back to bed.

This occurred about 8 more times.  She hid them in the dresser, under the bed, in the cabinet, on the shelf, in a box, and in the kleenex.  Same question and same story about "the man" coming in every night and getting them.

The last time she came in the room was around midnight.  She peeked in the room and wanted to know if I had her teeth.

Me:  Yes, I have your teeth.  There is a man that comes in every night and gets your teeth.  He puts them in the cabinet in the bathroom.  Tonight, we decided to hide them in the window, in the closet, in the dresser, under the bed, in the cabinet, on the shelf, in a box, and finally in the kleenex.  He isn't going to get them tonight.

Grandma:  Well!  You think you know everything......DON'T YOU?

She slammed the door as she left the room.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to not laugh out loud at her when she says these things?