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Ruth the Party girl

Dear Diary,

Don’t you love slumber parties? My MIL Ruth (dementia) did. That was BEFORE Ruth’s girlfriend Marion came over unannounced from next door for the wildest night ever in slumber party history. As Ruth tells it..she was all tucked in for the night. All warm and cozy in bed at 8:00 p.m sharp..wearing her nice flannel nightie (the red one with the white lip prints) and trying to remember what she had for dinner.. just like she does EVERY night. She tells me she was beat because she had had a vigorous Happy Feet dancing class and she got stuck dancing with Heath “Cracks” Johnson (MTV fanatic and gangsta style connoisseur) who watches much too much of “that show” and thinks HE can dance.

Ruth was about to drift off peacefully to her blissful, happy place and all of a sudden.. Marion barges in. Not because she suddenly got the urge to discuss boys, chin hairs or the latest eyebrow trends with Ruth..oh no. That would be too dull. She’s shown up at Granny’s bedside to PROTECT her from a team of fully armed imaginary commando dudes which have her room at Happy Daze Assisted Living surrounded. Not only that..but at any minute will try to capture and take her.. WHERE? Where are they taking her Marion? Oh.. to BRAINWASH her. Uh if there is ANYTHING up there in the ole memory banks to WASH.
No. Wait. This. Just. Gets. Better.

Marion’s pulling on Ruth’s leg from the foot of the bed shouting, “They have us surrounded and they’re coming in. Hurry. Hurry. The men are coming. I won’t let them TAKE you.” Ruth’s eyes are bugging out of her head and she yells, “Who’s coming in? OMG..not yet! I’m still in my pajamas and I don’t have my lipstick on. Where do they want to go? I can be ready in five.” Then Marion begins to shout instructions at Ruth. Get down. Stay low. Get under the bed. “Wow. Look what I found?” Ruth squats down and VOILA! Produces the match to the pearl clip-on earring she’s had me searching for..for like a MONTH. Marion meanwhile was getting more and more into character.. right down to the grabbing of the phone and demanding Ruth call for back up. I know I’ve seen this scene somewhere before. It’s out of some full featured film that most likely got lodged in Marions playback loop. Drat the staff for playing those old Bogart movies. My guess is— that they were watching Casablanca. Maybe, it was Desperately Seeking Susan. Eckkkk. Then might have been Bambi they were forced to watch all afternoon. Maybe Marion thinks the hunters are tracking Ruth..or maybe.. Why do I let myself GO here.

Ruth said she tried to rationalize with Marion but Marion was so darn CONVINCING in her role as protector. She had Ruth believing that she really WAS an undercover spy who had been discovered.. after Blanche in room 342 ratted her out. All the staff are really undercover FBI who want to gain entry into Ruth’s room to cart her away forever. No more manicures, facials or the like. A life of torture. Stashed away in some room with only a few visitors. Feeding her hefty portions of high fat foods and making her watch hours and hours of TV. Drilling her relentlessly..asking the SAME questions OVER and OVER again.. What do you want to eat? What’s your name? How old are you? They’ll stop at nothing to get that information. Hmmm. Marion was drawing on some experience..I just can’t PLACE it.

“Place the call.” Marion demanded, in her urgent husky voice. Ruth picked up the phone and dialed the only phone number I had written on a piece of paper taped on to her nightstand..My


Because mama didn’t raise no (any) dummy.

Ruth says she told her son (my BIL), that Marion was holding her hostage.. because Marion was trying to protect her from the guys outside her door with the HazMat suites on who wanted to kidnap her and perform a BRAINRINSE. Could he please send help or at least talk to Marion. She was getting “tired” and needs to find some tea and cookies ASAP, because she didn’t remember if she ate dinner. Now I ask you.. what are you supposed to do with this little bit of information bro?

Well..all back ups were called and the staff came running. All the while good ole Marion was shouting through the door, “Say good bye to your little Ruth. You’ll NEVER get your hands on her. N-E-V-E-R.” So NOT the thing you want to hear when you have entrusted an assisted living facility with the semi-care of your MOTHER (think advocacy people). The staff tried everything to get Marion to turn over Ruth and NOTHING worked. Seriously..what could be so drat hard about rescuing an 82-year-old woman from the clutches of a big (4’5) and tough (huge resemblance to DOPEY from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) old lady? Feh. When all else fails..

“911..what is the emergency?”

Happy Daze Staff: We have an 85 yr old woman with dementia holding another Alzheimer’s patient hostage..demanding a car and good (looking) driver, $100 in unmarked—one dollar bills and..(pause) I can’t quite make this out.. says a box of cookies with a Venti Chai tea latte, sub soy, light on the water. How fast can you get here?

Here comes the fuzz..Sirens blaring, light flashing. Lucky that the cop that headed up to the dementia floor was well trained to handle this kind of thing..
“Marion (knock knock) I know you’re in there. Open up’s the police. Marion did you know that kidnapping is an offense punishable by three years in state prison? Marion? Can you hear me?”

“She’s in the bathroom..she’ll be out in just a second.” Came the chirpy voice of my Ruth from inside. “I can pass on that information if you want. Ummm let’s see. Now, who did you say you are?”

“..and are you married officer?”

“..sure I’ll go check to see how she’s doing.”

“..I think she’s asleep in my bathtub.”

Ruth tells me that the officer came in and had to hold Marion while he escorted her away from the bedroom. You could hear Marion shouting all the way down the hall, “You’ll pay for this. I’ll bet you’re one of THEM. Call the police. Blanche. Selma. I’m being kidnapped.” It was really such a thrilling and exciting night.. not one of the twenty-four residents on ROAM wanted to miss nobody moved. Except Ruth..who was ravenous after all that excitement.

My Sandwich Generation it is very important to have an up-to-date phone list taped right next to your seniors phone for any “situations” that might arise. If something should come up..then they know just how to reach you (or your other siblings if feeling so inclined) without hunting through a phone book or trying to push the buttons on her cell..what E-V-E-R. If your elder family are unable to call..there are many devices that can be worn to connect them immediately to staff or medical personnel who are trained to support in a pinch. You can never cover yourself..well enough.

Use protection.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized 15 years ago at 12:34 am.

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