I Won’t Grow Up!

I know that when Peter Pan sang that growing up song, he didn’t want to have to assume the responsibilities of adulthood. I will accept those, but I sure as can be don’t want to get old and grumpy and alone.

My parents both died too young. One from (presumably) a heart attack and the other from Alzheimer’s Disease (she was gone years before she died). My grandmother died all of a sudden and was happy and active until “her time” came. The other grandmother was really old (96) and was bedridden and ready to go.

N’s mother is struggling with (I’m not sure if it’s life or) death. She is miserable. She is lonely and bored but refuses to get out of her chair and her room. I’d be stir crazy too if I was in the same room 24/7! But when her caregivers or we ask to take her outside, does she say, “yes! sure.” Nope. Will she go to the dining room? Nope.

I want to be active and healthy and, maybe most important of all, happy! Kick me when I get to feeling sorry for myself, will you? I will grow up if I can do it without attacking my children and facing each day with dread!

Gone sitting.

I See Old People

Another road trip. To Naples, FL, this time … to visit N’s mother who is in a lovely Assisted Living facility here.

Getting old really sucks. All of her friends and her husband are dead. “Nobody” (we interpret this as “nobody who I can remember or really care about) visits her. The aides who work on her wing, at least a few of them, have a HUGE chip on their shoulders and the attitudes make her feel threatened to the point that she feels unsafe at times. I can’t imagine being dependent on people who come into your room (her only home, likely for the rest of her life) with a grimace on their face, people who can’t even grunt out a semi-pleasant greeting, who leave you sitting on the toilet knowing you can’t get yourself up or help yourself. Unacceptable behavior for “care-givers” paid to be helpful.

Visits are getting more difficult and Nanny’s getting more difficult to please as her words are becoming less numerous and more difficult to retrieve. Communication is wacky – with “no” being the first response to every inquiry but often followed by a “yes” or a few words strung together slowly. We’re finding that we have to speak more slowly and distinctly and a lot louder! We are learning a lot about patience and are able to wait much longer for her to figure out how to respond.

I wish there were a way to remove yourself from the world of the living when you feel that your life is no longer worth living and when you’ve got no quality of life.

On the flip side, it incentivizes me and reminds me to get moving and to keep my life and mind active and full today … we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

Gone knitting!