Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Blog, Garage Door and Becoming a Child

Things are going well here in LaLa land. I've been incredibly busy this last week, and with things going pretty well haven't done a lot of blogging about Joe and Lola. They're going on as usual. Also, I don't really want the blog to be only a place to vent my irritation, and it seemed I've been doing a lot of that lately.

It's easier to sit down at the keyboard and pound out a rant or vent your feelings than it is to sit write a nice cheery post. To that point, let me say that not every hour of being here is awful; nor is every interaction with my parents fraught with bad juju. Occasionally my dad actually makes sense, and for the most part, even his seeming incoherence usually has something valid, at least to him, fueling it.  He occasionally jokes and is pleasant. On the other end of the spectrum, my mom is usually pleasant and not hard to care for. She occasionally is grumpy but rarely is truly irritated and hardly ever finds anything important enough to make a fuss about.

My goal in blogging about my parents is to document things as they happen. I can look back over older posts to check out timelines, note behavior changes, drug additions or deletions. I need this. A line from one of  Tom Clancy's books comes to mind. Jack Ryan's wife wrote everything down. She claimed, "If you don't write it down, it never happened." That is life for me.

Lately I've been finding the garage door unopened a lot. That used to be the first thing Joe did every morning. It was the sign for neighbors that everything was okay at the house. I can't figure out if he's not opening it now because it's gotten too physically hard for him to do or whether he can't remember how to operate the manual lock on the door.

My mom is becoming increasingly childlike. It's difficult at times to deal with a sophisticated, intelligent woman reduced in capacity as she is. You take joy where you find it; yet, it's heart wrenching at times to watch her smiling and giggling over simple things. It's difficult to have to put Fixodent in her bottom denture 10 times a day because she starts sucking the glue out the minute you put it in, and she can't handle a tube of Fixodent to run a line along the denture herself.

I usually give Lola an apple every evening around 9:30. Last night on my way through the living room, I reglued her denture and went on into the kitchen and peeled and sliced the apple. I brought the apple to her and returned to the kitchen. I was busy making salsa. In about an hour I popped back in to check on her. The apple was uneaten, and the denture was in a tissue sitting beside it. Somehow, she had sucked all the glue out of the denture in the time it took me to peel and slice the apple. Instead of yelling for me, or getting up and coming to me to fix it. She had simply continued to sit there.

Later on at 1:00 a.m. I finally asked her to go to bed. She got up and stopped at the bathroom along the way. I got her bedside glass and went to the kitchen to make a fresh glass of ice water for her. I found her sitting back in front of the TV having completely forgotten that she was on the way to bed. I rounded her up and on the way to bed again. It irritated her. But I have to sleep on the sofa, and have to get some sleep. Immediately on getting into her room, she pulled her pants down and sat on the porta potty. Sigh. She has a dropped bladder that makes her feel like she needs to go, even when she has no urine left. She'll sit there and sit there. It irritated her when I went into the dropped bladder spiel. Because the urge to go is so intense, she resents being told about the bladder condition, doesn't accept it, and dislikes you for telling her, even though you know she can't go because you've been monitoring it.

This lovely Sunday morning Joe slept till about 10:00 a.m. and I got up, too. He was sitting in his den, and I went into the kitchen to get him orange juice and his medicine. By the time I'd done that, he was gone. Found him in the garage with his work gloves on trying to move the push lawn mower out. He didn't have his hearing aids in, either. I got him back in the den and got the dry-erase board. Wrote on it that it was Sunday. Oh, my, he reacted. He thought it was Saturday. No mowing today then. I got him to dig his hearing aids out of his pocket and in his ears. That helped. Then I got him a banana and a pudding, and he was happy.

I look forward to a pleasant Sunday. The temperature is actually below 80 degrees right now. Joy. There's a full bag of okra in the refrigerator just begging to be pickled. Joy.

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