27 April, 2016

Missing Items

...you try hard to hide/the emptiness inside/ooh, I can tell I'm losing you....

What's missing recently?

Sunday: her day planner.

Monday evening: her old, perhaps non-operative, outdoor thermometer, the one with the bear on it.

This morning: her new outdoor thermometer, the one with the bird on it.

This evening, three dog leashes, one red, one black, one pink.

"Well, I'll just be like Scarlett O'Hara and worry about it tomorrow. I'm sure once we start looking for something else, it'll pop right up. Isn't it always the way? The minute we stop needing it, there it'll be."

Except the grapefruit knife. We bought a new grapefruit knife, and the old one still didn't show up for about  a week.

"But it did show up, didn't it? It was right there in the refrigerator."

The dog leashes aren't in the refrigerator. I checked.

"I know. So did I. Twice."

The Temptations; I'm Losing You

26 April, 2016

Shadow Marks

...why am I so doubtful whenever you are out of sight?/suspicion torments my heart....

The bruises have come in along my chin, right where the shadow of my jawline falls.

Being as she is unable to learn new things, I wonder where she learned to hit like that.

She never hit me like that before, only an open palm to the face (and once, the flat side of a butter knife, because it was in her hand.) So someone hit her like that, deep in her past. Under the chin, calculated to not show.

Logically, I should suspect my grandmother, which indicates someone did that when SHE was a child.

I actually suspect my great-grandmother, my grandaddy's mother, who was by all accounts a fierce, harsh diva who only wanted things one way: hers.

Of course, anyone who could confirm this for me is long dead.

Elvis Presley; Suspicion

25 April, 2016

Descending Spiral

...You spin me right round, baby/right round like a record, baby/right round round round....

"What's this round white one for?"

That's your Aricept. It is to help prevent further memory loss.

"And this little yellow one?"

That's the Levothyroxin that you've been taking all your life.

"Not all my life, just since I was thirteen years old."

(The age changes. She used to tell me 'since I was fifteen years old', or sometimes 'sixteen'.)

Okay, just since you were thirteen. What else can I tell you?

"What's the red one on the other side?"

That's a vitamin called luetine, and it's for your eyes.

"What's this big white one, then?

Magnesium and calcium for your bones.

"Well, I already have bones, so I don't need that. What about the little round white one?"

That's the Aricept for your memory. You should probably take it at night, because one side effect is that it causes dizziness in some people. If you take it before bed, you won't care that you're dizzy."

"And the little yellow one? What is that?"

That's your thyroid medicine.

"I'm going to rattle if I take all these pills!"

You don't need to take the vitamins if you don't want them. The eye doctor just suggested it would be good for you to have some luetine, and calcium is good for your bones. 

"Which ones are the vitamins? The gummy ones I know are multivitamin. I've taken those already."

The red one is for your eyesight and the white one is for your bones.

"I guess that's calcium. But what's this round white one? Is that a vitamin?"

That one is your Aricept. For your memory. It's not a vitamin, it's a prescription medication. 

"Am I supposed to take that one at night? What about this little yellow one?"

That's your thyroid medicine. Yes, you should take the white one at night. If you want to take the yellow one at night, too that should be fine.

"I'll see what I feel like doing when the time comes. If I don't want to do it, I'm not going to do it, and you can't stop me, so nyah-nyah to you. What about this red one?"

Take that one whenever you want. It's a vitamin to help your eyesight. 

"I'm going to rattle if I take all these! Doctors, they just want to prescribe pills for everything now."

Only the little yellow one and the round white one are prescriptions. The others are vitamin supplements. You don't need to take them if you'd rather not.

"Is this yellow one my thyroid medication?"

Yes, that's levothyroxin.

"What's this white one? Did I already ask you that?"

You did, but I'll tell you again as often as you need. It's Aricept, to help prevent further memory loss.

"I think you probably told me that already."

Dead Or Alive; You Spin Me 'Round(Like A Record)

24 April, 2016

Coffee Additive

....Alligator creepin round the corner of my cabin door...

Sometime in January:

She peers into her coffee cup, then looks around.

What are you looking for?

"Something to put in my coffee."

Like what?
She takes it black, no sugar.

"Like.... sweetener. Or.... an alligator."

I think she probably wants some chocolate syrup in her coffee. She's gotten a sweet tooth these past two years or so. I surreptitiously peek in her kitchen, but she seems to be out of chocolate syrup. I must remember to put that on her list of staples, along with Havarti cheese, bananas, bread, Bosc pears, sliced turkey breast, grapefruit, goat milk, graham crackers, bread, sweet potatoes and ice cream. She's not eating much, and cooking hardly at all. Remind me, and I'll talk about the Christmas Turkey Fiasco.

I joke with her about alligators often being acceptable substitutes for both coffee sweeteners and whiteners. She laughs, she drinks her coffee. Without sweetener.

Also without alligators.

Grateful Dead; Alligator

22 April, 2016

Chin Music

...one little cross leads to shots, grit your teeth/You run for cover so discreet, why don't they/Do what they say, say what you mean/One thing leads to another/ You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long.....

Today, she hits me.

It's not the first time ever, but it is the first time since she's been diagnosed as 'impaired'. The other times were 'parenting' and I've mostly forgiven her for them.

I've mostly forgiven her for this, too.

I'm not sure what I'll tell her if she asks why I have bruises on my chin and throat.  And I don't know whether I'm hoping to have them, or hoping to not have them.

Today, I check her medications. She seemed to have taken today's supply. She should've waited until bedtime for the one in the red pillbox, but it's already gone. She may have taken it last night before bed, but there's no way for me to verify that. She's complained of dizziness, and taking the responsible medication before bed would keep the dizziness from annoying her.

I heat for her some of the tuna casserole I've brought for her. I heat one of the two cups of cold coffee she has sitting around. I put the red pillbox back upstairs on her nightstand. I don't put a slash through yesterday on her upstairs calendar, the one she keeps taking down, because I don't have a pen on me. I'll need to start remembering to carry a pen upstairs always.

I ask if it is okay if I walk her dogs. She says she's just walked them. I ask if she walked them barefoot. She checks the soles of her feet, and says she guesses so.

I'm pleased she likes the pink hat I knit for her. It doesn't go so well with bare feet, even though she's got capri pants and a fleece sweatshirt (both in need of washing) between them.

I tell her I have my phone with me and she can call if she wishes, and set off. She tires easily now, so I walk down the block, around the corner, up the block, across the street, around the corner, down the block, around the corner, up the street, across the street, down the block, around the corner and back up her street. About halfway, she meets me. Still barefoot, still unshowered, still wearing the pink hat.

"I didn't know where my dogs were," she says.

They were with me. You said it was okay. I told you I had my phone. You could've called me.

"I didn't know where my dogs were."

When we get to the gate, I make them sit. She takes off the leashes, despite them not being inside the yard yet. She has to have her way. I make them keep sitting, and she tries to wrestle them from me, raises her hand and that's when she hits me.

I lose my temper and ask if she's going to hit me again. Not nicely. She does. Several times. My throat still hurts, and it's been a few hours.

She continues to rail at me and threaten me before we go inside. She orders me to leave her property. She says she'll get a restraining order. I do not leave. We go inside. She accuses me of trying to control her. I tell her she looked like a crazy woman, wandering in the neighborhood unwashed and barefoot. She says she doesn't care what the neighbors think of her. I tell her that if she is deemed incapable of living alone, she'll need to go into a home.

"That's what you've wanted all along anyway," she shouts at me. It's not true. I know it's not true, and I suspect on some level she knows it, too.  I reiterate that I'm trying to protect her, trying to keep her in her home, keep her doing the things she likes to do. After some more shouting, and a phone call from Coco saying we need to scram now, (hair appointment; her, not me), I say I have to go, I love you, and I lean down to give her a kiss on each cheek, which is the only acceptable way to do it. She gets up, telling me to wait. She wants to give me a hug. "Unless you don't want one," she says, with a nasty edge. I squeeze her very tight and she whispers that she knows I'm trying to help her but it's hard because she has been so cussed independent for so long. I promise I will never leave her no matter how unpleasant she is to me. She says, "I know. I appreciate that. It's just..."

I know.


The Fixx; One Thing Leads To Another

19 April, 2016

Medias Res

...put on your red shoes and dance the blues......

I'd planned to begin at the beginning, but that would mean backtracking, so I'd better just begin.

Tonight, she waited on the porch for me with a baseball bat.

"She's stolen from me before," she tells Pugsley, who waits with her.

"They just went for a walk," Pugsley reminds her.

"Well, they've been gone long enough. She's stolen from me before, you know."

Pugsley explains to his grandmother that Wednesday and I probably were walking the dogs a longer while than she herself usually does (we were) and that the young boy dog (who my family has been calling 'Dogmeat') needed more stimulation than he usually had with just her. He assures her that we would return with the dogs. It wasn't until he held up the car keys to show her that there was no way we could leave without coming back to the house first that she began to calm down a little.

"I just want to clarify," he tells me later, "that I didn't talk down to her, I talked her down."

I glance at the clock. It's past seven. Of course she was upset and worried.

Her 'terrible two o'clocks' are coming as early as 1 PM now. Today at 1:20, she left a message about the third dog, the one I stole, the one she's not getting back.

I don't know how to not feel terrible about any of this.

David Bowie; Let's Dance