Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nursing Home Blues

That's exactly how I feel mom.  Let us out of here.  But we can't leave because your wheelchair is trapped between two tables and a dozen other wheelchairs.  We have to stay until everyone else down the table leaves.  Can I really chew my leg off?  How long would it take?

It's the morning after the nursing home Thanksgiving dinner. I'm wondering if  the high carb meal we had will successfully pass through my system or will it just migrate to my thighs?

At least my meal wasn't pureed.  Picture your Thanksgiving dinner in a blender... bean casserole, turkey, dressing.  Seconds anyone?

Mom and I have been doing this for seven years.  This year was a little different.  She looked at me pleasantly and said, "You look familiar."  Stop right now if you are going to say "poor baby" and ask me how that makes me feel.  I know you are all sensitive souls, but let me reassure you that this is better than the way it used to be.  She doesn't complain any more about imaginary illnesses, and she doesn't know that she has no short term memory.  She loves the people who take care of her so if she thinks I'm just a nice, slightly familiar person who comes to visit her, that's fine with me.

Oh yes, mom is 89, soon to be 90 and she's in better shape now than she was a year ago.  Anyone else out there afraid their parents will live longer than them?  Her nursing home is full of ladies in their 90's whose daughters drag their arthritic bodies there for visits.  The mothers still rag on them and order them around.  That's why I'm not horribly upset about my mother's lack of recognition.  Being an only child, I've paid my dues when it comes to taking the brunt of parental interference.  I'm just a friendly visitor.  My record is wiped clean.  Mom doesn't remember the things I did when I was younger.  I'm off the hook forever.

Enough about me.  How are the rest of you doing with the aging parent scenario?  The sandwich generation metaphor isn't accurate.  Sometimes it's more like two elevator doors slamming in on both sides of you.  Having teenagers and elderly parents at the same time is not for the weak of spirit.  I made it through without medication, so can you.

I still have the Christmas party at the nursing home to look forward to.  I'll be sure to share the pictures. 


  1. (Damn Google, anyway!)

    The Bag Lady says:

    My parents both died fairly young (and the older I get, the younger they were when they died) so I don't have to worry about them not recognizing me (at least, not until I get to wherever we go and they are; and then I'm sure mom will be asking what the hel was I thinking, wearing that!)
    Seriously, though, my mother-in-law is 82 (tomorrow....OMG, I need to bake a cake - I have half a dozen people coming for supper! What am I doing, drinking margaritas and blogging!!) and she is in far better shape than I'll ever be at her age!!

  2. Bag Lady...If she's in great shape then she should bake the cake and you keep drinking.

  3. My daughter worked at a care center with Alzheimer patients when she was an LPN. She really enjoyed it because the patients were usually happy. They are the ones that don't know they were getting old and sick and their kids never visit them, and they get to meet new friends every day.

  4. Ah, Judy, there's your mom! I haven't seen her in ages. I remember when she used to pick up the boys from my house.

    My mom died 3 years ago and my dad is 84 and still living in the big house in Cincinnati that I grew up in. He refuses to move to somewhere smaller. He is pretty independent and very social so he keeps busy. He gets lonely living alone though - I try to visit most Saturdays and help with stuff around the house. sometimes I DO feel like I'm being stretched in too many directions...


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