This is my second attempt at this post. Actually, it is about my 50th. I needed to write 3 or 4 different posts over the last 5 days. But, I never got time to set down and write it out. I just spent the last hour writing, and it went away. I love it. Maybe that is good. My anger and frustrations had time to subside. My kids won’t read this in the years to come and wonder why mom dropped the f bomb on social media. Trust me, it has gone through my head on more than one occasion over the last few days. So, let’s take a journey through the stories…..
This weekend Jeff and Sam were out of town for boys weekend. Sam is by far Grandmother’s favorite. (Sorry Lexi Kate) He is sweet, he gives hugs. He hides when he doesn’t want to talk. Instead of sitting near Grandmother and just not talking. Anyway, he is gone Grandmother is not happy. While Lexi Kate was playing with a neighbor I decided to take Grandmother to Costco. She hadn’t been out in a few days, she loves grocery shopping, win/win. WRONG. She hated Costco. She complained about it being too big, she complained about it being to crowded, she complained about the cart being too hard to push, she complained about not having a cart to push, she complained about it being too expensive (Never mind the fact that we are buying a pack of 18 paper towels instead of 1. She much prefers to buy one roll of paper towels and one pack of toilet paper at a time. That way we go to the grocery every day. Ain’t nobody got time for that.), she complained about them not having things she wanted. She ran over me with cart. Whatever, it’s fine. My legs are covered in bruises and busted veins anyway.
So, the day goes on. I don’t feel like cooking, Lexi Kate wants steak for dinner, Grandmother wants a burger for dinner. We all agree to go to O’Charley’s. We went at 4:45, before it gets dark, before it gets crowded. What can possibly go wrong? EVERYTHING….. We walk in and the lobby is full of a boys soccer team waiting to be seated. She complains about the crowd. The boys immediately get up off the bench and offer her their seat. She complains about the hard bench being too low. At this point, I should have just went home. But, I am stubborn person, we stayed. I make everyone commit to what they are ordering. We are ready. The waitress comes and takes our order. Grandma hears me order Prime Rib. She suddenly wants that instead of her burger. I try to tell her that she doesn’t like prime rib. They can not get prime rib extra well done without ruining it. After our lengthy discussion she orders prime rib anyway. And, we wait….. She also had ordered hot tea. The waitress brought her hot tea. It was delightful, until it wasn’t. She drank the first cup, the water in the kettle had gotten cold. She was mad, and no longer wanted the tea. The waitress came back and she order a glass of water, no ice. Like any reasonable person, the waitress assumed she wanted a drinking glass with cold water in it, and she delivered such. Nope. Grandmother yelled at her for being stupid and not bringing more hot water for hot tea. I apologized and took the blame, saying I misunderstood and told the waitress wrong thing. All good, she brought more hot tea. And, then the prime rib came. Perfectly over well done. Charred on the outside. Mine was medium, a hint of darkness on the outside, pink inside. Perfect. It was yummy. Except, remember what I said about Grandmother not liking prime rib. That didn’t change. She cut into and immediately saw the grey/pink color and threw a fit. It wasn’t well done. I explained that it was very well done for prime rib. She went about eating her potato then came back to the prime rib. She tasted it, she hated it. I offered to buy her a steak. She gave me the understanding she wouldn’t ever eat anything else from that restaurant. The rest of us continued eating. Lexi Kate and her friend needed a break, so they went to the bathroom. The waitress made the dreadful mistake of coming back to the table to see how things were going. Grandmother told her how horrible it was (same waitress that heard me tell her she didn’t like prime rib), how they should be ashamed to serve such, and then she THREW THE PRIME RIB. She refused to pay for the prime rib. I picked it up, and assured her that we would in fact be paying for the prime rib she put on the floor. The girls came back. I needed minute, and went to the bathroom to put cold water on my face. Not sure if I was having a panic attack or a hot flash, but I had to cool off. During the time I was gone, Grandmother made the waitress cry again. I told the girls to shovel the rest of their food down so we could go. The waitress brought our check and brought me a piece of caramel pie with a smiley face on it. It was girl code for you need wine, but it is illegal for me to send you out of here with alcohol, so have pie. On our way out, Grandmother fell in the parking lot. I almost killed myself trying to catch her and hold on to the pie. But, I was not dropping the pie! I am fairly certain the fall was on purpose. Grandmother is pretty good at gaining sympathy when you’re mad…. But, I don’t know that for certain. Anyway, we got home. We went to bed. And desperately prayed for God’s mercies to be new in the morning.
Sunday was a great day for our family of 4. We celebrated my sister in law with a surprise 50th birthday party, and a surprise engagement from her boyfriend. It was great. So happy to see the way God redeems situations and always adds in a little bonus. The kids loved seeing their cousins and playing in leaves, and what little girl doesn’t love seeing a proposal. I enjoyed the good food, laughter, conversation and a break.
Monday, thank God for Monday. It is a new week. We will move on. The physical therapist came to see Grandmother. We really like him. He is super good with her. She thinks he’s hot. Whatever, gets her motor turning. As he was leaving, he told me I couldn’t keep doing what we were doing. Well, again, I am a stubborn old mule. The minute you tell me I can’t, I am motivated to die trying. I can, I will. We have to….. Just like the teacher who once told me I couldn’t pass her class. I was determined to make an A in her class if I had to fail all the other ones trying. Anyway, he was just talking about her condition gets worse each week. She can no longer remember simple instructions and she is very weak and prone to falls. He went on to say that her trachea seems to continue to tighten, restricting air flow, making pneumonia a certainty this winter. We know what pneumonia does to heart patients….. But, I just can not imagine putting her in a nursing home right now. I cannot bear the thought of her being drugged into sedation. It’s probably not the right choice. But, today it is the choice I have to stick with.
Tuesday, Tuesday has to be better. I decided to give Gran another shot at eating out. I made her pick the restaurant, I made her order before I ordered. She complained her food was cold and had no taste. It was a meat and 3, we got the same veggies. Mine were so hot I couldn’t eat them. My mouth was burning. I put ice in my carrots to cool them off. But, hers were frozen. I know her taste buds are messed up. But, apparently her hot and cold sensors are shot too. She made a scene about them taking my $20 and putting crap on a plate. I smiled and waved good bye. And dropped her butt off at the house. While I was at work she called to tell me she unplugged the crock pot because the chicken I was cooking for dinner was done. It was 2:00, it is pork loin. It is not done. Even if it is done, leave it plugged in so it doesn’t get cold. I went home and plugged it back up. In my angst, I put it on high. We had over cooked pork loin for dinner. Karma sucks. My dishwasher also quit working. It was full of dirty dishes. That’s freaking fantastic.
Wednesday, hump day. I will make Grandmother happy. I will make her smile. I will break her from being grumpy. I bring her a peace offering. She has been asking for chocolate pie all week. Chocolate pie is her favorite thing in the world. I will be late for work but I will make the chocolate pie. And she will love it. And she will love me. And all will be right in the world. I sat the beautiful pie on the counter and told her I made it just for her. She complained. She didn’t want the pie. I shouldn’t have gone through the trouble. I most certainly shouldn’t have left her more dirty dishes to wash (I explained I would wash the dishes.) She refused to eat the pie because I shouldn’t do things I didn’t have time to do. I MIGHT LOSE MY MIND! EAT THE FREAKING PIE! But, I smiled. I spoke kindly. I left for work. I picked up our Christmas Cards, I had lunch with my little boy at school, I sent an offer on an unlisted property. I am happy. I don’t care if she isn’t happy. She can’t control my response. I am happy, I am smiling. So what if I don’t quiet believe it yet.
One new development in her diagnosis is the suggestion of Lewy Body Dementia. I had never heard of it before Robin Williams. I still didn’t know about it. But, as I have started to research, it is absolutely spot on. It explains some of her symptoms that don’t exactly line up with Alzheimer’s. It also explains why her mood altering medications work for 6 weeks and then poof, they don’t. It may not be our answer, but it is a clue. And, unfortunately, like Alzheimer’s there is no cure. But, we have another piece to the puzzle to help our fight move forward to a better life while we have it.
So, we pray for new mercies minute by minute. We fight. We cry. We smile. We offer peace offerings and carry on.