Thursday, June 24, 2010

What has no end?

What has no end? Well not this life…anyway.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Revelation 22:13

What has no end? God and God’s love is eternal. The other answer is “a doughnut.”

There’s a nice tall older gentleman in my water aerobics class. He’s in great shape for his age and never misses a class. As we were bobbing up and down in the water doing our required amount of leg kicks, he said to me, “Life expectancy in the USA is 70 years old. If you get there, be happy! That means you did good! It’s all downhill after that.”

People who are older and I mean obviously nearing the “end” insist that their day have a set beginning, a set middle and a set end. My mom likes to stick to an established routine. She does not desire any spontaneity in her life. Variety is a bad word ! She wants it all to be the same way, the same time every day. She even dislikes it if I’m pushing her in her wheelchair back to her room and I decide to take a different route. The minute I start to turn, her feet plant themselves down on the floor to stop the movement of the wheelchair and as I’m about to topple over her because of this abrupt move, she says “whoa, why are we going this way? No!!! I don’t want to go this way!”

There’s a nice old lady at Mom’s dining room table that must have chocolate ice cream for dessert every meal. About halfway through the meal, she starts wondering where her chocolate ice cream is. This lady never says anything else throughout the meal but half way through, she takes the big effort of holding her bony little hand up in the air and waving, she insists, “Where’s my chocolate ice cream? Where’s my chocolate ice cream? Chocolate ice cream? ” She says this over and over until someone notices and gives her some cold creamy chocolate ice cream! The same thing happens every day, “chocolate ice cream” like clockwork.

Another petite elderly lady with tiny little glasses and a big happy personality can suddenly turn into a big grumpy if her bath’s not on time. As I walk toward her she sighs “Oh, oh, oh, no”. Of course you and I both know that this means I should come over and touch her shoulder and ask her why. She can’t hear so I lean over and speak loudly into her ear, “What’s wrong?” She then scrunches up her wrinkly little lips, looks at me with sorrowful teary eyes and squeals “Oh they didn’t come and give me a bath today until three o’clock!” "it just ruined my day!" Her bath is supposed to be at two o clock. Old ladies always watch the clock! If you are late, they hate it!

OK, so here’s the truth!

All this makes you want to roll your eyes and say, “Big deal, your bath’s late, Don’t worry about it! You are an old lady anyway and your bath time is not the most important thing in the world! “Or “Shut up! You’ll get your ice cream, there’s plenty of it, this is the United States of America and there is no shortage of chocolate Ice cream! “Or “Get over it! We are taking a different route to your room? I looked it up on map quest and turning here will get you there just as fast!”

I admit it! Sometimes I DO say that! When I do, I get different reactions, Sometimes the reaction is a look of surprise and then a smile. Sometimes it's not.

Most the time,  I say what I know that I should say, which is “Bless your heart, pick your feet up and we will go the way you want to, the same way as we go every day, Your so right Darlin, it’s just terrible that your bath was an hour late, those bath people should be ashamed of themselves for making you wait and All right sweety, let’s get you some chocolate ice cream, you deserve your chocolate ice cream right now!”

Old people do have an end and it’s soon, there’s no reason to argue with them, if possible, it’s best to just go with the flow.

“Whatever you want mom, whatever it is, lets’ do it. I love you so much”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How do you do that sitting flat down in a chair?

At my age there's 2 things I have learned.
1. never pass a restroom AND
2..never trust a fart!"

My brother Johnny told my Mom that joke and she just cackled and giggled at it.
 I'm just going to say it strait out honest! Old  age is about BM. I know it's not what people like to think about, talk about or usually post in a blog but it's a problem that can't be politely ignored.  If you did, you would not be honest. We all know BM is not so bad for babies. We buy little diapers, wipe them down and powder off their little sweet bottoms. Then as we get older, it's something we just deal with but still humans figured out a long time ago, first with outhouses then toilets. We just flush it away and that's that. Then the day comes for lots of old folks when it becomes less private again.  This less private thing happened to Mom recently and it's a dreaded reality to elderly people. It's called losing your bathroom privileges . Yes using the bathroom is a privileges. Taking that away makes an old person feel defenseless, and without dignity.

This week the staff decided they couldn't help mom to the bathroom anymore. She's getting weaker,( dead weight ) and too heavy to transport from the wheel chair to the toilet. They now have to transport her from the chair to her bed with a large mechanical lift that picks her up in a sling. This lift does not work with a toilet in the bathroom. Mom found out she was put on the mechanical lift which she hates anyway and then realized it meant losing her bathroom privileges. Mom cried . I cried  with her.  We complained, cried, reevaluated, moved her to a new room, cried, had meetings about it, more meetings were held without us because we were crying, we saw the Dr., talked to physical therapy and just about anything else we could think to do. Solutions and compromises were made but not without lots of change. She had to move to a new room. She isn't thrilled with the new room either. She has to get used to new roomates and misses her old one. Her old roomate saw me and she cried too!,  She waved her little boney gloved hands around in the air and belted out, "I hate to get a new roomate. You always have to break them in again." Change is never considered a good thing to old people.

 Finally as a part of the compromises that needed to be made, the powers that be decided Mom could be transported into a larger bathroom down the hall once a day. She now has bathroom privileges back! We were much happier with this, even if it's only once a day. Thank goodness Mom is on a regular schedule regarding the you know what and usually goes you know where around the same time. Let's face it, old age really is all about BM!  Life for mom can be made miserable because of it, the more of it, the less of it, where to go, what to put it in. It's gross. When it comes to the concept of just doing it in your pants? Mom would not, could not do it!  The reality of it was stated firmly by my dear mother to me  "How do you do that sitting flat down in a chair?" Good question? The logistics of that would disturb most anyone.