Friday, July 10, 2009

In the Prone Position

I have a new agency and am glad for the change. They do things a bit differently; much for the better. One interesting practice is that they get Grace up the minute they arrive. The other agency let her sleep and woke her around 9:30 a.m. Not this gang, it’s up and at ‘em at 7:30 a.m. What Grace has forgotten is that she is not a morning person. Her body may be up, but I promise you nothing else is.

The caregivers don’t have the history, but it is interesting from my perspective. They clean her up put her in her wheel chair and pour her onto the couch. Grace waves to me as I run around getting all my morning tasks done before I’m off to work.

As I prepared the fruit and vegetable bowl for my parrot who is nagging me and saying “apple” over and over, I was watching the feeding ritual. Her cheerios in milk are now blended into a sort of cold, sweet stew. Looks awful to me, but Grace eagerly takes it and actually picked it up and started feeding herself.

The caregiver brought the towel to put in her collar thus minimizing the day’s accumulation of food in her clothes. Grace’s eagerness waned quickly and this became the same battle at every meal. She wants to lie down. She takes a bite, swishes it around her mouth for about 2 minutes and tries to lie down while doing this. The caregiver doesn’t want this to happen because she’ll choke. The woman chokes easily; add that tendency plus the position plus a mouthful of unswallowed food, and an episode of coughing and gagging is not far behind.

Caregiver: “You can’t lie down”
Grace: “Why”
Hedwig: "apple apple apple"
Caregiver: “You’ll choke on your food”
Grace: “You’re mean”
Hedwig: "apple apple"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grandma's Train of Thought

Grandma: Mandy!
Mandy: Yes?
Grandma: Are there turkeys outside?
Mandy: No...
Grandma: Okay then just chickens.