March 22, 2009

Not for the Faint of Heart

What's the expiration date on drugs you can take to OD? I mean seriously, if I start hoarding now, when I get to that point in my life where I'm elderly and near death, will the drugs be too ineffective for me to end it once and for all rather than deal with someone else having to tend to my every primal need?


Its rhetorical. Don't answer.

Today's conversation is brought to you by the Letter M for Memory. Or the lack there of.

We picked my father in law up for dinner tonight. On our way to the restaurant, the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection.

Pop: Bou, thank you for doing all you've been doing. I really do appreciate it.

Me: It's cool. I know you do.

Pop: No, I mean I really appreciate it. I know you've had to come down and straighten things out and that my son is at my old house all the time with painters and trying to get it clean.

Me: Pop, Its OK.

Pop, waving his hands: I just... get so frustrated. And the anxiety.

Me: I know. But hopefully, there is some semblance of normalcy now. Isn't there a consistency? A routine? Pop... are you making friends?

I feel like I have a 5 year old at times... ushering him off to school. "Are you making friends?"

Pop: Its hard. They never remember.

Me: *blink* I'm sorry... what?

Pop, exasperated at the situation, not me, flailing his arms, talking as loud as his raspy voice will allow: They never remember you! You meet them, you talk to them and the next day? THEY'VE FORGOTTEN YOU!! You have to meet them over and over again. Each day... you have to meet them again!



My husband started to talk to his Dad about it as we've met a few people who've remembered us again. It seems there is a 95 year old man that never remembers Pop, but that amounts to... everyone.

Me: That kind of sucks.

Pop: Yes. And you know what else? Its really depressing to see the ambulance and EMTs show up EVERY DAY.

Me: Every day?

Pop: Yes.

Me: People dying?

Pop: Probably. I don't ask. Its depressing.

Me: Its a big facility....


Me: Right.

My eldest boy and I were sitting next to each other in the back and just looked at each other making a horrified face, raised eyebrows and all.


I so love being 43.

Posted by Boudicca at March 22, 2009 07:38 PM

Old age isn't for the faint of heart. My prayer is just that I use those closing years well -- sprinting to the finish line, so I can say (as the Apostle Paul said), "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

Posted by: Bob at March 23, 2009 12:15 AM

I feel for you. My parents died three and a half months apart, but at least they both died with their mental faculties intact. I never had to deal with dementia or serious memory loss. We had love and laughter right up to the end (and some really good pain meds! Thank God!!)

I hope I can go the same way!

Posted by: Mary at March 23, 2009 12:39 AM

Both my grandmothers complained about the ambulances showing up everyday and people dying weekly, they hated it because it reminds them that there time is nearer then they like.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at March 23, 2009 09:20 AM

Great POST! It only gets better! Now I can forget all kinds of crap I don't want to do and not get called on it!

Posted by: JihadGene at March 23, 2009 09:51 AM

"It seems there is a 95 year old man that never remembers Pop, but that amounts to... everyone."

Heh, exactly like the conversations I used to have with my kids...

Kid: "Everyone has one..."

Me: "Who is "everyone"?

Kid: "XXXX"

Yes, one single name.

It seems nothing ever changes. LOL.

Posted by: Teresa at March 23, 2009 02:42 PM

Oh boy - and yes, not for the faint of heart. Keep in mind that this time of year (in the realm of elder care) is tough. Seriously - it's like a "season" for issues with death and major problems. Should be done at the end of next month when things balance back out... FWIW.

Posted by: Richmond at March 23, 2009 05:42 PM