Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slip Sliding Away

This morning I came downstairs to my mother in the bathroom off the kitchen. This is mildly refreshing as she hasn’t been in that bathroom for several weeks. She wears her bathroom. The current caregivers are ambitious and actually try to put her on the toilet now and then. They also try to patiently teach her to tell them when she has to urinate, but without much luck. Memory is a key element in education.

Her slide is elusive. Certain topics elude her; others stay with her. As she was done with the toilet, I could hear the hand washing discussion. She didn’t feel it was necessary since she didn’t touch anything. Actually she didn’t remember touching anything. Same thing to her.

Leaving the bathroom, her mind finds a moment of clarity as she asks the caregiver if she should turn right or left. The clarity was brief. The next question to the caregiver was about me.

“How long have I known her?”

The caregive answered patiently. “All her life.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ramming Speed

Note to the caregiver agency.....

Just last month I replaced the dishwasher and they still don't know how to work it. Today I have a new washer machine to replace one that was not new, but too young to have mysteriously died.
The delivery people specifically instructed D to not run it until the manual was read; that this washer machine was tricky. D told E and E admits to hearing this. However, E completely ignored instructions and threw a load in. When I told her about this, she very sarcastically said "OH MY GOD" like I was making a big deal out of a little thing.

From this moment forward, I do not want any of your employees to use any appliances expect the blender, stove and refrigerator. I don't even want them using the disposal as I came home one day to find one of the caregivers jamming and banging a brush down it. They can through garbage out and wash dishes by hand. I have also had to pick out broken dishes from the old replaced dishwasher. That machine died because the soap dish had been chronically overloaded.

I will process Grace's laundry and leave it to them to sort. I don't want to have to keep replacing pricey appliance due to abuse.

PS... when I got home, E would not look at me nor speak to me. Guess she's mad. What she didn't know is that I prefer the silence.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Red Hair

There isn't much these days on which Grace and I connect. One thing does come to mind; my hair color. She looks at me with this wistful smile and says, "I like your hair color."

I shake my head to flip around my hair and say, "What do you mean? This is my natural color!"

She laughs.

Oddly this is the only thing I can do to make her laugh. She used to laugh a lot, but if my 'red' hair can bring a smile, then .. cool.

For all other events in her life, she is sarcastic, impatient and crabby. She tells the caregiver she wants something to eat and if they aren't back in 15 seconds, the tirade begins. She yells and tells them to hurry up. If she didn't have Alzheimer's, you'd have to take her nastiness seriously. Now, I just walk away, or start to sing.. if you're happy and you know it....