Exit Strategies

A person I know came over the other day unannounced.  I have unfriended her from Facebook and do not return calls or text messages any longer.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that she showed up.  She was lucky I was home.  Usually I am at watercolor but I was finishing up a Christmas present.

I was not dressed, I was not washed.  I don’t remember the state of the house.

If I hadn’t thought it was my daughter home making  the dogs go nuts, I might not have opened the door.

She came with dinner.  It was just 4pm.  I needed to go pick up Gpa.

I ate a plate and let her catch up on all she is doing.  When she found out I had plans that night, she offered to watch Gpa.  There is no way I’m letting her stay at my house by herself.  And Gpa needs more care than I am comfortable letting her be responsible for.

She had a card for me, it is from the sister of one of her friends.  It is about exit strategies.

Does the rudeness never stop?

This is why I’m not speaking to her any longer.  She insists on talking about Gpa’s death.  I know he’s dying.  I see him slipping away a little more every day.  But be careful if you play the ‘Grab Your Finger” game.  He still has a strong grip.

Last time we talked on the phone she told me, “He’s not always going to be here you know.”  She’s lucky I didn’t hang up on her.

So I looked up the site.  There’s a couple of other people’s stories, in 20 words or less and a forum you can sign up for.

No, thank you.

This is one of the ways this disease is not like having a baby.  You know that sometime within the year of finding out you are pregnant, you will have a baby.  All things being equal.  I know not all babies are born.  And I’m sorry for that.  The longest I’ve heard a pregnancy being is 10 months.

The average for a person diagnosed with dementia after age 90 is 4.5 years.  It’s a good thing we don’t have to wait that long for a baby to arrive.

In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating Gpa’s 6th anniversary.  And with the grip he has, I don’t think he’s leaving anytime soon.

That being said.  I know it is sooner rather than later.  He’s having a hard time bending his knees.

Earlier today, he had gotten himself on the floor.  As I was trying to help him up, I realized he wasn’t able to brace his feet and push against the floor to give us the inch we needed to get him on the chair.

So I laid us across the bed.  “No, no, no, not the bed.”

“I know, but this is the best I could do by myself.”

From there we got to the bedside commode and from there to the wheel chair.  It has a gel cushion that adds 4 inches or more.  Next time he’s on the floor, I’m taking the cushion off to have a better chance of getting him in the chair.

My exit strategy is to learn to be in this moment now.  Enjoy the time we have.  Be glad he is here and call 9-1-1 when the time comes, but not before.


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  • catterel  On December 27, 2012 at 10:34 am

    People who mean well can cause the greatest pain. You are right to live in the present and give Gpa what he needs while he’s still here. You also seem to have a life doing things you enjoy – your watercolour etc. Forgive the bull in the china shop who doesn’t realize what she’s doing, otherwise you’ll be carrying that grudge around and you don’t need any extra weight! Bless you, and Gpa.

    • nothousebound  On December 29, 2012 at 12:36 am

      You are right. She probably doesn’t know that she has been hurtful

  • Susan Welsh  On December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Bless you for your insight, Laura. Also, just an FYI If he gets down again and you can’t get him up, the fire department will come and help you. My brother-in-law had to do this several times while he was taking care of his dad.

    • nothousebound  On December 29, 2012 at 12:36 am

      Thank you so much. This is good information to have. The PT gave me a belt to help hold him up.

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