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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Crazy Train Tuesday

Once again I am recounting the life of My Beloved Sister and me as we attempt to make our mom's life easier for her and somewhat happy. It is hard because if things are not perfect she is testy, and if she is testy we all have to be miserable too. Writing this provides me a cheaper alternative to therapy and keeps me sane. You are welcome to come aboard for a little ride on the crazy train

Tuesday: Mom had dinner with us for the 4th of July. She was disappointed because "That Girl" (Girlfriend2 who evidently has no name) was unable to eat with us. I "made too much food, and why would you do that". Holiday, maybe?

Wednesday: This started the beginning of the week of terrors. Mom called to tell me her freezer was not freezing properly and it scared her. Also the tree had another small branch fall, and that scared her. (Please pray, if you are so inclined, that July 17 and 18 will be rain free.  We are having the power lines dropped so dry weather is critical for the two day projected removal operation.) My Beloved Sister ran by Mom's on her way home from work. Mom had to show her that her freezer was not working by taking the ice cream out of the freezer and sticking her thumb in the middle of it. I guess a spoon could not have demonstrated that correctly. Now MBS and I are secretly calling Mom, "Little Nan Horner"but she has yet to find a plum.

Thursday: Mom called and woke me early to let me know her freezer was still not working well and asked if I could come look at it. She was too scared to check on it. I asked her if her refrigerator was still cooling but she didn't know. Since I know nothing about repairing refrigerators I called Danny to go take a look at it. (Repairman I have used exclusively since I was in my early 20's). She was not sure about being alone with Danny since she could not explain what was going on with her refrigerator. I told her that is why I called him. He has the knowing of appliance repair that I am not privy to. She still wanted me to come wait until he got there, even though he had told me he was covered up for the day and would probably not be there until Friday.  I was not about to wait in her hot house all day. (Anyone else have a mom who keeps her a/c set on a balmy 83?)

Friday: Danny came and found the unit had frozen, so it needed to thaw before he could take a look at it. The refrigerator was pulled out and unplugged. Thanks to My Beloved Sister who helped Mom move all her cold items to her basement fridge. More horrors__Danny does not work on weekends so it would be Monday before he got back to her.
Since she was scared and had no upstairs refrigeration I had her come eat dinner with us. "That Girl" was here then, so she was somewhat happy, but I still made "too much food".

Saturday: Mom called at the crack of dawn. There was water in the finished part of her basement. Before I went flying down there I asked how much water there was, thinking a pipe had burst and it had flooded. There was a puddle__from the refrigerator that she had put no towels around to catch the thawed previously frozen liquid so it followed the path of least resistance and ran through the minuscule opening where the water line connects with her refrigerator through the ceiling tiles and onto the downstairs den floor. It wiped up with one bath towel, so it couldn't have been much of a puddle to begin with, but it ruined the ceiling and she was scared. I told her I would replace the scary dropped ceiling tiles next week, but I would not do it right then. Since I would not fix them immediately, she put on her finery and went to a 90th birthday party for a friend of hers (Thank you Malcomb, for having a sit down luncheon for your birthday celebration), then she went home, took a nap, then attended a dinner function with us. Later she told MBS that the event (dinner and a musical revue) was just OK. It makes me really glad we asked her to go.

Sunday: She was down in the dumps because she had never been faced with so many horrible things in her life. Evidently she had no idea they had repairs and maintenance done around the house for the entire 63 years she and Dad were married. We keep saying we don't know whether to thank Dad for taming the beast or curse him for creating the monster.
And what you might ask are all the horrible things she is facing? The tree in her front yard, a shrub that she had to remove when she had a sprinkler system put in, a wounded refrigerator, a fire ant bed near her walkway, and possible moles in her back yard down by the creek.  Terrifying, right?

Monday: Once again I got an early morning phone call asking when I thought Danny might be there. She was alarmed because it was 8:30 and she thought he might stop at her house first. When I told her he probably followed a geographic order working his way from his office outward she was terribly disappointed. (Again!) I do not know when all service people will realize her needs should always be served first. Anyway she needed a new motor* and he replaced it but she was so upset she had to come here and have a glass of iced tea, because she had not heard "ice tinkling in a glass for a long time." (Her words, honest to God. It had to be at the very latest Friday night when she came here or Saturday night when she went with us to because she had iced tea both nights.)
And now we begin a new week fraught with hidden terrors and horrors, and early morning phone calls. And I begin a new week going to her house and lugging all her cold food upstairs so she can put it back in the fridge and freezer.

*You don't pay Danny at the time of service. He bills you and you send him a check. I don't care how high the bill is because it is worth every penny to not have to go shopping for the prefect refrigerator which will never be found because the models will have changed since she bought her last one and all change is bad!

And now I am off to haul all of her refrigerator stuff back upstairs which will lead to me having to have a tea party and then fitting some clothing item she has torn apart so it can be altered to fit her rapidly dwindling body.

35 comments:

  1. You mean the world does not revolve around her? Oh Ann, I feel for you. My mother is just a horror of a grouch.

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    1. Mom is not a grouch, she is scared and uncertain and a touch demanding though.

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    2. Anne,
      It seems they just express what they feel in different ways. Maybe the underlying problem, loss of control of their worlds, is the same.

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    3. I think the loss of control is a huge part of it, but Mom knows she can control very little.

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  2. Poor mom. It must feel awful to feel so confused and scared by everything. I do love how she calls the girlfriend "that girl" LOL

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    1. It is hard on her and hard on us. I truly just want her to have the best quality of life she possibly can.

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  3. Danny must be one of those angel repair people. My plumber and Heating/AC guys are like that. My refrigerator is making a funny noise. I think it's going to give up on me one of these days. Send Danny immediately, please.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Danny is wonderful, but he is getting ready to retire. I might have to buy him the house across the street just to keep him handy.

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    2. My plumber says he's going to give up his business and work for someone else in a few years. I'm trying to get him to train his son to take over. My Heating/AC guy already has two of his three sons working with him, so I'm set for emergency air conditioning repairs for the rest of my life.

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  4. I thought for sure you were going to say there was nothing wrong with the refrigerator. What on earth would she do if things went smoothly. If only repairmen would come to my house first. That is a fantasy for me!

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    1. She is to a point where everything is scary and upsetting.

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  5. Danny sounds like a gem. Colour me jealous.
    And yes, I am well aware that the world SHOULD revolve around some people's needs.

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  6. Her fear (and grouchiness) are so sad for all of you. I feel for you all. Anna

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    1. It is sad and it is not how she wants to be. I think it would be easier if she didn't recognize her limitations in reasoning.

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  7. The world really does terrify your mother, doesn't it? You and sister deserve a lot of credit of taking care of your mother when she needs it the most, but makes it the hardest.

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    1. It is hard and we are not too far from having to make some difficult decisions for her, but trust me, when we do you will hear the fallout all the way to N.C.

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    2. Another blogger I read regularly is going through that with her 90 year old mother. They just told her she is going to a NH. It seems she took it OK but then there were some disagreements but it sounds like she is definitely going- her family can't care for her any longer. I've already told my kids I'll go cheerfully to a NH but I hope they visit occasionally. I DON'T want to be dependent on them at all for care.

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  8. You are a saint being so calm and peaceful with her. I admit I am not always feeling so patient with my Mother in law, so I need to learn from you.

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    1. I am no saint. MBS and I talk and whine and moan and groan to each other so we will have it all out of our system before we are around her.

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  9. I love your Tuesday blogs, they make me smile ;). Sorry you are going through this, but it sure reminds me of the years of taking care of my older relatives and my husband's dad. They must all go to training somewhere to learn how to be like this ;)

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    1. As fast as time flies I am just an eye blink from being there myself. Hopefully I will be gracious when my sons are trying to help. Hahahahaha, I am kidding. I have only sons so I will get the cheap nursing home that smells like urine when you open the front door.

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    2. The nursing home isn't necessarily cheap if you can smell the urine. In the nursing home where I worked, the second floor smelled fine. The third floor was a skilled nursing facility. We had many people in a vegetative state or totally incontinent. No matter how hard we worked, it smelled like urine. Plus, a lot of older people don't drink water. It makes the odor of the urine much stronger.

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  10. I admire your patience. i could easily come to blows with my mum on a daily basis and she is much less maintenance than yours!

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    1. It is hard and I do lose my patience but rarely in front of Mom.

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  11. "ice tinkling in a glass for a long time"
    I burst out laughing...you can't make that up!

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  12. Your mother's "horrible" experiences make me thankful that my mom went before my dad as she was afraid of everything and lived an hour away. I think the anxiety of having to deal with all the things my dad looked after would have driven her over the edge. Strange thing to be thankful for but there you have it!

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    1. I understand your thankfulness. Even as a younger woman Mom would be very upset by small things, but now every single thing is huge and imposing. Dad did a great job buffering Mom from anything unpleasant and now she has lost her shield.

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  13. You and your sister are good daughters to your mother. I wonder if she realizes just how much you both do for her.

    Can you send Danny my way? My fridge is on its last leg!

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  14. I am sure if the price were right he would come.

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  15. You guys are SO good for your mom! My mother in law lives with us and is a complainer. "The DVR doesn't record the last minute of my shows! WHY?!" "There is a stain on this shirt after it came back from the laundry." "Don't yell at me!"(when she's forgotten her hearing aids and you have to keep talking louder when you repeat things) and that's even the tip of the iceberg. yikes... But she DOES love her doctor appts, but won't follow what the doctor says. She was a nurse for crying out loud and made fun of the doctor's wisdom even then.
    I feel ya.

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  16. If we are so for her good, how come we both feel so incompetent?
    I have started telling Mom I will not yell anymore because she chooses to not hear every day those hearing aids are in her jewelry drawer.

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