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 Ignorance is bliss

Dear Diary,

I wouldn’t even be having these thoughts about telling my MIL Ruth (dementia) about her brother Dick’s unfortunate passing if Uncle Dick had been a tad more thoughtful about the timing of his demise. I mean really. Who chooses MY wedding anniversary as the day they want to be buried. Ga. I had plans..all k-i-n-d-s of plans. No. This event only comes ONCE a year.. he could have died ANYTIME. I figure the only way to get out of it is to have my MIL write a note. You know..I’ll just casually say, “Hey granny..”

RUTH: WHAT? Will I write a note excusing you from Dick’s funeral cuz it’s your Anniversary and you had OTHER THINGS in mind? As. If. I have OTHER things on MY mind too and I wouldn’t MISS Dick’s funeral. Pathetic. Selfish DIL..YOU are.
On second thought the whole plan might backfire.

You see..There are two schools of thought in telling someone with dementia about emotionally charged events..

1. Do it. This choice will pretty much GUARANTEE she’ll beat the “news” to death by asking a million times in a period of an hour, “Who did you say just died?” and “What are you wearing to the funeral?” Then you will have to hear the sobbing and hysterics..

“Do you know he NEVER let me play net when we played mixed doubles? That’s right. He (sniff) thought my backhand was WEAK (sniff sniff) and he would NEVER let ME hit the bal-l-l-l. Wahhhhhhhh. We were soooo close.”

Then I would get her all calmed down..maybe sipping a Tall Chai Tea Latte (no water..sub soy) and KAPOW..she’d see some random dude, remember to ask me who died and the drama would start all over. Thank you..NO.

Which brings us to option TWO.

2. Don’t do it. I always have the option to say NOTHING and watch as within 48-72 hours of Dick’s if picking up on some weird psychic liar vibe Ruth will all of a sudden stray into that way far off place in her Grey matter and emerge with..

“How’s Dick doing?”

ME: Um. Good. Yeah. He’s just as chill as ever.

RUTH: Well. I have an idea (OH! NO! Gawd! NOT an i-d-e-a). We could go over and visit him. Let’s see.. (pauses to recall where Dick lives) Do YOU know where he is?

Feh. Oh. Do. I.

ME (sweating as I’m forced to state some pathetic fabrication): He’s…Uhhhh..been a little UNDER the ground WEATHER these days.

RUTH: Well..that’s too bad. I don’t like to hear THAT.

Uh oh. She DOESN’T like to hear that. Drat. How bout you like to hear THIS?

ME: No. It’s OK. He’s working for the Underground.. Big CONFIDENTIAL thing. Nobody know’s where he is. So we’ll have to wait for him to contact us. You OK with that?

RUTH: Well. I guess I am.

I feel that this could work..for a time. It’s not like I’m REALLY lying per say. I’m just mixing up all the words to form a new REALITY.

Back to my problem.. If I go to the funeral how am I to look SMOKIN’ and reverent? Can’t have my husband looking at the same hot mess he see’s EVERY other day of the can I? I have a short little black dress. I could do a fishnet know high black heels, maybe a scarf for a hint of color. I happen to know that Dick..would TOTALLY appreciate this. He would prefer to have fine looking girls at his memorial. Big breasted hearted.. beautiful women. Because he was all about the heart that Dick. Heart of GOLD.. Yes. GOLDDDDD. With a little (big mother) bling set in the center..Happy Anniversary to me. (wink)

My Sandwich Generation..telling the TRUTH takes on a whole different meaning when dealing with family member with dementia. You’ll be faced with many difficult questions on the subject of truth–  that you may have NEVER dealt with before (some of you have..and I will find OTHER places to judge you). There will be the percentage of truth vs. the amount of Bull Shtick that you’ll be telling to your loved one. Then.. if you DO decide to TELL the truth— do you increase the meds and care level to accommodate the money back if not delighted S-L-I-D-E that comes when the stress of the TRUTH exacerbates the Alzheimer’s? Yup. Truth will set you free. Ha. It’s all a very complex puzzle. The best part? There is no answer. Only YOU will be able to much to tell. Or how much NOT to.

I swear it’s the truth. I do.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized 13 years ago at 8:46 pm.

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