So for the last couple of weeks, we’ve had the “pleasure” of Granny’s company. After her stint at the restaurant upon arrival, she’s settled down a little bit.
Just a little.
We knew that she is in the early stages of dementia, but her medications seem to have stalled any further progress for the meantime.
A few of the quirky things she’s got going on list as the following:
Her underwear — as she belongs to the LDS church, she wears “garments.” I know from experience that she does laundry only once a week, so I had to find her worn garments and wash them.
She wouldn’t just put them in the clothes bin, though. She hid them Under her pillow. At the bottom of her suitcase. Tucked under the mattress....
I never say a word, just do a quick recon of the room and whisk them out to the laundry room.
She had a couple of accidents in the bathroom and was completely oblivious to it. The Kid called her out on it, he was really upset.
She felt terrible. For about two seconds, and then when something funny came on TV, she completely forgot about it.
Hubs went out right away and got her a big package of adult underwear, something along the line of “Depends.”
She wore them twice and said, “Never again! They make me feel old!”
She’s on notice though, that one more time with the accidents and I’ll staple them to her body.
She’s gotten into the horrible habit of crying every time a dog food commercial comes on, or a pet plea comes on, or a shelter advert comes on.
“I want a dog so bad...” and she starts weeping like a 5-year-old.
Then a commercial will come on that shows a baby laughing or smiling and the dog wanting is completely forgotten.
See? No short term memory. At all.
I could write down our daily dialogue because it’s virtually the same thing every morning.
She gets out of bed, groaning.
The thump, skid, thump, skid of her cane hitting the floor and her shoe following behind is her wake-up calling card.
“How are you this morning, Gramma?”
“I’m not gonna make it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me today. I just don’t feel like doing anything.”
“Really? You said that yesterday.”
“But today is worse.”
“You said that, too.”
She grins and says, “Well. It’s worse today.”
Then the real stuff begins: ‘Where are my pills? Did they come?’ ‘Did I take my pills today?’
“What day is it?” (that one is asked about 15 times a day) ‘When am I going home?’
‘When am I getting my hair done?’ ‘Did we have Christmas yet?’ (that was asked about 12 times two days after the fact) and of course, the classic: ‘Where’s my purse?’
She has a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night, and because she is who she is, she wakes me up to keep her company till she falls back to sleep.
She has her particular favorite shows to watch, and Lord honey, do not take the remote away from her or you will hear about it.
Every show she watches she says, “Oh ...I’ve never seen this episode before...”. Well, she has, it’s just that her memory is so shot she thinks they’re all new episodes.
She asks if the male characters in each show are gay.
Don’t ask me why, she just does.
If you say no, she’ll ask a few more times.
If you say yes, she’ll get upset and say so, but she won’t ask again. So as far as she knows, all the male characters on her favorite shows are gay.
She can’t “eat a thing,” yet somehow every square inch of chocolate in the house has disappeared. And the wrappings have all been found under her chair.
“Did I do that?”
“Yes, you did.”
As I’m sitting here writing, we’ve just had a two-hour ping-pong match about whether or not she took the last pill of the evening.
“Yes. But you took it at breakfast.”
“Oh no. I did?”
“Yes. You took it at breakfast and you didn’t have a stroke. You didn’t have a heart attack. Your hair didn’t fall out ...yet...”
There has a been a lull as she watches a movie, but then “I still don’t know what I’m doing...have we had Christmas?”
And there you have it. Another Christmas missed in her mind, yet she has the gifts to prove it actually happened. She keeps telling me it stinks to get old. Don’t I know it....