ON a scale from 1-10 with 1 being sweet little ball of sunshine, and 10 being SATAN. Thursday night my grumpiness was at 8.5, Satan's minion.
What was on my mind?
I was in countdown mode by 9PM. I would have to be up at 3:45 AM the next morning in order to leave for work by 4:30 AM. So that meant, in the mental Olympics taking place in my brain mathematically calculating the time that I would need to:
get up, sneak into mom's room, get her meds container, fill it up, sneak back into her room, put it back, feed the dog and cat, keep dog from barking, pack my bag, hide the caretaker's money (to keep mom thinking caretaker is a friend of mine), get in the bathtub, dry, dress, take my supplements, and put on my "I'm awake face and attitude" so that I am ready for the "and they're off" pace that will smack me upside the head once I leave the apartment.
Thursday night my mom was just primping and patting her new little hairdo. She did look cute, and she was so happy. Little did she know that I had shipped her off that morning $30 short of what she needed to get her hairdo refreshed. When her caretaker texted me the price for the hairdo, $130, the financial overload of this thing I'm doing had me feeling stupid and incapable of doing any of what I'm doing for my mom. I packed $100 for the day thinking it would be $40 for hair, and the rest for lunch or dinner, and maybe something else mom might want to get. $100 was a lot to ship mom off with, but the hair might cost as much as $45 and mom might want to tip. So I was playing it safe, I thought. I forgot that her caretaker had her hair braided the last time she took her to get her hair done back in February.
How the hell did you FORGET, Bugaboo?
Even though her hair had been braided for nearly two months now, I guess in my mind my mom still sported her alien/conehead look:
She loved that old look.
But it really was kind of conehead-ish.
The caretaker hated it and one day asked if she could get my mom's hair redone. I agreed. She got it braided, and I liked the braids. But sometimes, I guess, I still see how it has always been...
So when I snapped the picture of her Thursday night, my grumpy evening, my grumpy evening among many grumpy evenings, it wasn't until I looked at the tiny series of shots I snapped that I saw her again for the first time in a while.
While I see her cute little face, I see too how prissy she is by the way her hands are poised around her face. I see too how she loves to look pretty. Pretty is important to her...it always has been now that I think about it. I see too how growing older is scary when what you are used to is taken away from you. I also see a little child who is exceptionally vulnerable. I see how she is so pleased with what she sees (for the first time in a long time since she's been with me these past months she is pleased). I see how her left eye doesn't get to see what it is that finally pleases her. I see how her right eye is satisfied. I see the transformation in her from December to now. I see that fragile beauty who I allowed to stay home alone in a house alone in a city far away from me where she sat exposed and available for vultures and predators to have their way with her devouring her flesh, poisoning her spirit, sacrificing her very life, replacing memories of me and my cousin with deceitful images of themselves as me and Shirley, my cousin.
I was so grumpy Thursday night. I was grumpy and I was feeling like an ass for being so damn grumpy.
When I think about what it is I hate...
Well, it's 6:48 AM and I have to get started if I want to have "my time."
The hate I feel, the anger, the impatience, the constant scowl...who is this person hijacking my body, my personality, my spirit, me?
I walked her to the park yesterday. I just bark orders: get up, get dressed, be ready to go outside. stop complaining. I'm not particularly proud of how it comes out of my mouth most of the time.
She sleeps a lot more during the day. This happens I guess. I'm still learning. I woke later than I meant to which meant I could not take myself out for a walk and then take her.
She got up, dressed begrudgingly, and complained perpetually about her damn back. She told me it was my fault she was in so much pain since I was so late giving her her Aleve. Truthfully, again, at that point, it had been exactly 15 days since I had given her an Aleve. That morning's pain med was a Vitamin D3.
As we walked, I stayed a few steps ahead. Walking next to her, I was sure to get an earful of moans and groans, and that endless, "ooh, oh...this darn back." I hate it every time she says it. With each audible moan, I took a quicker step getting away from her and just a little further ahead.
With each street crossing, the complaints grew louder. I was kind enough to make sure she crossed safely, then once we crossed I immediately picked up my pace getting far enough ahead to be out of range of her daily whiny ritual. We get closer to the park and all I hear is a steady stream of blah, blah, blah, blah...
We get there. I position her in front of the rail and say, "breathe it in." She wants to sit, so I point to her seat on her walker. She makes a face. I look away; roll my eyes.
Eventually I push her in her walker like it's a wheelchair.
"Whoa, wait a minute. Where're we going? I don't want to go so far that I have to walk so far back."
"We're going right here."
I push her over to the gate by the benches, face her out towards the river, then sit away from her. There's no conversation between us. I don't want to talk. It's the same conversation: pain in her back, going home, taking care of herself.
We sit there for at least an hour before a woman with a fluffy little dog walks over to her and the next thing the two, the woman and my mom, are talking up a storm for a nice long time. At this I breathe a deep breath of relief.
This journey takes the best out of me and hurls that part clear out of this universe. What's left behind is a bitch.
As we make our way back home, new woman and her dog in tow, the first thing we come to is a pretty good size hill. It's short-ish, but the drama begins: oooh, oh, ow, ugh....
"Oh, she's stuggling. She needs help." The lady says with a sad downward turn to her mouth, eyebrows pinched.
"Nope, she's putting on an Academy award winning performance. She'll be fine."
"I guess, I just get so concerned. It's my nature. I never had kids so when I was a nurse I put too much into my patients treating them like my kids."
"Oh. Drama is who she is. She'll be fine."
"I just get nervous."
"It'll be alright."
Sometimes, it's just so hard to sit that bitch down inside me.
We don't have any new diagnoses right now. We're just going off the diagnosis from 2015. We've just begun with a new neurologist. We are at the starting line with examinations.
I'm just writing to keep from losing it.