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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’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 ( 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 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 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.



Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized 12 years, 8 months ago at 8:53 pm.


5 Replies

  1. The nurse wasn’t in on it? I have to be coerced into getting a flu shot. I hate needles.

  2. Adrienne Oct 19th 2009

    Next time I’ll see that she is;)

  3. widdlydids Oct 21st 2009

    It is always laughter & good giggle..2 read! Thank you! 4 yet again brightened up my long days…(& yes I got 2 read another..has she jumps in the air 4 those 5mins peace) hee har..evil mother laugh!

  4. How’s your MIL doing now? Is she over the trauma? Are YOU over the trauma?

  5. Adrienne Oct 22nd 2009

    Oh SHE’S great. From one TRAUMA to the next is our motto;)