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FALL IS BUSTING OUT ALL OVER

My MIL Ru enjoying FALL

Dear Diary,

Who doesn’t LOVE this exhilarating time of year? Watching the leaves in their various and startling colors come tumbling down.. is just so darn awe-inspiring. You think THAT’S cool.. Have you ever taken a walk through Happy Daze Assisted Living this time of year? OMG. I don’t know where to look first. I go INSIDE all humbled by the mammoth beauty of NATURE OUTSIDE— and FORGET. THAT. Inside is where it’s really happening. Puh-leeze. Who needs a cold and lonely park bench..when you can watch THELMA not lift her leg high enough OVER her walker and face plant (Ga. That’s gotta hurt)— from the warmth and security of the plastic covered bench up in ROAM (dementia floor). With Blanche.

I’m just guessing because it’s not like I’ve actually tried that fancy move you just did with the walker..but if you had lifted the foot and pointed the toe a bit more..yeah..and added some knee bend. Oh. Not bending these days? Then you SHOULDN’T be attempting the stunt in the first place. Should you? Who cares that Blanche was egging you on to do the flip over the top with a twist.

Mother pluckity plucker. That BLANCHE. Any chance she gets to stir up trouble or try to lead someone astray (or down the elevator and out the front door) she’ll do it. DON’T you dare deduct points for her dismount Blanche. I know how you THINK (animal planet you guys). How’s she supposed to concentrate when you’re talking trash about her mama? How would YOU like it (I maturely respond) if I taunted you with “YOUR mother has a nice thick growth of facial hair like MY father once did.”

Come on..let’s lift you off your face Thelms and see what kind of damage you’ve done. Blech. So not an attractive look we’re working with all that garish blue and purple around the eye girlfriend. You know what I could use right about now? Why I’m asking this question to.. of all people—Blanche I have no idea. That’s like asking, GUESS what gender you are sweetie? (checking watch) Quick. Only five more seconds to answer. Buzzzz. Times up.

Still, because we’re in the middle of half-time and there’s a lull in the action.

Do ya know Blanche? Huh? Huh? Some eats. THAT’S what I could use. What do you have wrapped up in all those little napkins? I’m yanking at wads of KLEENEX and GAWD only knows the places THEY’VE seen. I can only GUESS the reason for their use is for lack of a better way to keep the freshness in. Surprise. Out spills these— maybe nine and a HALF warm to the touch (No sir. I’m not touching) chocolate chip cookie with minute fuzzies adhering to them.

Let me take a second here to say that personally..NAPKINS are ALWAYS my first choice for this task, but SOMEONE has already emptied every last stinkin’ NAPKIN from the dispenser. Along with the SPLENDA and stir sticks. Leaving poor Blanche to resort to the dumping of the contents from the FREE cookies platter into facial tissue.

“Why hello Betty? Looking for THESSSSSE?” (Pulling out cookies from Blanche’s Kleenex) Bwahahaha. “How about a little trade? I’ll take a napkin and an artificial sweetener for one of these delicious chocolate chip cookies with the WHITE “frosting” (fuzzies) on it. Ummmm. Just as I became distracted with my awesome trade with Betty I hear—

OOOOHHHH. LOOOK at THAT.

What? We’re missing something? Walter is splatting himself on the unforgiving ground from his wheelchair while trying to pop a wheelie. Wally..aren’t wheelies done with the BACK wheels dude?

As I’m running over to where Walt’s wipeout took place I catch out of my periphery vision someone limping or TRYING to limp into the dining room to seek medical attention (and grab something to snack on like a.. ummm.. no cookies left takes a TEA bag?) while holding her pant leg up to reveal a massive (dime size) gouge in her left knee. Of course I don’t waste a moment running to her side to check for life threatening injuries.

Let me see your nails.. Did you ding the nails Ru? Ga. How did this happen? What were you trying to do? I told you to STAY AWAY FROM the LINEN closet. Did you go in there and try to get down that 50 gallon SCOPE by yourself? How many times do I h-a-v-e to tell yo.. OK majorly DUMB question.

Ru’s looking up at me with her sweet smile and apologetic eyes and begins to weave her tale of mystery and intrigue. The beginning of our story finds my MIL taking a nasty spill on the DANGEROUSLY slick carpet while walking from the bedroom to the living room (two inches round trip). Next thing she recalls (not saying a word regarding recollection abilities) she was flat on her back..arms flailing and legs all akimbo, screaming,

“Excuse me please. I’ve slipped on the ice. Could someone find a young man to help me up?”

FINALLY sick and bored of screaming on her bedroom floor..for like AN HOUR, gets up and goes in search of medical attention and runs into the door.

Yeah. So THEN what happens? Tell us granny.

Wellllll.. after THAT.. her younger (unmarried, good hair, no walker) neighbor Bert, finds her trying to get back into her room and points Ru in the right direction.

I’m examining the knee and I notice that the cut on her leg looks strangely suspicious. More like a shaving nick. I KNOW these legs. These are MY legs after I get done butchering them with my “LEFT it in the shower for six months to rust so I get tetanus” razor.

Ru? Were you trying to shave your legs? I can see her now. Trying to swing her leg up onto the bathroom sink counter. EEEEGADS.

RU: I don’t THINK that I was. Don’t I wax them? Or..do you pluck them?

I have to believe HER side of the story being that I wasn’t around to see the actual INCIDENT. You can bet if I was.. I would have cushioned her fall by throwing myself underneath her petite (size 16) frame.. or found something someone to put underneath her rather then risk unnecessary breaks or bleeds which I did not cause. This was a minor cut and we had a good medical team to slap a bandage on the tender spot and send Ru on her way. After the patient INSISTED that it got kissed. By the nice young man who rescued her.

And we all fall down.
A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 9:57 pm.

4 comments

RUN for COVER

ACKKK! It's my DIL. I'm so freakin' right now.

Dear Diary,

HUGE mega excitement on the dementia floor of Happy Daze Assisted today..because do I KNOW what holiday is coming up? Well..do I? My MIL Ru is pressing me for details about the big plans for HALLOWEEN and wants to discuss her outfit in full detail. Before we do this of course I need to make sure we are actually talking about the same holiday..as opposed to LAST year when I dressed her up as Roger Rabbit and she kept telling everyone she was going EASTER egg hunting. Way to mess with the other resident’s heads granny.

In order to figure out exactly what ideas (as if) Ru has for her costume.. I’ll need to spend a good chunk of time with her AWAY from the distraction of Thelma who is poking her nose into our conversation every five seconds and yelling, “That WAS my idea to go as a hippie flower child on MUSHROOMS.” Suuuure it was THELMA and I’ll bet the gangsta psycho biker chick (with light-up walker) was all yours too? SO.. are we having mushrooms or NOT? Don’t they K-N-O-W that mushrooms make me gassy? Gag. Thelma. We’re out of here. No WAY are we going to allow a breech in the security to spoil our bid for the most creative costume up on ROAM.

I’m a little o-l-d to go as a tooth fairy. Don’t you think? Oh PLEEEZE Ru’Mae.. you would make the most awesome semi-cognizant tooth fairy there EVER was. Think how cool you’d look. We could put (rustling through drawers) THIS nightie on.. with.. OMG these (pulling out Depends) for your wings. Have you ever noticed how DEPENDS are just stiff enough that if you tape them on to say..some poor senile MIL’s shoulders with a good roll of medical tape they look like..

Why are you LOOKING at me with that confused look. OOPS. I forgot. HOLD still. I promise you’ll LOVE this when I’m done. Now..ta ta tee tee tah.. what shall I use for the headpiece? Hmmm..(glancing around room) YES! We’ll take THIS straw hat and pair it with..

What are you using MY shower scrunchie for? I USE it all the time. You had BETTER. NOT. Remember the last time you got imaginative?

OK. Ta da! Come here Ru and behold— the TOOTH FAIRY.

Just as Ru is giving herself the once over in the full length..her neighbor in 134 C. Odessa, decided to stick her little curly blue head in to take a peek at what all the commotion was about.

“Why does she have that hanger rod poking up with the scrunchie on top of her hat?”

Is it not OBVIOUS to you. Feh. THAT’S her halo. Hello? Anyone can see that.

“What about those underwear taped on to her nightgown? Do those hold any significance or am I missing that one too?

You can’t be serious.

“Do tooth fairies HAVE halos? I thought it was ANGELS that have halo’s?”

Ga. Then she’ll be a friggin’ tooth fairy angel. Happy? Are you feeling it granny.. Tooth fairy angel girl?

I just think (NOT THAT AGAIN) it’s not so realistic for me to be a tooth fairy at my age.

I really feel much more..MADONNA.

Sure.. Well hey. I can understand THAT. After all Madonna is so much closer to REALITY for you granny. What..with you being all of 82 years of age and living on THIS HERE dementia floor.

“How about.. I could be a Queen and YOU could be my handmaiden? THAT might be cute.”

Yeah. So what ELSE is new? Anyway the answer is NO. We’ve done the queen before and I couldn’t get that tiara off your head for..like a month. Plus it was PATHETIC.. not to mention DEGRADING for me to have to walk behind you calling you MUM.

Let’s go ahead and call you Madge. I can do Madonna if I need to. Heck. Wasn’t it me who’s said NUMEROUS times.. granny’s been known to pull off a better Madonna then the material girl herself. Who else would think to wear not just ONE..but TWO pointy (cone shaped..circa 1950) bras over their tank and add a cute pair of leggings (compression hose) to finish the look? HOT.

Problems with the dressing-up in costume on a dementia floor:

A. People are dressed up as something.. but can’t remember WHO they’re supposed to be.

B. Confusion ensues when people can’t wear what they had on YESTERDAY for the holiday..again the NEXT day.

C. Why do we dress up on Christmas again?

I am keenly aware of the possibility of my MIL getting decked out in her finest hoochie Madonna wear..only to go into the dining room and come in contact with the Wicked Witch of the North as portrayed by Doris riding her wheelchair and holding Harriet’s little stuffed doggie shouting, I’m going to get you my pretty and your little dog too. (Raucous cackle) Bwah heh heh heh heh he..

Ru will be all.. DORIS GIVE Harriet her dog back THIS i-n-s-t-a-n-t.

Then Doris will turn her little beady eyes in the direction of my Madonna and yell..who’s going to try and stop me? (pause to assess) A little Miley Cyrus Doll?

I am NOT a Miley Cyrus doll..I’m a..?

YESSSSSSSS?

What is this I’ve got on anyway?

See? Exactly what I’m trying to avoid. What I need to work into the costume is a name-tag that says, HELLO. MY name is: MADONNA. The perfect way for everyone to KNOW who Ru is and if she forgets who she is then she can look down and remember. One flaw to my idea.. Blanche will start with the HOW are you doing Madonna? Are you NEW here? Maybe you would like to come sit at my table with Lex Luthor and Anakin Skywalker?

Talk about confusing.

My Sandwich Generation ladies and gentlemen.. it might be better to come bearing a bag of fun size snickers bars and keep it at that. I wouldn’t suggest YOU dress up in any costume. If YOUR family member has dementia, they ALREADY can’t recognize you and THAT should be good enough for now. Feel free to bring the children though. Nothing will warm (stop) the heart of your loved one more– then seeing the grand-kids dressed as Lady Gaga and the TERMINATOR when they answer the banging on that faux bookcase door.

TRICK or TREAT!

A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 8:21 pm.

1 comment

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.

Marnie doing an exchange.

Dear Diary,

Under completely bogus pretenses I found my self lured into playing the accomplice in Marnie’s RETURN scam at You Score Drugstore today. I have only myself to blame. I KNOW better then to ignore the smelling of something STINKY (no..other then the usual) when visiting KillJoy Senior Living. Granny Marnie (Electric Scooter Girl) suggested we should go get some fresh air.. take an invigorating walk over (my feet) to the drugstore so we could shop around. Maybe even “buy a few things”. UUURRRRKKKK. Stop. Right. There. First of all.. why would Granny Marnie suddenly suggest we shop somewhere that organizes products neatly on shelves and sells them with the lids ON? As opposed to the much more creative and familiar form of merchandising..the mixing of miscellaneous crap housed in a dismal going out of business warehouse in some grotty clearance bin..or as I’m so suspiciously inclined to believe—the stores lost and found from decades of yore. How ELSE would you explain the sweater of a certain GREAT GRANDCHILD being “purchased” with his name already indelibly penned inside the collar? Huh? EXPLAIN THAT would you.

As usual, I stupidly go along with the idea that she pitched. Granny has a friend Rita who lives in the bad part of town.. down the hall in room 271— the “no view” side (pfff..such a shame) of KillJoy. Seems that good ole Rita has been an incredibly dear person and brought over a plant for Marnie to kill enjoy. Marnie wants to return the favor by gifting Rita something really special and heartfelt for her birthday today. Like this meticulously wrapped in news paper (obituary section).. can of Glade air freshener. Why Marnie. OMG. She’ll Loooooove it. A fancy kind? Oh..yeah Marnie. GLADE is PERFECT and totally fancy.

Twenty minutes into our search for the birthday card that will relay Marnie’s feelings of deep gratitude for Rita’s friendship, joy of her birth, AND be priced UNDER the .50-cent price allotment.. we find it.

Have a Happy Fourth. Let’s celebrate with a BANG.

Marnie.. How on earth are you going to pull THAT off? She’s gonna get suspect when she see’s the FLAG and fireworks on the front. Even if you DO write an EIGHT in front of the FOURTH.

So it goes. We look at one and another one.. until I found this singing card that screams out, “You’re looking FINE..for EIGHTY NINE.” Are you kidding? Who cares that Rita’s turning eighty-four? It’s not like she’s going to get pissed at my granny for a four-year discrepancy. She’s lucky— if you ask me, to be getting a card after receiving such an extravagant gift.

You like it? It’s FIVE BUCKS. (Waiting for convulsions.) Score! Then I notice that Marnie has decided she needs a box of thank you cards.. hmmmm. I don’t RECALL any mention of having to THANK anyone. An impulse buy or something much more sinister? I’m going with the latter choice only because she grabbed it without looking at the price and then zoomed to the checkout stand before I could start asking questions. Always trying to keep 100 steps (miles) ahead of me.. aren’t you granny?

There is never too much variation on the CON theme.. with Marnie. We begin by flashing our “I’m just a sweet little old lady in an electric scooter who would NEVER even THINK to rip you off” smile. With the.. “BECAUSE you remind me of my grandson” finish. He reminds you of WHICH grandson? Because if I’m not mistaken.. I do believe I detect a slight East Indian accent. I want to say..maybe the Calcutta area?

MARNIE: I’ve BEEN to India you know. Loved the people. What a very spiritual place (OMG..That’s SO PBS) and the shopping.. it’s FANTASTIC.

Way to bond Marnie.

Then Marnie says all sheepishly to the sweet young chap.. that, she’s RETURNING.

Returning? To India?

She reaches behind her scooter and pulls out this plastic baggie. Oh. My bad. You just want to return this lightly used, THIRTY-year-old thermometer. To think.. I actually thought YOU were capable of something.. woo hoo (spinning finger in circles around one side of head). Nutters. W-a-i-t… To EXCHANGE it for these cards.. would make it all seem so much more LEGITIMATE.

Without blinking an eye, Marnie hands the guy this..GAWD only KNOWS where it’s BEEN, Mercury thermometer (yup. I know. Ew.). Of course there is no receipt because I GOT IT AS A GIFT. Didn’t I dear?

This is the reason I live. So I may lie for little old ladies who discover they have thermometers lying around that will never be used (again). Ahhh. My purpose in this life is great. So what do I do? I chose the moment to announce that I have to go to the bathroom BADLY and I need the back room key. I do Marnie..I DOOOO. (adding little dance for effect). I amaze EVEN me with my awesomeness. Y-e-s. I KNOW what I’m getting for my birthday gift.

Unless..

Happy Birthday Rita—

A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 10:57 pm.

2 comments

One FLU over the CUCKOO’S nest

Ru wants to know..What's that up there?

Dear Diary,

I got totally busted today. I know. So very uncharacteristic and pfffff.. bizarre. I really thought going in—with my whole WILDLY creative distortion of truth, that I would without question convince my MIL Ru (dementia) that the flu shot she would shortly be receiving was actually not a flu shot at all..but a BOTOX injection. I know you’re thinking, WHAT the Frick? Wasn’t that Ru who was standing in front of the tattoo parlor last week? Why..I could have SWORN I saw a picture of granny. There she stood.. positively giddy with the thought that SOON Bruno would be shooting ink into her well shaped (slightly weathered) arm in the shape of a foot long unicorn with pixie stuff blowing out of his rear end.

Well. Apparently we don’t have trouble with needles when they deliver instant gratification. It’s when no OBVIOUS benefit for the suffering is present that we get spitting mad. LAST YEAR.. freakin’ OVER and over again, for I’m not kidding.. a solid WEEK— all I heard about from my MIL was how they dragged her away from the breakfast table (already not a smart move) and marched her into some ugly room with no furniture and awful drapes and made her stand with a group of NOBODIES (girlfriends) in total terror. She was caught completely unprepared and without warning. Meaning.. there were NO Public service announcements delivered every five minutes for three days prior to ready Ru for the “SURGERY” that lay ahead. Meh. Pathetic staff at Happy Daze Assisted.. they drop the ball a-g-a-i-n.

The aftermath to all this is that I’m forced to sit through countless hours of rehash after the traumatic episode. Seriously Ru…was it really THE most excruciating PAIN you have ever endured and FARRRRR worse then childbirth? I’m sure rubbing the WRONG arm will help ease the discomfort that you’re feeling.

I sit Ru down so I may examine the STAB wound a bit better. Ummm. What are you doing? For some strange reason (or..NOT) Ru is untucking her pant legs from her support knee-highs (a look I detest) so that I can survey the tissue damage. Granny.. I’m sure it’s tender to the touch “right there” but I don’t remember them ever giving the injections in your knee.

Oh. I forgot what I was doing for a second.

I’ll tell you..it’s been a heck of a lot longer then a second mama.

This time the flu shot will be different. I’m going to break the wretched process down into easily digestible little pieces so there will be NO. MORE. DRAMA.

Step one: Sit with Ru and make fake phone call for Botox appointment.

ME (picking up phone): Hi. This is Ru’s DIL. Yup.. You guessed it. I would like to make a Botox appointment for Monday at 10:00…

RU: Ummmm. I can’t do it Monday.

ME: What do you mean you CAN’T do it. What do you have going on that’s so dang important?

RU: Laughter Yoga class.

ME: OMG. I hope you don’t expect ME to partake this time. I didn’t think it was one bit funny that you pointed out to the class one of my foam boob cutlet inserts was missing from my tank. (speaking into phone) Could you give us Tuesday?

RU: Don’t you have to dial first or were they calling us when you picked up?

Step two: explain the procedure

When we walk into the room a nice nurse will walk us back and ask you to roll up your sleeve to look at your arm.

Why? Am I getting lipo too? I guess they’re getting kind of jiggly (shaking under arms).

The third step will be some kind of distraction. Followed by a reward for good behavior..maybe a new accessory. Yes. That’s what she’ll get for not making a scene and demanding they do the other side n-o-w. Then lastly.. the redirect. Somehow I’ll have to move Ru from the OPERATING room, down the hall and out the door to the dining room— without her stopping every five steps to pick up potential NEW CLIENTS and tell THAT girl with the deep furrowed brow (Henry)  how happy she is with the work they’ve done here.

At last our big day arrives and I’m feeling good. Not overly confident mind you. But Hey. How hard can this be? I’ve had harder missions. Try bull shwanking your way through a mammogram for GAWDS sake. Oh here Ru (lifting five LB boob on to tray..sorry for the visual) Just let’s shooooooove it in this little machine and then press the crap out of it and take a picture for you to put in your CREATIVE MEMORIES (mammaries) photo album. You know. To show people when they come and visit (pfeh..as if) and they have nothing better to do. Then they’ll be all like..OOOOHHHH AHHHH. I L-O-V-E this one. Look at it HERE. Yeah. THAT one’s my favorite. Mine too. Weird. That’s the left one.. THAT’S why.

Slam dunk baby. I’m walking Ru down the hall and we’re all nodding and waving to Ru’s BFF’S as we pass.

“Hey there! (Macy’s parade wave) Girl in the seersucker jacket and matching poodle skirt. (More dumb wave.) Do you know where I’m going? heh. Neither do I. (Leaning in to me for topic help.) Oh..I’m going to get some work done. I’ll stop by when I’m done.”

OOPS. Problem number one. Seersucker chick is following us..obviously going to get some work done as well in the front office, right outside the faux bookcase. I’m not alarmed at all you guys cuz I’m a pro and us pro’s come prepared for any situation we might encounter. That is until we see that the whole entire dementia floor is lined up to get SOME WORK DONE. Then we cry. Big ugly guttural sobs..to draw the attention away from the fact that Selma is standing right in front of Ru showing her with the thumb and index finger how BIG..the needle is?

Hee hee hee. I did. I saw him in these little itty-bitty swim trunks in Blanche’s magazine. She thought she had hid it under her girdle..but I knew JUST where to look.

YES. I saw that one too. Pleeeze. He SOOOO stuffed.

Do you think so? It looked so natural. Wait. Is that..Walter? What on earth are you having done? (looking him up and D-O-W-N)

Walter old chap..you thought you were confused BEFORE just you wait to see what happens next.

Finally after our long wait we’re ushered into the room. Fine. No problem. Except when the nurse gave us an unexpected choice. Are we giving you the spray? Or the shot? Ru was thrilled that Botox came in the spray form but was a little fuzzy on once inhaled how it penetrated the skull to reach her forehead. Don’t worry MIL. We got ourselves one heck of a compassionate nurse to deliver a comprehensive description of what the process is and how confused I must have been when I gave my bogus description of today’s event.

I was severely reprimanded..which goes without saying and asked by both women to bend over and receive my comeuppance.

My dear Sandwich Generation co conspirators.. a word of advice worth remembering. When planning seemingly mundane and everyday tasks for your elderly family..with dementia or without— please be mindful of their possible discomfort. What looks to be no big deal and so routine to YOU..can be overwhelming and frightening to them. New faces, sounds, lights and gadgets..even those that are familiar.. thrust upon your senior may out of seemingly NOWHERE cause huge anxiety. Do your best to warm up your senior ahead of time and check for any possible fear and trepidation. You’ll save them and YOU a very looooong tale of.. WHOA.

Ouch!

A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 8:53 pm.

5 comments

CAT and MOUSE

My MIL Ru on the hunt

Dear Diary,

Here’s what’s really great. When my MIL Ru (dementia) walks up to some random dude on the street and this could be..(although NOT limited to) ANYONE in the row of workmen.. hanging out on the curb across from Happy Daze Assisted eating their morning lunch. The poor victim is just minding his own affairs, gnawing hungrily away on his burrito after a long morning of digging up crap and back logging traffic and my MIL will brazenly march up to him (with me hanging on to her arm threatening under my breath for her to LEAVE it.)Then she’ll be all.. “I KNOW you. How’s it going today? The job good? Saw your darling wife.”

Ru’Mae really believes that the best stance in interpersonal communication is the avoidance.. at all costs.. of personal space. Let’s try it together. Find a seated partner and I want you to sidle up to them all nice and cozy and lean wayyy down..FURTHER. There you go. Sticking your FACE almost on HIS.. but not quite touching, the tip of his nose. JUST close enough.. so that when you speak he will be able to see for himself that those are indeed..your VERY OWN teeth.. *sparkle*

So this poor man is looking at Ru like..OMG should I know you? I can see the wheels going around and he’s trying to think WHO the heck could this possibly be? I like to watch his buddies. They’re nudging each other and chuckling. So DUUUUUDE. You have a WIFE.. MAN? Why didn’t you tell us? Heh. Heh. Does Miss September know about this? Then he looks up at me..pleading with his eyes for me to help him. Don’t be looking at me sweetie. This is HER pick up. I’m just along to hold her up by her elbow.

Depending on my mood I may let this little amusement go on for a good five to ten minutes. Then it gets extremely uncomfortable for me to just STAND there (wearing my ultra clingy spandex leggings) in front of a row of guys. Especially when the neighborhood security come around the corner. Cuz wrong ideas COULD be had. Then I begin to mutter under my breath. Kind of a clearing of the throat.. so only Ru can hear.

Ughh-h-h-h-h-h. Ugh. Ahhh. Huh-uhhhh.

Unfortunately for me.. Ru doesn’t UNDERSTAND GRUNT. Slightly embarrassing have to say.. to be asked unduly loud if I HAVE TO GO immediately or can I wait a few more minutes?

We have a..urrrrr— APPOINTMENT.

WHAT appointment do we have?

Oh COME ON. The PERSONAL appointment (jab jab) on the PERSONAL issues we may have (sooner then we know..jab.)

Well THEY sure didn’t tell ME we have personal issues. What kind? Sexual?

Yeah. Pfff. That’s it.

LOOK away dudes. NEVER talk to strangers.

A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 9:16 pm.

4 comments

PICTURE THIS

Granny Green Thumb

What game shall we play today.. oh most wise and startlingly awesome DIL? Well..I wanted to show you the lovely flowers my dear MIL. In my secret ploy to spark some of your old school memories of gardening.. we will start with the admiring of this lovely shrubbery (located in the back lot of Happy Daze Assisted). Where I will attempt to coax to the surface—perhaps ONE cognizant thought. I begin my tour by pointing out a bush over here. So Ru. If you had to guess.. what do you think THIS might be? “It’s a..” Go on. I know it’s in THERE.

“WEED?”

YES. Good for you. THAT’S exactly what that is. Duh. And THIS kind here. What kind are THEY (smart ass)? OMG. What could I be thinking? Did I just ASK my MIL a question?

I  couldn’t stop it from exploding out of my mouth. Almost with a slow motion type of effect.. you know when the lips start to open and about a half a second later the sound comes out all bass and no treble. WHAAAAAAAAT KIIIIIIIND ARRRRRRE TTTTHHHHHEEEEEEY? The problem is I can’t seem to remember the name. This is the part where I’m SUPPOSED to resist all temptation to turn to my MIL and humble myself by asking a dementia patient the unthinkable, “Do YOU remember what it’s called?” Seriously..how stupid am I? Because I have now exercised the almost UNBEARABLE alternative.. asking granny. I’m going to try and finesse my way through this so that she feels no pressure to perform. Pffff. It’s not like Ru will EVER remember the name of some Latin plant anyway. Let’s call it..CHRYSANTHEMUM. THAT’S a Chrysanthemum Ru. Isn’t it pretty?

No. It’s a hydrangea.

Dang. I knew that.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 6:22 pm.

4 comments

POT-TEA TALK

Come on Ru..just one little sip. It won't kill you.

Dear Diary,

Peer pressure rears its ugly head once again my friends. It’s in our Elementary schools, High Schools and now.. our DEMENTIA floors across America. Raging like a bad case of gas after a few too many shots of that YUMMY prunetini cocktail. It strikes the momentarily weak—the confused and the oh so very lost in the hallway. Nowhere to go— no one to follow. Suddenly our elderly family member, with some measly cognitive issues..becomes something we no longer recognize. Where once stood someone who took pride in JUST SAYING NO to drugs.. now stands (hunches) a woman PRESSURED by her peers into a life of addiction.

I had no indicator that my MIL Ru was using. I just walked innocently into the dining room over at Happy Daze Assited Living as I usually do..expecting to find my bright and glassy eyed Ru lounging on the couch watching the maintenance dude changing light bulbs and applauding wildly with each success. Instead, what do I find to my HORROR? A group of Hard core ADDICTS..huddled together sneakily sipping aged Sumatra from a paper cup. They’re all Ummmmm Ahhhhhh, nice bouquet and a tad acidic. Full body too.. JUST the way I like it. Hubba Hubba. Uggggg. Coffee Potheads.. all of them. Selma, Blanche, Bertha and Bert. OMG is that Helga? My GAWD it is. They got Helga too. That’s not the worst of it. Guess who was sitting next to Bert?

My first guess is that the allure of being part of the POPULAR crowd became too much for Ru to resist any further. She’s always been a good girl..My MIL Ru. Lived a clean life. She drank tea. Stayed away from tobacco. Yet here we are RUNNING (pffff. As. If) with the BADASS GIRLS. Coffee drinkers.. BEGGING for a doppio SHOT the minute you come in to visit them. That’s right. You heard me. Ru’s turning to the allure of DRUGS because she sees OTHERS doing it. Why now the cheap thrills? I don’t know. But I will tell you..when your MIL falls (stumbles) in with people always wanting to try the next coolest thing because it’s NEW, kind of naughty and they’ve NEVER tried it before. You’re setting yourself up for heartache and pain as she veers on to a path of Dark roast and Kenyan blend..and heaven forbid the ESPRESSO Con Panna. Why. me. Feh.

I’ll walked slowly over to granny, refusing the immediate reaction to be judgy and scold her in front of her friends. No. I was gonna keep my cool and play along. Ru looks up and instead of an apology for being led astray by girls that we KNOW to be trouble, she looks defiantly at me and says, “Did you finish cleaning my room and refilling my toilet paper roll? “Ru. It’s ME.” I like to state this fact right up front JUST in case she’s confused me with the HOUSEKEEPING staff..which is entirely possible because I’m wearing my.. JUICY TRACK SUIT. Hello? Ru? JUICY?????

“I KNOW who you are. Guess what? I DRANK coffee today.”

This is where I have to hold myself in check. You don’t want to overreact and scream something you’ll come to regret later..like “I don’t KNOW who you are anymore?”

Because THEN the response might be, “Oh honey..I don’t know who you are either. Maybe YOU should get a room? Why don’t you come sit down with us and have a little shnookie? (slurping from cup)

Say WHAT? I don’t DO SHNOOKIE.

I do. Don’t we BERT?

AH HA! It’s a man behind this. Way to COMPROMISE your integrity Ru. Shame on you trying to appear WITH IT.. when clearly you are NOT. I could have sworn.. and correct me if I’m wrong— that it was maybe.. last week, when you pronounced kissing a coffee drinker was akin to inhaling dog breath? At least I t-h-o-u-g-h-t it was you. So if this..BERT, asked you to jump off a cliff..would you do THAT too?

I know BETTER then to ask questions like this. OF COURSE she would. BUT..only after taking a few precautionary safety measures..to insure her hair wouldn’t get mussed. Then she’d do one of those CANNON balls.. just to show THAT BERT A THING OR TWO about the kind of girl she is (not that she would remember). Nope. Never get a “no” to a nice cliff jump especially where there was a good-looking fella there to CATCH her.

It’s not just the coffee thing that gets me. It’s the whole, “we’re ALLLL wearing our hair ratty and matted this week Ru wanna do it too?” Then the next week it’s, “let’s trade shoes and mix them up and wear a sneaker on one foot and a slipper on the other.” Yeah. Cool. LET’S do it. hee hee hee. Am I reliving a bad year of high school here? Really. Because some of the trends that Bertha comes up with for all the cool girls to do are so pathetic. Hon..We ALREADY did the underwear on the outside of the shirt thing LAST week. It’s old and tired.

Yesterday I was escorting the gang replete with MIL.. down the hallway towards the elevator for their bus ride. Otherwise known in these parts as.. le Tour de highway. FARRRRR more exciting then you can EV-AH imagine.. due in part to the awesome construction site along side I-5 Southbound..home to the hottie yellow hat dudes working with some mighty fine equipment. All the girls can scream and point to their hearts content and then return to Happy Daze full of Vim, Vigor and renewed vitality. Ru loves it and wouldn’t miss it for the world.

I think it was Blanche who began..just out of the blue.. to hum melodic strains that sounded eerily familiar and just to be honest..eerie at the same time. As she’s humming I see Selma who was beginning to roam in the wrong direction..do an “about face” look up and wink at Blanche and begin also to hum the same melody. Weird. I KNOW this tune but.. Ga. Where? Oh look who it is? Ru. She also has started humming and so is Helga. Then it HITS me. EEE Gads it’s..

Buddy you’re a boy make a big noise playin in the street gonna be a big man some day..

Then Ru yells..EVERYONE all together now!

We will..we will..ROCK YOU.

ROCK U.

A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 10:27 pm.

2 comments

PERSONAL QUESTIONS

My MIL Ru and Granny Marnie keepin it REAL

Dear Diary,

Received an interesting questionnaire the other day that would require me to seek the HELP (oh dear GAWD) of my MIL Ru (dementia) and granny Marnie (electric scooter girl) to complete. I know. Ludicrous. Yet..there was no way I could answer some of the questions that were asked.. please bare with me as I unfold this waded up paper with chewed bubblegum tape stuck to it. Like this one on— let me see.. sexual frequency and the one on..OOPS. Wait. Wrong survey tee hee hee. (Hiding Glamour Magazine Q&A sheet back in purse) I have the other one right here.

Since I’m not the one that ACTUALLY lives at Happy Daze Assisted Living or KillJoy retirement— motto: if it’s not already done— we’ll do it to you, I’m thinking a much more accurate assessment could be had by asking the two seniors who actually have to EAT the delicious creamed chipped beef with brussel sprout puree. Mmmmm. I new they both would be thrilled at the prospect of sharing their opinion to anyone who asked..because let’s face it when was the last time anyone asked Ru or Marnie what they THOUGHT. Mighty presumptuous of this company if you ask ME to try and solicit coherent thoughts.. were potentially THERE. ARE. NONE. But..I’ll try anything once with Marnie and Ru.. being that I’m not always terribly bright.

I gather up my two charges and have them sit down and get comfortable for the question and answer session.. only AFTER everyone has had a chance to visit the bathroom (numerous times), draw on their eyebrows, and help themselves to the free cookie platter in the lobby of KillJoy with joyful abundance.

ME: Marnie?

MARNIE: What?

I could tell this whole process was going to be..LENGTHY. Marnie I have a question to ask you first then I’ll ask YOU Ru. K? Pffff. I don’t KNOW why Marnie gets to go first Ru. I promise.. it’s so NOT based on who’s wearing the new Ralph Fall line and who’s not. You’re so DRAT insecure.

MARNIE.. What do you think about life at KillJoy? Wellllll.. I’m watching Marnie take the pose of deep introspection. Sticking her finger on the side of her mouth to appear deep in.. thought?

“Let me think.” Take your time.

Doo dee doo dee dum. Buh dump bump.

I notice granny focusing in on me with a frown creasing her (meticulously arched) brow. I would say brows but I kind of screwed up the second one. It got all smudgy and now she’s sporting one side Rita Hayworth and one side Groucho Marx. It’s a look.

Why don’t you sit up straight? Your clothes look so much nicer on you when you do. Really. Your mother never stands up straight. Do you want to be like your..  OMG is THAT Shirley Simpleton (waving across the room)! Hi dear. I’ll be up for bridge just as soon as I answer these QUESTIONS that I HAVE to do (because I’m so much more important then you and the proof is.. that I have been sent a survey and YOU clearly have NOT).

QUESTION 1: WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR PLACE?

Marnie: I Like the furniture. Which is..by the way GORGEOUS and if I could— I would sneak down into the lobby in the middle of the night and take one of the chairs for my room. I just don’t know how I might pull that off.. yet.

Ru: I like the good looking men that work at my place. They’re always dressed so nicely in those tee shirts and yellow hats. With their big bulging muscles flexed as they hammer away at whatever they’re building. You should see the size of their..equipment. Huge trucks and tractors. Not a day goes by that they don’t shout and wave at me as I go by on my walks.

QUESTION 2: WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR PLACE?

Marnie: As you know I’m always on a diet so when KillJoy sticks Eggs Benedict with fried potatoes and four strips of bacon in front of me and I’ve PAID for it. How am I to say “NO I’ll just have a half of grapefruit.” We all know ½ grapefruit is $1.50 and Eggs Benedict is $2.50. So, I eat the drecky eggs and feel like I want to barf after.. all in the name of getting my MONEY’S worth.

Ru: As fun as it is to play group games like Made You Blink and Stare Down with the other residents sitting (laying) on the couch waiting..for NOTHING. It would be nice to do something much more nourishing..like SPA day. Where we get massages and facials and make all the people downstairs completely jealous and more bitter that THEY don’t have dementia.

QUESTION 3: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR PLACE?

Marnie: The art glass was lovely. Also my apartment had a fantastic view and a walk in closet. FREE cookies and fruit room..PLUS all the Splenda and Tea bags you can shove in your bag..FREE

Ru: The art glass was lovely. Also my apartment had a fantastic view (please see answer to question #1) and a walk in closet. Free cookies, tea and fruit room. Free Green Foil After Dinner Mints in “RESTAURANT” candy bowl.. FREE

QUESTION 4: HOW DO THEY TREAT YOUR FAMILY?

Marnie: I don’t care.. as long as they kiss up to me.

Ru: I wouldn’t know. I think they’re NICE to her. Why? Aren’t they SUPPOSED to be nice to her? Maybe I should talk to them.

QUESTION 5: DO YOU LIKE THE STAFF?

Marnie: Oh yes. Sometimes better then.. Never mind. They’re very helpful and agreeable and I don’t have to tell them to modulate their voice and pick their pumpkin scone bits off my carpet.. ever. And they always do as I say. When I ask them to sit quietly and say nothing about the cards I’m holding while I play my hand at BRIDGE.. they listen unlike SOME PEOPLE I KNOW.

Ru: Oh yes. They’re all pretty darn great. There is this ONE..she takes me for walks every day and she plucks my chin hairs. She gives me hugs and keeps Faye that crazed bar wench away from me. Because if I tell Faye I don’t want to play POKER..I mean I don’t want to play POKER. She does a superb job in spending quality one on one time with me. I even have a picture of her and my grand children on my wall for some STRANGE reason.

Me: Give “that girl” a RAISE I say. Pffffft.

QUESTION 6: WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU FIRST MOVED IN?

Marnie: Awesome. I didn’t have to cook anymore. Terrible.. I couldn’t complain about cooking.

Ru: Move in where?

Anything else you want to add Marnie? HONEY.. There is no SUBSTITUTE ever for having your family with you. I feel so blessed to know that my family is here for me and loves me so much. It doesn’t matter where I am (well, it does.. but YOU know) as long as my family is involved in my life..THAT’S what matters most.

I look over at my MIL and she’s shaking her head “YES” vigorously in agreement.

So very touching.

“Honey is a GREAT substitute.”

AND. My work is DONE.

A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 9:02 pm.

4 comments

GIRLS NIGHT OUT

Ready for a Girls Night Out

Dear Diary,

This is how my day starts out. I walk through the faux bookcase door over at Happy Daze Assisted Living..making SURE to not smack some lowly resident in the face because the sign posted on the wall TELLS me not to.

PLEASE DO NOT SWING THE DOOR OPEN (in your great UNBRIDLED ENTHUSIASM to see your family member with DEMENTIA) IN AN ABRUPT FASHION.

There is also the OTHER sign taped below that one..

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU DON’T LET OUT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE WHO WILL TRY AND CON YOU into believing they have some shopping RETURNS to do over at NORDSTROM.

In really teensy tiny print you can make out a single name.. R-u’m-a-e (My MIL)

Oh. COME ONNNNNN. Is THAT fair? I’ve seen Blanche.. no less then umpteen times, tailgate some innocent and unsuspecting visitors out of this very bookcase. “Oh look.. a sign!”, they say. Then turn to check out a certain SOMEONE behind them.  Blanche is tricky, because she pulls off quasi NORMAL with, “Nice day we’re having.” But then goes and screws it all up with the telltale “DO you come to Paris often?” Needs work Blanchie.

“GUESS what? Guess WHHHHHHAAAT?”

Huh? Walking at a trollop gallop towards me wearing her very special occasion designer hoochie tank under a sheer ruffled blouse with just a hint of color brought about by the multi colored asymmetrical and so LAST years.. MACARONI necklace, was my Ru’Mae. I’M SORRY but NO way am I going to even attempt to GUESS WHAT. I’ve played your game before and it’s MUCH better for YOU to tell me rather then for ME to guess. I might throw out something totally inappropriate and wrong.. putting ideas in your head where they most certainly DO NOT belong.

“Do I look stupid enough to fall for this (again) granny?” I should think NOT. Hmpf.

Oh. Wait. I see that somebody over at the fish tank is raising her hand. Faye? Do YOU have something to say? “I THINK you look stupid.”

Thank you Faye.

Ru tells me all blushing with (crème formula) girlish excitement.. that she’s going out with her FRIENDS to the CLUB. Dancing. Cue the visuals please. K. Stop them. Plus.. there are going to be young FELLAS. No way. Wayyyyy. I casually ask— to avoid rousing suspicion, if the plans include bringing Faye? Remembering all too well the last time Faye went out to a public place. I was told by a very reliable spy (Lilly from downstairs) that she saw Faye at a restaurant.. STAND UP on the table and yell,

“I WANT a man and I want him NOW.”

Holy Mother Plucker. What was she gonna DO with him once she got him? The bigger question of course was..how the heck did she get down from that table?

AS everyone began to arrive and line up, Ru and I stood in the middle of the hallway off to the side practicing potential dance moves fresh off of MTV’s Video Music Awards. This is where we run into problems. How do I tell granny that Lady Gaga can get away with “steps” that MUST not be attempted by an 82-year-old woman. Not ever. She says she might like to “experiment” with maybe something like this (grabbing privates). I..always being placed in the position of BAD guy and party pooper have to be the one to let her down gently.

REALLY granny. I don’t have a problem with that.. but someone MIGHT think you have to go to the bathroom and wisk you away. Then Marion is in prime position to swoop in and steal your man. (Ruth interjecting complaint here.) What did you say? I don’t care what Madonna DOES. Are YOU.. Madonna?

Through the bookcase they march (wheel, shuffle, meander) to the elevator and seriously..I have never seen so many well coiffed heads in my life. How did they get those hairpieces into those amazing styles? Look at that pretty girl.. in the upswept Marilyn Manson. Absolutely stunning.. and her GOWN. Phew. I particularly love what they did with all that FLANNEL ruching under the bust. Hey Nan.. Does it just come with the doggies on it or did they show it with bunnies? EVEN..OMG has a matching TERRY ROBE.

RU: (sigh) I WISH I had worn MY long gown. I don’t remember what I did with it. Did YOU take it?

Yeah Ru. Sure I did. I thought I’d surprise my husband (YOUR son) by.. showing up in his MOTHERS nightie. SUCH Hotness.

When we finally got to the club.. I have to admit it wasn’t EXACTLY what I had imagined.

A. There was no DISCO ball. You HAVE to have the ball otherwise you might as well be hanging out in an old smelly recreation center with all the LIGHTS turned ON so you can actually SEE how pathetic your CLUB really is.

B. The music choice was lame. The speakers were blasting Engelbert Humperdinck’s “AFTER THE LOVIN’ “and granny was trying to VOGUE to that..and it wasn’t working.

C. There were no men. CRIPES. My MIL is going to peeved beyond belief.

As luck would have it there was ONE guy pushing a broom on the basketball court next door and granny snagged him. Sorry ladies. His dance card is filled. Faye! Yo! Get OFF of that table NOW.

Rock on.

A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 11:22 pm.

4 comments

Hammer Time

My MIL Ru.. always the PARTY girl

Both of my boys’ birthdays are coming up FAST and they DELIGHT in reminding me that it is I who is now ONE year older also. Plus.. GUESS what mom? YOU can get into Happy Daze Assisted Living and LIVE with grandma Ru in about twenty years. Won’t THAT be funnnnn? Bwahahaha. Then Alien Dude and Smart Alec fall over on the ground hitting each other and laughing hysterically..like wild HYENAS. We PROMISE we’ll find a really nice and semi competent girl to look after you. I can see it now. WILL YOU come visit me? We’ll send our wives. I’m SO screwed.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 6:05 pm.

2 comments