Wicked Pissah


Wicked Pissah

wicked_pissah_ash_grey_tshirtI haven't posted since January. My sister passed away in December and caregiving activities with my 84-year-old mom with vascular dementia took on a whole new meaning. I had a difficult time helping Mom to cope and making sense out of her loss when I, myself, could barely do more than go through the motions. We are doing better now and have found ways to celebrate my sister in little ways each and every day. Each time my mom "mistakenly" calls me by my sister's name, I stop, reflect, and remember her.

Today, I write to celebrate my sister's humor. My sister was one who often made comments under her breath thinking no one heard her. I remember going to an appointment with her and her primary care doctor said, "Your thyroid is enlarged." My sister then quipped, "Gee, my jeans aren't fitting any differently!"

I wondered how I would approach my return to blogging on Caregiving.com and hoped I would find something to write about. I approached yesterday vowing to get through the day with my sister's attitude and outlook. I would find opportunities to channel my sister's sense of humor. Little did I know, she would be present with us the whole day providing some ghostly giggles and a writing prompt.

Mom had an appointment with the urologist yesterday. This would involve a trip to an elaborate Medical Center. Mom mentioned this tidbit first thing yesterday morning, "I am going to Mass General to see the urine doctor." My sister, an avid Boston Red Sox fan, then popped into my head and said, "Here you go, she thinks she is going to BOSTON for the UROLOGY appointment." Responding in true Bostonian fashion, a favorite Boston saying pops into my head: "Wicked Pissah". I giggle at this play on words. In Boston dialect, "wicked" means "really" and pisser is akin to "great," either realistically or sarcastically. (Thanks Wikipedia for this succinct definition!) "Pisser" with a Boston accent becomes "Pissah." Ha! Here is my inner dialogue mantra for today. Find humor dealing with incontinence today. Daily routines are turned upside down because of Mom's incontinence. The pressure, urgency and subsequent wet briefs expose themselves at the most inopportune times. So with my sister's spiritual guidance, I am going to find a light-hearted way of dealing with it.

Mom has a home health aide a couple times per week since she fell last month. Her nursing assistant helped with her bathing and dressing yesterday morning. For this, I am extremely thankful. A couple hours after her AM care, my mom came out of the bedroom with her pants sagging. I asked "Why are your pants so low?" and she stated, "I need to put on another brief." She does not usually change her clothes on her own. I rushed over to help and determined that she did not even have a brief on. This is weird. As I escorted her back to the chair, I asked why she put her pants back on after taking off the brief, she stated, "I learned something new today from 'that' girl. I can tear the seams of the brief and pull it right out without taking off my pants." I immediately envisioned my mother turning green and busting out of her brief in true Incredible Hulk fashion. My mind calls her the "Brief Beast."

Before we headed to her doctor's appointment, Mom's obsessive-compulsive disorder kicked in and I had to hide away the coins that we counted and rolled the day before. I bent down to grab the change container from the floor under her bed and placed my hand on a damp incontinence pad. This time, I hid the rolls under the mattress and with my sister's voice resounding in my head, I think, "Ah, The Princess and the Pee!"

It was 1:15 p.m. as we checked in for her MD appointment, I told her that we arrived a "wee bit early." She didn't catch on. She must give a urine sample which she did with assistance so as to be careful not to overshoot the urine collection hat. The nurse was standing at the sink labeling the sample so I was not able to wash her hands, the nurse directed us to the Purell hand sanitizer on the wall. I told my mom, "Squirt it onto your hands." She doesn't catch on but I know my 'spiritual' sister must be rolling around on the floor laughing at these puns. The nurse told us she would meet us in Exam Room 10. As we navigated down the hall, my mom started to read the signs on the doors. "Twelve?" "No." "Consult?" "No." I saw her anxiety surface and I tell her "Urine Room 10" and I smile.

The Medical Resident asked a lot of questions, the urologist did as well. The plan, stated the doctor, is for urodynamic studies and to ensure that my mother drinks enough fluid to make her urine look like apple juice. My mother exclaimed, "I drank too much in rehab." I can imagine my sister's spirit is now whispering in my Mom's ear and I laugh out loud as I explain that my mom fell in February and needed a skilled nursing rehab setting to heal her lumbar fracture; they often gave her apple juice to drink. The doctor laughed too.

We finished the appointment and drove home. As usual, I recapped the discussion for my mother. She needs you to drink more fluid and do exercises; I tried to explain the Kegel's in a way that she could understand. My mother stated, "I do exercises in my bed with the therapist". Stifling my laughter, I explained that the pelvic floor exercises are different than the leg exercises that she is doing. We arrived home, "pahked the cah", and entered the house. As my mom ascended the second flight of stairs on her stair-lift, she boldly states, "Oh, I gotta pee but I didn't bring my hat." For a brief moment, I think, here we go again and explain that using the specimen collection hat was a one-time thing. Mom looked at me a bit confused and wants to know more. I sigh. But just as I begin on the explanation a second time, I hear my sister in my mind singing, "Don't worry, Pee Happy."

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I love this!!! Oh I hope you can do this often! that is just perfect !


Well, that was brilliant. From both the standpoint of your sense of humor and your mastery of the Boston accent, you have written a great bog. Thanks for sharing. May we all use some of your humor today.


I'm so glad I had just peed before reading your post. You had me laughing out loud. My FIL loved puns... he certainly would have enjoyed this. My MIL, who died last June, had vascular dementia.... so of your situations sound so familar.\r\nSo sorry for the loss of your sister. I'm glad she joined you today. We've been doing a Monday night chat for After CareGiving at 8:00pm Eastern Time. Join us if you can.


A very enjoyable read. Thank you! :)