Saturday, May 10, 2008

Good Morning from the World of a Geriatric Caregiver

Good Morning from the World of a Geriatric Caregiver

No.3 in a series
May 8, 2008

Sarah Bernhardt's Protegee

Mom and I had just settled in for a quiet evening last night when around 7 PM I heard a tap, tap at the front door and went to see who/what was there. A friend of our youngest son was in the neighborhood and had decided to drop by for a surprise visit, which was quite a thoughtful gesture. However, that sweet kid had no clue as to the foibles of his elders...thus he sat down at our kitchen table and talked and talked and talked nonstop until almost 9PM! Deep into the second hour I was getting rather concerned for Mom. Abruptly, at 8:30 PM, she staggered out of her cozy recliner and began pacing the floor in front on him, loudly tapping her cane with each step. She would sit down, get up, pace and repeat the procedure again and again; no doubt becoming quite weary of this young "Gatlin Gun tongued whippersnapper", who appeared completely unaware of her mushrooming frustration and continued his tirade as though she was invisible.

Suddenly, Mom grabbed her chest, sank down in the recliner and moaned, "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" (Remember Fred Sanford and the BIG one?). Her abrupt outburst neither frightened nor surprised me because, for the past thirty minutes, I had been watching the anxiety levels build up in her anxious body language. I told her that I would get her nebulizer so she could take a breathing treatment. Well...that dear little fellow just continued to sit and yammer away, totally obilivious to the award winning Tennessee William's drama unfolding right before his eyes. I handed the breathing apparatus toward Mom and when I got down close to her face she said (quite loud enough for him to hear ) "Isn't he ever going to leave?!" I shook my head at her and quietly shushed her, hoping he hadn't noticed my directive. Would you believe she repeated the statement, even louder the second time! It was all I could do keep from doubling over in laughter. I suppose the fellow was so busy talking and listening to himself that he never heard a word of her verbal explosion. It was absolutely an hilarious scene! Finally, ten mintues later he arose and calmly remarked that he must go. I showed him (promptly) to the door and when I came back into the kitchen Mom was sitting up straight as an arrow in the recliner, shaking her head in disgust with that square jaw of hers set, lips pursed and angrily muttering, "Boring, boring, boring!" Oh, and by the way...she was breathing just dandy.

Gotta love those elders.
Jane-Ann Heitmueller

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