Last week was bumpy--it's actually continuing into this week too. Elly was have tummy troubles that rumbled all the way down!
I couldn't figure out how or what was bugging her except that she would put the heating pad on her tummy. Our temperatures here were in the comfortable 70's ramping up to over 100 by Mother's Day. It was still odd that she would be clutching her heating pad when the temps in the house were close to 80!
I asked Elly how she was feeling beginning on Sunday when she looked uncomfortable but I either got, "I am just fine" or "A bug must've bitten me, have you been sick?" When I asked further about what was ailing her she would just brush me off. Monday night, LivingRoom Son and girlfriend joined Elly for dinner which I had started heating up before Awesome Hubby and I left for Dinner/Bible Study. When I came home, I asked how Grandma had eaten. Both LRSon and Girlfriend said she ate well, enchiladas and rice with ice cream for dessert, of course.
Tuesday morning Grandma didn't look so good and she didn't make coffee in the morning or move from her chair. She said she had stomach cramps and was just going to stay there for a bit. She said she "hadn't eaten anything for a couple of days" so she had "no starch." So, at lunch time, I made her some soup even though she had heated up leftovers but couldn't bring them to the table because she was tired. She appreciated that. When I asked later in the afternoon what she would like for dinner, she said she felt fine and would eat anything. I made waffles.
This went on like this throughout the week. She did need to wash the afghan on her chair one day and then Friday she washed her sheet that had been soiled before she could get to the bathroom. I tried to help her with her diet by suggesting appropriate TummyTrouble foods but she would just brush it off. I kept waiting for Elly to walk into the Living Room while I was on the Google Hangout with the Video Chat: Taking Caregiving Public!
These are the times when I wish there was a magic wand for communication. I bet this was going on when my mom was a child and can imagine how frustrating it would have been. I can understand better maybe why my Mom "stomped" away from her parents 30 years ago! Elly's sister called her this week and asked how she was. Elly responded, "Well, how do you think I should be! How are you?" There is never any answer to a question, even a direct one if she doesn't want to share.
We are a family who likes to help and "fix." Elly is at the point of being the ultimate "fixer" no matter what! There is no filter on her suggestions. We do our best to find humor to work through these times. I will share some precious ones that we came up with this week.
For Mother's Day, Elly's son sent a dried flower wreath, which came early. She took it out of the box and looked at it. Her first comment was, "I wonder why they sent this!" I told her it was for Mother's Day and they might have chosen it because it would last longer than cut flowers since she has so many in her yard anyway.
As she inspected it and thought about where it should be hung, she asked me to move some things and hang it on the wall in the room where she spends most of her time. After I moved it a second time, she asked me, "Do you think people will think it's a funeral wreath?" I did my best not to bust up but giggled and said that it was lovely with a lavender ribbon that doesn't look like a funeral wreath. I think I will make sure it eventually shows up at her funeral tho...
My NurseySister came over to visit Elly and I on Saturday and we were talking about Mother's Day gifts. I mentioned that I told LivingRoom Son that I was collecting gift cards from him for a certain Kitchen Shop if he was thinking about a gift for me. Elly asked what I was going to get so I explained that I wanted an ice cream machine which that fits on our mixer (and mine in storage) and then I would give that son our old ice cream maker. She asked how much it was, I said that it was quite expensive and it was $80. She told me "Well, you should have had more children!" My sister and I really laughed at that and then I told Elly that I would be patient and collect the gift cards as they came. :) I need $15 more to be able to buy it so I may have to wait for my birthday.
We had a larger group than normal for "Sunday Lunch" which is the day every week that my NurseySister, who lives next door, brings lunch to us. We had 11 of us since we invited my step-mom and Dad to join us. Elly looked at the open door to the LivingRoom and whispered loudly with a smirk to Awesome Hubby to "make sure that door is closed" because of the unkempt way LivingRoom Son lives in there (without a closet). She has mentioned to LivingRoom Son and me that he really needs to "stop rolling up his clothes when he puts them in his dresser, he should fold them and he'll get more in them!" We know that she's checked out his dresser drawers which makes us laugh!
I am signed up for my first workshop with Valley Caregivers which will be on long-term care decisions. I hope there is some humor in this workshop because when we open this topic with Elly, we'll have to have some fun comebacks. It's been a while since we've discussed options for when we no longer can or will help Elly stay in her home but I think this comes at a good time, bumpy week and all!
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