Shower time shenanigans

1 Mar

Today was the first time that mom realized that that person she sees every week (but never remembers) was here to bathe her. I’ve been backing away from trying to help get her into her room and then bathroom since the professionals can handle it. The first few weeks I attempted to soothe her outrage by cajoling her, but that only worked a couple of times. Tuesday I was told to go where the sun doesn’t shine but it feels like it’s only a few miles away. Today I was called a d*mn liar who enjoys torturing his poor mother, with a curse put on my head that I suffer in the same way as she does.

Of course it probably doesn’t help that I find her ablutophobia (yes I looked it up – I ain’t that smart) and consequent petulance amusing. So from now on I think I’ll just totally back off and let the ladies of the strip-n-scrub boutique do their thing alone.


Nightmare Alley

8 Feb

A couple of days ago Mom woke up from her afternoon nap and couldn’t remember who she was. She sort of remembered me, but after some prodding,  thought that she was Maria Michl.

This morning she got up earlier than normal and very aggitated, believing that today was moving day because the house had been sold and we were moving out. Lola reassured her that that was not the case and sent her back to bed.

Twenty minutes later she got up and thought she heard the sound of a wrecking ball hitting the house. So she was worried that the house was being demolished. I reassured her that that was not the case and got her breakfast.

She’s sleeping in her recliner now. Who knows what sort of fun I’ll be having later.

Way more fun than a human being should be allowed to have

29 Jan

Most mornings are just ducky. Not today. Mom woke up early and often. Fortunately, my “office” is 5 feet from her door, so she saw my little light on and came in.

So this morning she was wondering if she had to take Peter to school and get him registered. So I went with the flow and didn’t try to correct her at all.

“No, Peter is already registered.”

“What about Mark? Is he up?”

“Yes, everyone is up and getting ready for school. They’re getting breakfast and packing their lunches and then they’ll be off.”

“So I don’t have to do anything?”

“No, everything is fine and under control.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. Why don’t you go back to bed for a while?”

One hour later:

“Where are the boys?”

“They’re all grown up and on their own for the last 30 to 40 years.”

“So they don’t need anything?”

“No, they all have their own jobs and houses and families.”

…. this line of questioning goes on for about 15 minutes. Lola hears it and tries to come to my rescue. Sometimes by introducing a new subject or player, it gets her diverted.

Didn’t work this time until we got her out to have tea and breakfast. Then somehow she wanted to know when she was going to leave to go back to Germany with her mom and grandmother. Well, I didn’t let that go very far without telling her “the truth” of some sort, to try to short circuit the rabbit trail.

So this afternoon when Bonnie showed up to give her her Tuesday shower, she decided that she would just go home with her mother to Germany as soon as possible so she wouldn’t have to take so many showers.

At least she didn’t tell me to go to the frightfully warm place this time.

Which reminds me: last Friday she didn’t want to take a shower when Karla was here. But because a lady was present, she wouldn’t tell me to go to 8ch-eee-double hockeysticks. Of course, Karla was there and she did say it.

“First love”

19 Jan

Mom woke up this morning (or I woke her up) in the middle of dreaming about her “first love”, somebody named Victor Jordan (pronounced Yor-dawn) from Austria. He was a wounded soldier servant (ditch digger apparently), staying at part of the boarding school used as a hospital. She was 14 or 16 or so at the time, he was an older man of 19 or so. They exchanged letters after he left. She had some pictures of him that Dad threw away because she made the mistake of telling him, thinking he wouldn’t mind since he was her second husband and it had been at least 15 years.

They never even kissed, so I guess it was OK.

Friday the umpteenth

11 Jan

Mom’s memory was pretty good this morning. Knew which state she was in (no, not the state of confusion), knew she was in my house, knew who I was, knew the names of all her sons. She didn’t give me as much trouble with her Friday shower as she did with her Tuesday one. Only a few dirty looks and a “I didn’t raise you very well”. Oh yeah I almost forgot. Both times this week she said she’d rather die than take a shower. But once she was cajoled enough about how just a wee little bit overboard that was, she just tried to run me down with her walker. So I played the drama queen and gave an over the top performance worthy of one of those tiny little Oscars.

Well, maybe not that good.

Carla (the Friday shower gal) trimmed Mom’s nails – at Mom’s request too. Mom was really impressed with her, even more than last Friday. They chatted the whole time she was getting showered and dressed and trimmed. And Mom remarked again about how nice it was.

Go figure.

Catch up

9 Jan

Whoa – been too long. Too busy.

Anyway, Michaya was home for Christmas. She went back to school last Saturday. Josh started his 12-15 month Mexico mission work last Friday. Gabriya started back to school last Monday.

Roll Tide!


Mom enjoyed having everyone around for those few weeks. Everyone played together pretty nicely. Josh built Mom an extendable, portable ramp we can keep in the back of the van to get Mom in and out of the house and the van.

I’m sorry we missed calling everyone on Christmas. We always have guests over and it seems like we never get around to it until it’s too late. I kept Mom up extra late hoping Paul would see an email I sent, to try to do a Skype chat. At some point she just refused to stay up any longer and that was that.

She still has her good days and bad days, good hours and bad hours. Fortunately, even when she gets mad at me for making her do things she doesn’t want to, she always forgets that she was upset after about an hour, or a good night’s sleep, if she goes to her room.

She was overwhelmed by her good fortune under the Christmas tree and in her stocking (Lola always does those to excess, candy wise). She enjoyed the company though.

We’ve started having someone come in Tuesdays and Fridays for an hour to give her a shower and give her a little help straightening out her room and what not. She REALLY does not like being told that she needs to take a shower.

Yesterday she got worked up to the point that she called me a liar, told me to go to hell and that she’d never forgive me. Of course an hour after her ordeal was over, she had totally forgotten about all of it.

She continues to be worried about how everyone feels about her here. Yesterday she said something along the lines of “Are you sure everyone doesn’t hate me?”. I asked her why anyone would hate her, to which she responded “Because I’m a nasty old bitch.”

Being somewhat taken aback, I said that there were children present (me). She then said “What did I say? I was thinking ‘witch'”.

Naturally got a big chuckle out of that episode.

Last night she was wondering if “we” were going to stay in the current house permanently and what happened to the house and all her stuff in Soln (where Grandma lived). That’s the first time she’s hit that way back button in at least a month. I’m still trying to figure out how handle such far out delusions effectively. I told her that the house was sold and that all the stuff she wanted to keep was in her room and that everything else was sold or given away.

Well, that went over like KKK costumes at an NAACP rally. So she grabbed her horsey and rode off into the sunset.

Charlotte Shower Shenanigans

1 Dec

One of the things we were told before Mom came to live with us was that she didn’t like to take showers and really didn’t like to get her hair washed. Well, I can testify to the truthiness of that. Today Mom wanted to go home or die rather than take a shower. She seems to be afraid of something – whether it’s having to disrobe in front of somebody, or the maneuvering to get over the top of the bathtub, or getting wet, not really sure. She told me to get the h-e-double hockey sticks out of the way so she could go to bed. I just hung in there until she resigned herself to her damp fate. It’s like she’s a little kid – the only things she didn’t do was hold her breath and stomp her feet.