Welcome to THE GRANNY DIARIES new home. Wipe your feet and come on in. Sure hope you’re HUNGRY. Just look below!
This afternoon I spent the majority of my time searching for the missing left lens to my MIL Ru’s glasses. Who KNOWS how long she’d been walking around like that. But interestingly.. not ONE person noticed there was anything unusual going on. UNTIL Ru walked up to staff to have her eye examined. Because, GET THIS.. she was starting to SEE things that weren’t there before. Like PEOPLE.
Yes.. vision can improve WITHOUT three layers of hand lotion coating the glass.
Posted 3 years, 10 months ago at 9:13 pm. 3 comments
This entire week I’ve been sounding like a broken record. First I’m greeted by granny Marnie who’s rocking the David Bowie, Life on Mars, gangrenous eyed look. Let’s see.. there’s a swath of pink. Oh.. and a rich plum color, more in the creases of the lid to play off the orange-red of the eyeball. But mostly green and bluish hue’s. You know— to accentuate the swelling and MAKE the eye really look like it’s POPPING.. OUT. I’ll bet you guys think THIS sounds like a medical condition that might possibly fall under EMERGENCY status. Like I should have made her CANCEL the bridge game and gone straight to the doctor. Are you kidding? Just pick up her lithe 180 pound ass pound frame from the electric scooter and carry her into the car kicking and screaming. Well.. I’ve got news for you, FREE WILL people. There will be no doctor appointment today. I was trying to LIFT her out of the scooter.. and my back went out.
“Mark my words Marnie. It’s gonna fall right out and then DON’T you dare come crying to me with your good eye. Got it?”
I decided to go with Marnie’s sound argument that she’s still BREATHING. If she weren’t.. she’d sit the game out. I almost believe her. Plus a really good friend who USED to be a NURSE of the veterinarian variety ALREADY examined her. I know.. phew, right? Load off MY MIND. A little pink eye, allergic reaction to rawhide bones, maybe something she ate in the CHUCK WAGON. Oh.. and should I not believe it’s nothing— Lookie here. Marnie’s about to PROVE to me that she can touch her nasty EYEBALL to the card table and rub it around and it doesn’t even hurt AT. ALL. Don’t I feel (insert unhappy beeotch face here)
Then my dear granny starts with the reassuring. Let’s say the eyeball does indeed fall out, like I’m now threatening her it will and then rolls under something. I have NOTHING to worry about because she’s skilled at this sort of rescue mission. Do I know that RUSTY hanger in the hall closet? She’ll fish the eye out from under her couch with that. Ha. And.. as an added bonus, will take great pains to wipe off the fuzzies FIRST before she puts it BACK in the socket. Or.. she may even go that EXTRA step to shut me UP to avoid infection, by giving said EYE an obligatory rinse-off because of the five-second rule.
That’s fine and good except.. uh oh! You’ll become distracted by the hammering on the door and me screaming. WHOOOOOOSH.. there it goes slipping through your fingers and down the drain. No more eyeball. It’s all my fault. Bridge game CANCELLED. Come with meeeee while there’s still time.
Nope. She’ll borrow drops from her neighbor.
A few hours later on the other side of town.. in dementia Ville I was standing curbside with my MIL Ru. Who thought it would be a good idea to leave the safety of ROAM and venture outside for a walk. The problem was, we encountered a STEP. We looked at it for awhile. Talked about it’s size. Then Ru starts with the twenty questions. “Right or left first?” Times 20.
Believe me. Ru knows BETTER then to EVER ask me for my advice— because then thirty minutes IN.. she’s like, OK I’ve had enough. I want to OPT OUT and be CARRIED down. Here.. I’ll climb on your back.
Ummmmm… I don’t THINK so. It’s so ridiculous because I promised myself this time, I would say nothing. Just let Ru figure out the solution to her little problem HERSELF. Seriously, I don’t want anyone calling me a controlling STAGE mom again and I don’t like being the one to ALWAYS decide things.
“Step down with the RIGHT one first. I’d do it (drink heavily) if I were youuuu. Just take a chance. What’s the matter? You C-H-I-C-K-E-N?”
RU: Why shouldn’t I step with the left foot first for a change?
ME: Then step with the LEFT for GAWDS SAKES.
RU: I heard the right one is better.
ME: Yes. I heard that too.
ME: Jump. Jump. Jump. Jump. Jump.
OMGEEEE. YOU’RE NAGGING ME AGAIN. I CAN’T TAKE IT. SHOOT ME PLEEEEEZE SOMEONE..
Some people aren’t happy till they get even..
Play this twenty-five thousand times and then you’ll understand.
Posted 3 years, 10 months ago at 9:52 pm. 4 comments
It was absolutely mass hysteria. I’m talking the likes of which I’ve NEVER seen before. Here I am innocently walking down the hall of ROAM, slapping backs, holding hands.. you know, doing a little skin to skin with people that seldom get any. Skin. Out of the corner of my eye I see maybe a handful of staff charging towards me and the head CNA (certified nursing assistant) practically dropping to her knees at my sight.. and NOT because Helen stuck her foot out to trip over, either. AAACK! Ru’s DIL.. Hallelujah thank GAWD you’re here.. Naturally I’m starting to get nervous, because NO one. I repeat NO ONE.. is EVER glad I’m here. Except for my MIL Ru and maybe the fake Phil Donahue, who garners a great deal of pleasure from squeezing my bulging eyes fishy pen over and over with his falsetto voice delivering some pathetic rap about swimming little fishies who swam into a dam and..
Boop boop dit-em dat-em Scooby dooby doo.. they get eaten by a shark named NEMOOOO.
I dunno. Personally I think he’s been.. (makes drinking motions).
At this point, all I can do is observe the lips on Nurse Ratched in need of some serious waxing MOVING, as they begin to form words. While I’m having this.. WHOA. OUT of body experience. Like the sensation you read about, but scoff at because your SOUL is about ten to fifteen pounds over it’s ideal target weight so it’s not FLOATING anywhere. And this all happens before.. you DIE. Oh and what about the part where you see light and have a FLASH of everything you’ve ever.. eaten. Right before it’s thrown up a little in your mouth. Maybe for a bit of variety.. Selma’s bunny slippered feet might be enjoyable also for this use. I only say that because at this moment they are maliciously KICKING my leg, while COMFORTING words are being hissed from her throat. There was:
“Get out of my way.. I can’t SEE what they’re saying with your big head sitting there.”
“What did you do to her now?”
And my old school fav—
“You need that scone like a hole in the head. It’s sickening me. No. YOU’RE sickening me.”
Nice. So as I’m standing there having a freaking HEART ATTACK and shoving the last bit of scone in my mouth to soothe my stomach. And oh how THAT was starting to look like not the most intelligent move. I was to my credit still able to croak out the words, IS EVERYONE STILL ALIVE? Figuring everything after a YES SHE IS would be g-r-a-v-y.
“We need to talk to you about Ru..”
Here it comes.. OK. BREATHE.
Is she all right?
“she has no..”
PULSE? DEPENDS? MEMORY?
Well— even soooooo much better then I could’ve EVER imagined. GA. I’m so proud of you, our lovely team of ROAM staff. The brightest and best I always say (cough cough.. water.) Hand picked from a huge group (of Mario Kart winners) to take care of my precious flower of a MIL.
Ummm.. On a side note, something you guys should know about this sort of drama on ROAM.. BIG draw. People FLOCK to watch it. It’s like they can SMELL trouble over the cream of chicken soup stench and because it’s not THEM who got busted, they’re all SUPER psyched to see who it is. There’s pushing and shoving. Bets being placed, even trash talk from the sidelines..
SELMA: Do you mean to tell me, you had no PANTS to go with her SWEATER? Or you just couldn’t find the pants? Because I have pants she might be able to wear (around her ankles) if you want them. Maybe her DIL hid them from her.. who KNOWS? It’s certainly been known to happen. I say $5 on the DIL. Anyone else in?
“Yo. Selma..” (zipping motion over lips)
And being the hyper diligent well-trained staff that you ARE.. you called 911 immediately, right? What? And speak UP so Selma can hear you.
Ru had no pants in her closet. We know this for a fact. What we don’t know is WHY she had no pants and what she DID with her pants she no longer has. For this.. we need to bring in our defendant. Hey! Lady Godiva! Girl wearing the kissy lips jammy pants, Liz Claiborne denim jacket and macaroni necklace (I threw away twice). Please state your name for the record.
“You know my name. It’s Ru’Mae”
ME: Ru’Mae what?
“Ru’Mae or.. MAE NOT.”
Ahh hahahaha. F-u-n-n-y.
ENOUGH! Please ladies and gentlemen.. I’ll need to ask that we have none of that snickering in my courtroom. Now Ru, I’m going to ask you a question and I want you to answer it the best you can. WHERE ARE ALL THE PANTS THAT I BOUGHT YOU??????
You sold them.
And SELMA wins the pot.
Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.
Posted 3 years, 11 months ago at 10:34 pm. 2 comments
People who will remain unnamed, but whose name rhymes with M-a-r-i-o-n, have been threatening me all morning. Apparently, I either take THEIR picture and NOT just that of my MIL Ru’s, immediately upon arrival to the big Red Hat Day extravaganza’s “step and repeat” (and repeat and repeat) area or else be prepared for an ALL KINDS of CRAZY scene.. with screaming, flailing, walker throwing.. the works. Unless they get their way and THEIR face is posted on my “GLOG” site immediatly.
Hands on the hip.. yeah, the GOOD HIP. Now show me pouty Marion. Let’s have you stand a bit more upright.. (Click) Nice. Now a smidge less drool and H-O-L-D IT.. hold it. You’re dancing Marion. I can’t get my shot.
“I’m holding it..”
Turn right. There you go. Could you maybe pull that hat lower? I feel like we need to cover more of your.. face.
OK.. now I want you to look RIGHT at my camera. Could someone face her in the right direction and give me my shot. OVER HERE Marion. Marion.. sweetie. See this thing I’m looking into right now? Marion.. GA! Stick your dentures BACK in the mouth dear. Good now.. CRIPES! Quit shaking your head like that. You just lost your hair piece. Blanche.. can you stick that THING laying on the floor on Marions head? Not the KLEENEX.. the OTHER THING. Yeah.. the dead kitty. Stick it on her.. now turn it around.
One. Two. Three. (click)
Fantastic dear. Look at this.. what do you think?
I look like I’m..
Posted 3 years, 11 months ago at 9:02 pm. 3 comments
What is the point? Apparently THIS particular dementia resident doesn’t LIKE the whole tactile experience of gardening. I’m trying to refresh my MIL Ru’s memory of something she used to love to do and all she’s doing is nervously scrutinizing the basil and mint plants like we’re running a huge chance of being busted by the Drug Enforcement Administration- ROAM floor unit. Heh. THAT might prove to have some entertainment val.. Never mind. If it DOES happen Ru, I promise.. you’ve never seen me before and you don’t know how you got here. I’ll run left and you go right (left) and I’ll trip over you.
The very minute I shoved the stolen serving utensils into Ru’s hands and told her to start mushing up the soil.. immediately in she starts with the complaints. Well, wait. Back up a sec, because FIRST, before the complaints, there was the waiting for me to pull the herbs out of the container. Followed by the flinging of dirt all over her hair and in her open mouth. But then came the complaints..
“Any reason why we can’t just get in the car and drive to a STORE to buy these? It would be much easier and then YOU wouldn’t have to get your hands dirty. Don’t you need these?”
Hahahaha. OOPS. Roots.
Well Ru, I hate to break it to you but I’m NOT getting my hands dirty. This is YOUR sensory experience.. may I call you, MOTHER EARTH? Many light years ago, when you used to refer to me, as you do now.. your sons FIRST wife.. I remember you planted these amazing Begonia’s.
“They were Dahlias. I never planted Begonia’s.. so YOU’RE wrong.”
And excuse me for that. But you did used to dig in the dirt, right? I remember there was dirt.
“Let’s see.. (thinking hard). No. I don’t think we used dirt back then.”
As I was saying. It’s really important when you have seniors with memory issues, to allow them to participate in activities that connect them to EARTH (as this might be your only chance) thus fertilizing their life experience. Unfortunately, in my case we weren’t coming back down to THIS planet. Not NOW. Not. EVAH.
It was while I was inside the dining room for all of a minute.. helping myself to a few vulger sized bites of Ru’s sponge cake, that Helen (Ru’s sometimes friend and psychic) decided to let me in on her VISION. She’s like e-x-c-u-s-e me Ru’s sons first wife. I see some trouble with your worker happening. Now, I don’t believe that Helen sees anything, but being the kind of gal who likes to be encouraging and respectful to fellow residents, I give her my full attention (while licking the cream off the plate). REALLY? Are you hearing voices or is it more like.. a hunch? That’s when I glanced out the patio window in time to witness Ru, who had apparently moments before FINISHED her planting work had now begun the arduous task.. of WEEDING them the HALLE right out. Basil stems and mint, thyme. You name it.. IT was flying all around her. And do you know want my only thought was at this point? Might I be able to salvage enough.. to smoke?
Then she wiped her hands on Helen’s shirt.
Posted 3 years, 11 months ago at 6:02 pm. Add a comment
This should explain it all. It’s a visual aid to demonstrate where my MIL Ru is in her dementia. I like to call it “Russian roulette”. Once “Vanna” spins the wheel.. the potential thoughts tumble around and around in a predictable COUNTER clockwise direction.. coming to rest on something that will come as a complete surprise to all of us. This is where it gets exciting, because THEN it’s all about CHOOSING the thought closest to her mouth FEELINGS and blurting it out with wild abandon for all to hear—
“I can see your nipples through your shirt. Is it supposed to be that way?”
It’s a system that serves her well.
Posted 3 years, 11 months ago at 6:40 pm. 5 comments
I’m not going to sit here, looking you in the.. whatever I’m currently looking at you IN and tell you, I DID NOT tell my MIL Ru that I was Cindy Crawford this morning. Ummmm after she couldn’t quite place me when I went to visit up on the ROAM (Random Occasional Accidental Memory) floor. That would be dishonest and a bold faced lie. I figured WTH.. Really? Would it be so bad if I got to choose my own moniker for once? You know.. better MY choice instead of Ru polling every Tom, Dick and Marion to hear who THEY think I am. “Excuse me? Do you know who this is?” Then Marion squints her eyes pretending to SEE, before launching into this whole story about watching me on that TV program about New York and housewives and that I fight with everyone and you have to watch me like a hawk around Bethenny because I’m sure to say SOMETHING derogatory and drag RU into it.
You’re wrong. I’m Cindy Crawford.
I know and now I’m so ashamed OK? It flew out of my mouth. It’s not like I go around telling people with dementia that I’m Cindy Crawford every day. Tell her it’s ME and I promise you, she’d be in your FACE in a heartbeat..
“I don’t THINK so. Myyyyyy DIL would N-E-V-E-R wear such an ugly GAP paisley print in that ATROCIOUS lavenderish color. Besides she’s still on MAUI enjoying her vacation (and getting drunk on pretend Melon Balls).”
“WHO are you?”
Come again. W-H-O? Like for real? Only the world’s hottest super model THAT’S who. I picked, HER.. my lovely forgetful MIL, because it seemed like the obvious.. choice. Pfffft.
Then Ru stops and has to digest this splendid morsel of bull shwank before the very appropriate and well deserved reply,
“You don’t LOOK like a super model?”
I was having NONE of that on MY special day to pick who I wanted to be. Suddenly someone with DEMENTIA is going to pee on my bull? HALLE no. And so I threw my shoulders back and sucked in my cheeks to make myself look (like an exotic PUFFER fish) SVELTE.. while doing a little flippy thing with my hair. That’s when Ru lets out this shriek of recognition..
“OH MY GAWD.. I can’t believe it.”
SQUEEEEEE!!!! Ru knows who I am. She’s BACK bay-beeee. Dementia.. bite me.
“PHIL’S sitting by himself. Get out of my way.. Cindy Brady.”
The weird thing is, Ru has this annoying tendency to snap in and out of dementia.. almost AT WILL. Or PHIL. But I, who have now decided to launch into an informal fashion show by strutting around the room and introducing myself as the face of VOGUE.. could be so easily forgotten.
I could see Ru struggle as she stood in the middle of that dining hall, weighing heavily which piece of news she should attempt to tackle first. The announcement that the fake REAL Phil Donahue look-alike was now totally up for grabs (being that he was on BREAK from Selma) for the next girl in line (her).. Or the coat I was showing (and falsely advertising as Burberry) could be had at 50% off retail price.
Ru headed straight for Mr. Donahue.
My Sandwich Generation— as hard as it is to have your senior forget who you are.. remember (after you’re done freaking OUT), the whole reinventing of yourself can be so liberating. I know one lady Lorna, who had a horrific relationship with her father BEFORE he totally forget who she was and then it was like.. BAM! She shows up one day and he’s introducing her around with, “Have you all met my favorite daughter Betty. She’s always been number one to me.” Imagine how SATISFYING that must have been for Lorna, to now get the opportunity to be the kiss-up OTHER sister. NOW.. SHE gets a turn to have the relationship with her father that she NEVER could have.. BEFORE (that beeotch sister poisoned the well) DEMENTIA. Sigh. Such a happy ending. Remember— Cuz someone has to.. the silver lining.
Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.
Posted 3 years, 11 months ago at 10:03 pm. 9 comments
It occurred to me that this might be the perfect time to pay homage to my granny Marnie (electric scooter girl) and in the process bless YOU, by sharing her delicious pearls of wisdom which have flowed all too freely from her lips to fall on deaf my ears over the decades. I promise that with each phrase, you’ll find something to enrich your own lives, as I myself have, too many times to count. From a place (far far away) of the utmost love and respect.. with the intention to only nurture my feelings of inadequacy to herculean proportions, I proudly bring you:
The Chronicles of Marnielah
10. You look good TODAY dear.
This can really stand on it’s own. Notice how TODAY is emphasized to allow me to understand that just because I look acceptable at THIS VERY MOMENT.. tomorrow I have the ability to go back to looking like I always do.. a sizzling hot mess of awesomeness.
9. I like your hair like THAT.. pulled back off your face.
It’s not that Marnie necessarily wants to SEE the face it’s just.. she doesn’t want to view the HAIR.. more.
8. I have a sweater that’s a bit loose on me (because it belonged to my husband) Would you LIKE IT?
THIS comment could EASILY be misconstrued as a way for Marnie to call me FAT without coming right out and saying it. This is SO NOT the case. As THAT will happen in following statements. What she’s trying to say is.. she’s SKINNIER then my fat ass.
7. You look skinnier today.. must be the pants.. huh?
Have you noticed that we have here more of a statement, then a question? She’s obviously pointing at the fact that usually I’m LARGER, but today for some weird reason these amazing baggy sweatpants have succeeded in trimming me down a good POUND. Today. The “HUH” part of the equation? A simple cheap ploy to draw me into the conversation, to reveal how much I’ve lost or so Marnie may comment on how MUCH I should lose.
6. Ohhh.. You wore make-up today.
That’s it. Nothing else. It could have been, “Oh. You wore makeup today and you look lovely. Maybe even, “You wore makeup today.. it covers your bags so nicely”. Nope. I put on some lipstick and I get NOTHING.
5. Are you going to eat that whole thing? Here.. I’m not going to eat MINE. (pause) YOU take it.
This is the timeless classic. No comment necessary. The answer MUST be NO to all of the above or I will find myself smack dab in the middle of the NEXT observation..
4. Are your PANTS getting a little tight across the touchas? (please see ass, buttocks, posterior)
I hate this one so I always respond, “THAT’S how the girls are wearing them these days.. pulling across the top so the button can’t be fastened and highlighting my cellulite dimples in the back, with my muffin top flopping over. It’s the LOOK.” Enough said.
3. What’s new dear.. nothing?
This is a trap.. but you already figured THAT out. It’s a way for SCOOTER GIRL to uncover all kinds of bits of juicy gossip, that she can in turn SPIN for CHOICE Bridge table fodder at my expense. That is, IF I should be stupid enough (again) to reveal something so that I should not look like a pathetic and dull loser.. which I most certainly could by some accounts BE (please see MIL Ru).
2. Since you’ve got NOTHING to do.. come to the movie tonight.
1. Would you like a job as a nail girl here at KillJoy? You do my nails so nicely. I’ll bet THEY’D HIRE YOU IN A HEARTBEAT (slacker). Would you like to work (at a REAL job)? Or no?
Marnie.. I love you.
How much do THEY pay?
Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.
Posted 3 years, 11 months ago at 10:24 pm. 2 comments
STELLAR day. I’m sending out a heartfelt THANKS to the lovely staff person at Happy Daze Assisted Living.. who in the hopes of making me feel better today offered up THESE encouraging words, after my MIL Ru decided that she had never seen me before. That’s right.. all of a sudden, after like 15 years of DEMENTIA Ru’s decided I’m not HERE. Where am I.. you ask? Well, I could NOT be HER DIL standing HERE in front of her. Oh no, no, no, because.. her DIL (ME) is on an (all expenses paid..from Lotto winnings) vacation to freakin Maui. WELL Ru.. ALOHA and I’m enjoying my trip immensely while drinking heavily to celebrate such an occasion.
Aide: Really? Ru doesn’t KNOW who you are? Hahahaha. I don’t believe it. It can’t be. She knows who I AM. Look, I’ll show you. Ru.. do you know who I am?
Then my MIL looks at the aide and is all, HALLE yeah.. I know who you are. What do you think? I wouldn’t know my own AIDE who spends fifteen to seventeen minutes with me a day? Ga. You’re that great wonderful girl who LOVES ME, who’s here for me ALL THE TIME. Much like my DIL used to be, before she dashed off to get a BRAZILIAN WAX and jump on a plane..for MAUI.
Then the aide looks at me all smug and is like.. SEEEEEEE? She knows MEEEEEE.
Then YOU be her DIL.