The day started before I was done reading my Bible, eaten my breakfast, or washed my hair. I might as well add, before I was properly dressed. I had just finished my coffee and was part way through Ezekiel 20-something, when Katherine poked her head in my door and said something like, "Mom's calling you." Now, Mom calling me at that time of day, right after her cell phone rang means one thing--head for the RV! I did and I saw why as soon as I got there. Grandpa was semi on his knees beside the bed (I still don't know how or why exactly he was in that highly uncomfortable position.) Mom got the gait belt on him and we heaved. Nothing. I was in a bad position for the attempt and I decided I'd be much more useful if I grabbed his legs and shoved while Mom picked up and pulled his torso. It worked that time. Next he needed help rolling over. (This not eating, drugged like situation has not been good for him.) Then he was laying on his arm. So I grabbed ahold of him and picked him up enough for him to get it free. After that we got him sat up and a pair of shorts on him. I had to do some lifting then too.

Mama went and got him half a mug of chicken broth. He drank all of it, but it took some prodding to get it all down. She then asked him if he'd like a slice of toast with some butter on it. He didn't say no, so she headed to the house to get it ready. (Daddy fixed an egg to go with it.) I attempted to get him to get up and walk to the table, but he didn't want to try until Mom came back. When she got back, I helped him up by hauling on the gait belt and I hung there until he was safely deposited at the table. He walked fine until he got even with the fridge and then he started leaning on it and things got kinda cockeyed. Anyway, he got in his seat and ate the egg, the toast, and half a banana. 

Lunch time: He ate most of an omelette.

The time: About 2:10 p.m.

The Place: The Motor Home

The grandaughter, with her hair piled on top of her head like a beehive, arrives to check on her grandpa and see if he is getting ready for his doctor's appointment. Her grandma is getting ready to attempt to help him out of his damp shorts and into a 'Depend'. Realizing this is no time to be squeemish, the girl continues in and pitches into the activity. Afterall, her grandmother is incapable of lifting the man, nor should she even attempt it. Indeed, it was the girl that put the 'Depend' on her grandpa, modestly keeping her eyes on his feet. Four times, the girl hauled him to his feet before the dressing stage was done. As the power was out in the motor home, the A/C wasn't on and it was hot. The grandpa was red-faced and hot, so she gave him his root beer and he drank some of that.

Shortly thereafter, her mother arrived, "Is Racheal out here?" "I'm here!" the girl stated, "I figured I might as well come out and make sure he was dressed." "Good, I was hoping you were here..." A few minutes later, the job of getting the older gentleman out the door and into the car commenced. First, they got him on his feet and coached him in his walking to the 'co-pilot' seat at the front of the RV. Then the mother went and got the car while the grandaughter attempted to get him to move himself from the co-pilot chair to the lift seat. That eventually happened, but it took two people and some bullying from the girl's part. [Actually, it wasn't bullying. I was on the chair on my knees and I refused to move and basically forced him to hold his own and get his bottom over the lift seat before I let him down.] Her mother went to go talk to her mother (the girl's grandma). Meanwhile, the young woman squoze out between the seat, the lift, and the door jam so she could lower her grandpa out the door.

Once down, he performed well, only getting rather weak and wobbly at the car. The girl shoved him at just the right time to get him on the seat. Then she put his feet in and buckled him in, closed the door and wandered off so her grandma wouldn't have to worry about hitting her with the car (or vice versa).

Such is life.  Honestly though, it can be somewhat draining standing around in a hot RV trying to get your grandpa to get up and not convince himself that he needs to sit down. Usually, he can hold on longer than he thinks he can and at times I push him to do so.  Live and learn...I have learned how to deal with old people and hopefully how to age and how not to age gracefully. I've also learned not to be as squeemish as I used to be (not that I was ever really squeemish, but the idea of putting underpants on my grandpa is something I would have recoiled at a couple years ago.) I've learned not to let little noises and smells bother me, to be blunt with him when needed (brutally honest at times), to be patient (most of the time--I'm probably more patient with my "old folks" than with anyone else--besides small children), and to down right ignore some stuff that otherwise would drive me nuts. (aka--the bickering and sharp wit)

Oh, and I wasn't kidding about the beehive...

        Racheal

4/3/2012 10:16:37

Oh, what a couple of days it has been! And I had to go and get sick in the middle of it so I can't be helpful! Sorry about that :-(

And the beehive--it looked great until it started to fall down!

From me,
Savannah

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4/4/2012 01:12:49

Racheal,
Excellent description, "girl"! What a sweetheart you are, also, to take care of your grandpa and without squirming.

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