February 22, 2009

Lessons With Pop

We're working on getting Pop situated and acclimated to his new digs. (We moved my fil into Assisted Living yesterday.) Its a big change for all of us.

My husband was returning the moving truck to U-haul, when I sat down with Pop to go over paperwork the place needed to have. His mind is sharp. He's not lost any of his faculties... his body is just worn out.

I went through the series of questions, 'Pop, what hospital do you prefer? What pharmacy?" and moved into the next set that was a bit more... humbling.

"Pop," said I, "Do you have a living will?"

Pop: Yes.

Me: What is your DNR status?

Pop: I have a DNR order.

Me: Ummm...


Me: Uhh... *blink*


Me, deep breath: Pop, what is the funeral home you prefer?



Pop: XYZ Funeral Home I suppose. Price is closed now. They did Lou's funeral. XYZ I guess.

The questions I had to ask... it was humiliating for me. I was embarrassed to ask him.

For the most part, he didn't care, but I went through page after page, looking at them thinking, "Crap."

Me: Pop. They're making me ask you about your bowel habits...

And Pop, without skipping a beat would tell me.

Me: Pop... there are a series of questions they need me to ask you but I can't. You have nothing wrong with your mind. I'm just putting down that we did them, OK?

Pop: How stupid are the questions?

Me: Don't go there. I can't embarrass the both of us by sitting here acting like you might not remember three words after I repeat them.

Pop: You're kidding...

Me: OK, here's a good one. Count backwards from 100, by 7, until you get to 65.



Pop, giving me a blank look like you're kidding as he had JUST quoted every single phone number of all his doctors, his son's and the hospital and the frickin' pharmacy... from memory: 100, 93... 86...

Me: OK, wait, stop, you win. I can't count backwards by 7 that fast. I'm putting down you can do it all.

Pop laughed.

And on it went.

I met a woman named Nancy in his hallway. I'm sure I'm going to get to know everyone. I met her, had a nice conversation with her, she flirted with my 13 year old son, who shamelessly flirted back, and sat down with her and her female friend while I went to unpack Pop's stuff.

My son would rather have talked with the residents than hung out with us any longer, which is cool, because little does he know he'll be doing all his volunteer hours for school there.

I saw Nancy again in the hall today.

Me: Hi, Nancy!

Nancy: Oh hi!

Me: It is Nancy, correct? I will be seeing you frequently, I just wanted to make sure...

Nancy: Yes it is...

I was in the car tonight after we picked up Pop to take him to dinner. I said to my husband, "I met Nancy again tonight."

Husband: You'll meet her for the first time every time you meet her...

Me: No...

Husband: Yes, I'm afraid so...

It's a change for all of us.

We're in the process of trying to get a new mattress into his pad as the reeking smell of urine followed him into his new place... as it is fully attached to his mattress.

Bones sprayed febreeze in his place today. I walked into the intermingled overpowering smell of urine and febreeze and nearly gagged.

One step at a time... we will all adjust.

I haven't decided yet whether it is better to be like Pop, with a full mind but broken body, or Nancy, who has no mind and a fully functional body.

I think I want to just die in my sleep before I have to find out...

Posted by Boudicca at February 22, 2009 08:14 PM | TrackBack

Went through that kind of stuff with my Mom. Praying for you.

Posted by: JihadGene at February 22, 2009 09:08 PM

Not worried about a funeral home. I'm donating my body to Emory University School of Medicine.

Posted by: Denny at February 22, 2009 09:21 PM

JihadGene- I do think it will be OK. We just need to get past the initial phase of learning the ropes. Its hard to see this...

Denny- Oh there is this body farm too I heard about! You can donate your body there and they decompose it in various ways. I think one of them is up in TN. If I were a bit more edgy, I'd donate my body there...

Posted by: Bou at February 22, 2009 09:42 PM