Dear Grandma, You’re not Karma, So quit being a B!t@h

Sorry, not sorry for the language. I’ve been chanting this phrase to myself for a good 2 weeks. My husband has informed my Southern Baptist self that those words are inappropriate and I should not repeat them, and I especially should not type them. Well, come live in my world a few days and you’ll realize that sometimes normal words just don’t do the situation justice. You need a little spice to express your frustration. I once read an article that said that people only cuss because they are unintelligent and have limited vocabulary. That may be true in my case, because I swear this dementia is freaking contagious. I am getting more forgetful and dumber every single day.

Turns out, Grandma really, really likes to be the center of attention and she really, really, really likes to be waited on. And, like a 2 year old, most of the time it is just easier to wait on her than to argue with her about doing crap for herself. And, so over the course of the last 2 years we have spoiled her. Small problem- I had to have surgery. Not only could I not wait on her hand and foot, people were waiting on me and giving me attention, and she got kinda pushed by the wayside. Granny got pissed, and Granny showed out!!!!

I can’t remember all the funny stories over the last 4 weeks. Remember, that stinkin’ dementia is contagious and I am afraid I’m getting a real bad case. The first four days after my surgery I could do nothing for myself. And by nothing, I mean NOTHING. Just take a minute and imagine what exactly that means others had to do for me, and make it 10 times worse. Because even though I planned things perfectly in the month as to how things should flow, let’s just say I got an unexpected visitor the day following surgery that just made everything way worse than it really needed to be. There is no doubt remaining as to whether or not my husband and daughter love me……

Anyway, the second day I was home in bed just avoiding the world, because that’s just how I am when I am sick. Grandma comes barging in my room and proclaims that she is having chest pains and needs to go to the hospital. I question her a bit to see if she’s having heart attack kind of chest pains, or heart burn type of chest pains, or if she’s really having no chest pains at all. Because, quiet honestly, you just really never know. Gran gets testy about me questioning her, so I calmly explain that I really need her to tell me the details about her chest pains so when I call the ambulance to come get her, they know how to treat her. To which she responds something along the lines, “I don’t want you to call an ambulance! I want you to get your fat ass out of bed and take me to the hospital and sit and talk to me.” Sorry, Grandmother, I can’t drive. I’ve had surgery, the only way for you to get somewhere is in an ambulance. “You’re just a lazy, no-good liar.” Well, okay, but I still can’t drive, so tell me about those chest pains so I know what to tell 911. Needless to say, she suddenly felt great and wanted to know what my mother in law was fixing for dinner because she was there with me.

I’m kinda sorta afraid my mother in law may never come back and help because those 2 days she was here, Gran wore her slap out following her around like a puppy trying to help. We have a conspiracy theory to send Gran to live with PawPaw (Jeff’s dad) and let BeBe (Jeff’s mom) move in with us. PawPaw is starting to show some signs of dementia so they’d be perfect roommates and those of us not yet on the downhill slide could maintain our sanity. And, they both love to talk, so it would be perfect.

Anyway, our other drama has been sleep training. Gran somehow got off track again and has been up all night roaming. Let’s just say my ability to tolerate much of anything greatly decreases with interrupted sleep. So, I get real motivated to ensure I get 8 hours sleep each night. And, sometimes that means enduring hell on earth from 3:00-8:00 to make sure Gran learns when bedtime is. So, over the last couple weeks we have been forcing her to stay up. It hasn’t been real pretty. She has cussed us like a sailor. She even makes up these really funny bad names to call us. She thinks she is being super mean, but they are just really funny. When we laugh, and sometimes you just can’t help it, it makes her really mad. She has hit Jeff, nearly beat the door down with her cane, and threatened to run away to Hell because Hell would be a better place to live than here. There are times that I am not sure I disagree with her.

She’s also back to taking the kids food. I don’t know why she does this. Poor Sam eats like a cricket, he certainly doesn’t need anyone taking what very little food he does put on his plate to eat.

And, yelling at the kids and just saying super mean things to them. I don’t know why she hates the kids so much. Actually, I’m pretty sure it is because I am constantly doing things for them, which in her mind puts them in competition with her. It really is a terrible convoluted way to think. But, part of it she just can’t help. And, part of it is her just being mean. I can tell when she knows exactly what she is doing. She is so easy to trap in a lie or catch when she knows she’s doing something she shouldn’t be. Just like a little kid, they’re terrible liars.

Gran is also walking down to the neighbors and telling them that we have left her alone for days. That she was keeping the kids and they have run away, and all kinds of craziness. That is super awesome. I’m just waiting for DHS to show up when she gets in with one of our not as nice and understanding neighbors or one of the new ones that don’t know us.

My time is running out before my next gig, and my brain is flaking on all the other funny stories I had to tell from the past few weeks. Maybe my brain will remember them for another day….

Where have you been?

A couple of people have asked me where I’ve been lately. Well, I had this great idea to have bilateral carpal tunnel surgery on January 25. So, I was basically handless for the better part of a week, and recovery has been slow and steady. Typing isn’t so much an issue, so that isn’t why I haven’t written. It is just that I’m operating at about 75% and I have to chose my activities very wisely.

For those of you are interested in the journey and want to see the pictures and details, keep reading. For those of you who don’t want to see or know, stop here.

First of all, my symptoms and what got me to the point of having surgery in the first place. I have suffered with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for the better part of 10 years, getting progressively worse with each of my pregnancies. In the last year, the pain and numbness has gotten to a point I really couldn’t deal with it anymore. I would wake up at night with sharp shooting pain from my shoulder blade all the way to the tips of my fingers. And, when I got up each morning, my hands were completely numb. During the day I would have some pain, but the primary problem was burning and numbness. I had gotten to the point that I couldn’t even dry my hair because I couldn’t maintain grip on the hair dryer. I would be drinking and drop the glass. When writing, I would get 10-15 words done before I had to stop and wiggle my fingers and shake my hands out before beginning again. It was just time to get some relief. The initial plan was to have one hand done, then the other 4 weeks later. I talked through it with my surgeon, and all things considered in life, we just decided to knock it out and do them both at the same time.

The first 4 days were totally brutal. I could do NOTHING for myself. That made for some super bonding time with my daughter and husband. And, I couldn’t have survived without my mother-in-law’s help.

The surgery in and of itself was relatively easy. I was in and out in 2 hours. I felt immediate pain relief from my CTS symptoms. However, my hands hurt like a mother after the surgery. They gave me hydrocodone for the pain. Fun discovery, I’m allergic. Nothing like having hives and feeling like you are on fire inside out when your hands are useless and you can’t scratch…..

Pictures from surgery day…. Surprise, you get to have an IV in your foot when you are operating on both hands. The hands themselves really didn’t hurt that bad. The foot, it hurt like crazy. My other foot hurt too, because they tried 3 times to get the IV in that one before I told them I was done.

Three days post surgery, I got my bandages off. The pain was starting to subside, but the “healing itch” factor was an issue. The pain was starting to change from incision site to recovery of the muscles that were relearning how to work.

Did I ever mention that I tend to bruise really badly? I mean I looked like I had gone 12 round with Mike Tyson. This was 6-8 days post surgery.

Three weeks post surgery, I am looking and feeling much better. Scabs and slight bruising remain, but in general I’m all good. I still can’t lift over 5 pounds. I haven’t mastered the squeeze and twist motion. The biggest problem with this is that I can’t open bottles of water or any twist top that isn’t already loose.


I don’t want to undermine the surgery at all. It is a big deal. Especially if you’re doing both at the same time. However, three weeks post surgery I am truly thankful that I did both of them at the same time. Total recovery is 6-8 weeks, so I’m half way there and I’m not forced to be thinking about going in for a second round.

So thanks for being patient in my absence. Just wanted to let you know where I’ve been. I have lots of stories to tell from the last few weeks. I’m just hoping they stay with me long enough for me to get caught up on life.