Monday, September 11, 2017

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled Care much more easily than I thought she would.  I was the one who struggled.  Mostly because I had never bothered to visit that part of the facility.  It is really beautiful and there is a covered patio and some outdoor sighing space.  It's not quite the MC garden, but it will do.

Yesterday was beautiful warm with cool breezes that whispered of fall.  In the sun it was glorious and I finally coaxed mom out onto the patio and into the sun where she promptly fell asleep.  I sat with her eyes closed, holding her hand there in the sun.  It was an amazing day I will remember a long time.  Two residents sitting behind me were engaged in a very loud conversation.  They were criticizing the facility, the staff, and the other residents.  I tried to tune them out.  But they started talking smack about my mama's friend and fellow AD resident Mary C whose condition has deteriorated considerably.  I tried harder to tune them out, but they just kept talking louder.

Soon they had worked their way through all the people in the facility and started talking about my mom who is sitting just a few feet away.  They are saying really snarky things and I want to bitch slap them both into next month.  I curb that, but I take mom inside.  I don't know what she can take in or remember, but she (and I) shouldn't have to sit and listen to this kind of awful talk.  I really want to go back out and try to explain to these women how mean they are, how grateful they should be to still have their mental capacity, how as Christian women they are instructed not to judge.

When mom was in MC, there were people who would pop off with all sorts of comments.  But you forgave them because they were dementia patients and not really in good control of their filters.  I learned to laugh at Harry when he called me fat and just say "Yup."  It was like hearing someone's internal dialogue and it was most interesting.  It had been a long time since I had to deal with someone deliberately cruel - like these two old biddies.

Unlike the residents of MC, these two were in full control of their minds and their mouths.  And THIS was how they chose to pass their day?  Not comforting another resident or reading or just enjoying the weather, but criticizing the shit out of their entire world.  When I got home, I was stewing about it, knew there would be a blog post to vent it out.

In the whole process of my mama's decline my mantra has become PLEASENOTMEPLEASENOTMEPLEASENOTME.  I chant it near constantly whenever my thoughts turn to Alzheimer's and the genetic possibility of it in my own future.  Yesterday was the first day I looked at it a bit more kindly as I shifted the mantra to ANYTHINGBUTTHAT.  I do not want to be like these old women - even if it means I have to deal with Alzheimers.

THAT was an interesting place to find myself.  No longer resisting it, but understanding there are worse ways to be in the world than old and forgetful, there is deliberately cruel and hateful.  I choose the former.

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