Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm So _____ We Had This Time Together


Granny is currently staying with my aunt. After her foray to the ER almost two weeks ago, she needs around the clock care. My aunt had been trying to get Granny to come live with her for some time, and thank God someone is looking after her. She can not stand for any length of time, even to take a shower, and, well, bladder control is a thing of the past.

Of course, for the first few days, she insisted she could get by on her own. Now it is setting in that she does need full time help. It is getting to the point that she may have to be strapped into a wheelchair soon because she very well may tumble forward out of it.

So, I have the house to myself. I'll be honest, it's nice. But it is eye opening as well. I have ranted in the past about how the house is falling apart...a diagnosis that isn't too far off base. As I type, the wind is rattling the ancient, flimsy windows, and it is especially loud downstairs, where you can hear it blow through the old broken Jalousies on the porch. The floor in Granny's bedroom is like ice, partly due to the fact that her closet is not insulated, just like mine upstairs.

Over time, things had gone badly downhill. You could see through her bath towels. Her nightgowns were like rags, even though several new ones sat, tags still attached, in her drawer. I had bought some of them for her as Christmas gifts over the last few years. The throw rugs in her bedroom were filthy. A pail full of dirty adult diapers sat in the corner of her room. Several years ago (1992 maybe?), my mother had given her some barely worn sweatshirts of mine. Before Christmas, I came downstairs to find her wearing the very same sweatshirt I had worn to my first day at Aurora Middle School, September 1986.

Since she hasn't been able to really clean in some time, everything is coated with a thick layer of sticky dust, especially in the kitchen. I washed the cabinets with Murphy's oil soap, replaced the blind over the sink (it used to be white), and polished the burnished copper door pulls. Still, I feel like I'm arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. With the exception of the basement, there are no three-pronged electrical plugs in the house. The plumbing is laughable, having been put together from scraps of pipes my grandfather found while building the house. The furnace is from the mid-Fifties. The windows are falling apart. And then, the little things, like the gorgeous pink plastic tiles in the kitchen. Plastic!

I really hope she left me some Lortab.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stubborn, With a Capital S-T-U-B-B-O-R-N

Granny refuses to take her pain medication.

She was prescribed Anaprox (high dosage naproxen sodium) for swelling and Lortab (hydrocodone, nice) for pain. I was to pick up the prescriptions for her yesterday morning, but she stopped me.

Granny: I don't think you'll be able to get my prescriptions.
Me: Why not?
Granny: Huh?
Me: Why don't you think I can get your prescriptions?
Granny: I can do without them.
Me: Granny, you really should take them...
Granny: I don't know what they're for, and that second one is nothing but dope.
Me: You say that like it's a bad thing. Aren't you in pain?
Granny: I heard the doctor saying I only should take them if I really need them. I can do without them.
Me: Fine, then suffer.

Turns out she overheard the doctor at the hospital questioning one of the prescriptions she takes on a daily basis, which it turns out is a drug for Parkinson's disease. Granny shakes badly but does not actually have Parkinson's. The doctor was asking why Granny's primary care physician keeps prescribing it when she doesn't have the disease.

So she called my mother, and after informing her that my mother is the one who looks terrible and belongs in a hospital, not her, my mother explained to her that she really needs to take the anti-inflammatory and pain medication so her body will relax enough to heal. She let me go get her medication but my mother told me this morning that she hasn't taken any of it. Uncle Sonny dropped off a wheelchair he had, and she's wheeling herself around the bottom floor in a flannel nightgown as we speak.

I just hope she leaves me some Lortab...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Chose...Wisely: The Holy Grail of Weird Things Around The House (#7)

Kathleen, look what I found!

Friends, I can not hide my enthusiasm for our next entry, which I thought had been lost to the ages.

This here lamp, this wonderful lamp, a true kitsch classic, holds so many great memories for our family. I have been on the hunt for it since I moved in, and was under the impression it had been knocked over and broken. It used to reside on the bar in the basement. Yes, what you are seeing is a drunk holding on to a lamp post with one hand and a bottle of booze with another. The lamp at the top used to say "BAR" and I think this may have been what got broken, as the frosted glass globe on tops looks like it has been replaced.

The best part? The ABSOLUTELY BEST PART? The "You're kidding me, right?" part?

It has a music box in the base that plays "How Dry I Am". It still works, too.

And where did I find this treasure? Well, it had been under our noses the whole time. While Granny was in the ER today, we had to fetch some items from her bedroom. Now, I never go into her bedroom, and was unaware the the ceiling lamp didn't work. So we turned on the lamp on her nightstand...this was the lamp on her nightstand! She claimed she didn't know where this lamp had gone. Old woman, it's the lamp right next to your bed!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

They're Sending Her Home. Seriously.

And again...*facedesk*.

I don't know how my mother, who can barely walk and suffers from vertigo, and her 73 year-old sister, who suffers from various ailments herself, are expected to care for this woman.

A few weeks ago, my mother told her, "You had your kids too young and you've lived too long. We're all to old and decrepit to really care for you".

Hopefully this incident will ring a bell in Granny's mind that she needs some kind of assisted living situation.

Famous Last Words

Well folks, it happened today.

She did NOT look good this morning. "My back hurts so bad, I don't know how I got out of bed. And every time I move this leg I hear a crack. I don't know what to do". I called my Mom, who came over with my Aunt Rose. They called 911.

The pain was in her lower back. The EMT said her hip might be broken. She admitted to the EMT that she fell on Saturday. Had she told any of us? No.

On the way out the door, she was yelling, "Does Kimberly know how to lock up the house?"


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Mother Of All Rosaries: Weird Things Around The House #6

When I moved in, it was hanging on the wall in the space over my bed. It had been hanging there so long that when I pulled it down a light outline of it was left, Shroud of Turin-style.

It is The Mother Of All Rosaries.

I don't know where it came from. Perhaps it just appeared one day, the same way God supposedly just suddenly was. There is only one indicator on the back of the cross at the bottom - "Italy". No shit.

It's absolutely gigantic, at least six feet long, and plastic. As you can see, I had to double it up to wear it and we still couldn't fit the whole thing in the picture. Each bead has a weeping Christ and Mary embossed onto it, as shown in the closeup. It's incredibly depressing to look at, and why you would want it hanging above a bed was a mystery, until my mother informed me that this kind of rosary was supposed to protect you from thunderstorms and lightning strikes.

So, I guess I'll be struck by lightning soon, which will be hardly surprising, considering:

A.) My "luck" lately and,
B.) That I tried to wear it as a statement piece.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Paradise (Wherever You Are)

So I was hanging out with my sort of ex the last few days. This happens every week - I stay over a night or so. This is embarassing to me - not that I'm there but that I have to explain it to Granny. I don't see how it's anyone's business, but there I am running out the door saying "GrannyI'mgoingtoex's-bebacktomorrowkthnxbye". Well, I told her I'd be home Monday but decided to stay one more night because I just didn't feel like driving back home. And this is when the problems begin, because if I don't come home when I'm expected, suddenly, as they said in The Hangover, my corpse is being "fucked in a ditch by a meth addict".

Compare this to my mother, who basically stopped worrying about my personal safety sometime after I turned 21, because she figured, rightly so, that I was an adult who could take care of myself.

She called my mother at 10:15 pm, utterly terrified.

Granny: Where's Kimberly?
Mom: You know where she is.
What Mom Wanted To Say: None of your effing business.
Granny: But she said she'd be back today
Mom: So she's probably staying another night. She is 36.
Granny: What if she's stuck out in the snow?
Mom: She has a cellphone. And roadside assistance.
Granny: Well, who's going to take out the garbage?
Mom: Is there a lot of garbage?
Granny: No.
Mom: ...
Granny: Well, aren't you going to call her?
Mom: No.
Granny: You have to call her! Where is she? Call ex's house! Or call his grandmother!
Mom: I don't have his phone number, let alone his grandmother's!
Granny: How can you not have his phone number?

It is at this point that, against her better judgement, my mother whipped out her cellphone and called me, while still on the phone with Granny. I didn't hear it ringing in my purse, so it went to voicemail.

Granny: Did she pick up?
Mom: No.
Granny: I'll call you if she comes home.
Mom: Uh, don't do that.

This in turn drives my mother nuts, because then she starts thinking, "What if her corpse is in a ditch being fucked by a meth addict?"

P.S. Granny does have my cellphone number in her possession. She has never called it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Diversion Time: Movies I Loved When I Was A Kid

1.) The original Star Wars trilogy
Raiders of the Lost Ark, the sequels less so.
Clash of the Titans - the remake comes out this spring. It looks just like 300. Sigh.
5.) Airplane! and Airplane II
Every Which Way But Loose
7.) The Cannonball Run and The Cannonball Run II (though not as much as the first one).
8.) The first three Muppet movies
- The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan
9.) Poltergeist - don't ask me why, it still scares the living shit out of me.
Back To The Future
Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Honorable Mention:
I didn't get around to reading the books until I was a teenager, but those giant worms always fascinated me.

Notably Missing: E.T. - never understood what the big deal was.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well, for what it's worth, happy new year everyone!

If, by January 1st, 2011 I am still living with Granny, I hearby give anyone reading this permission to put out a hit on me. Seriously, put me out of my misery. Just make it quick and painless and leave my car out of it...Nigel's been through enough.