Although most of what my mother says is at best confusing she has occasionally said something that made me laugh despite myself. The one that sticks out was her request to "make sure we save the pee in the containers on the porch because the Morons are coming by later to get it." I still smile a little every time I think about it.
The food at my mother’s nursing home was usually very good, but what with having to deal with a number of residents who had to be assisted as they dined, the SERVICE of + or - 45 meals could sometimes become a little problematic.
I typically would arrive at least 1/2 an hour before dinner was served, and help distribute aprons or other little chores to help out the hard working CNAs.
By the time this event occurred, I knew almost every resident in the dining room, and if someone needed packets of artificial sweetener or extra napkins or spoons to self feed rather than forks, I knew it.
This particular evening found dinner time partly staffed with fill-in CNAs, and most of the more experienced staff was at the tables helping patients.
Typically, the aides would pick up the individually prepared trays from a serving bar, and hand carry them to individual diners, then check a slip on the tray to be sure that the foods to be served matched the “code” that indicated each patient’s dietary needs.
As the trays were being distributed, one of the aides noticed that there was a mismatch on Mr. Sims’ tray. Since she was all the way across the room from the serving bar, she stood up and waved her hand towards the serving staff, and called. “Mr. Sims got ‘coarse chopped’. He should have purée.”
Although the serving staff could SEE the table aide, they couldn’t hear her. A server cupped his hand behind his ear, and she repeated “purée”.
Serving aide still didn’t know what table aide was saying.
Table aide stood up and called loudly “PURÉE. Mr Sims NEEDS PUREÉ!!!
Suddenly the whole room seemed to drop their eating utensils and react to this unexpected addition to their dinner entertainment.
A strong clear voice rose from the other side of the room...
“HOORAY”, called a strong, authoritarian female voice from diagonally across from Mother’s table, and as I looked in that direction, I realized in amazement that it had come from Mrs. Sturdevandt, who as long as I’d been coming to the NH, had never uttered a sound.
Almost simultaneously Mr. Brundage, a small man beset by terrible arthritis, somehow pulled himself to attention and yelled “Parade!”
The hapless table aide, still attempting to perform the assignment she’d been given, continued to wave at the dietary aide and yell “Purée, PURÉE, P-U-R-É-E!!!
The assembled throng went wild, some yelling “hooray”, some calling “parade”, the tumult growing louder and louder until one of the more abled wheelchair residents pulled himself away from his table and encouraged his fellow residents to join him in the parade.
Although only a few were independently abled, some did, and the parade had at least 3 or 4 participants until calm was restored.
The onlookers cheered the parade volunteers on. The incident was over almost as quickly as it had started, residents returned to their places, puréed food delivered. I noticed a few rosier cheeks, a few more twinkling eyes, a little more attention to surroundings.
After over ten years, the memories of the Purée Parade linger fondly.
So mom “fell” at least once a day.
Evidently, one day my mom wanted me to be the one who found her. Mom knew I was coming to visit after lunch but I hadn’t given a specific time.
So not knowing how long I’d be, she decided to take a pillow and blanket while she waited on the
floor in her room. Might as well be comfortable, right?
Now, that in itself was pretty
funny but what came later was priceless.
The NH had put a pretty strict “fall plan” into place back when mom was fake falling. She hated it - it was very restrictive. Hated it! So after a while she quit fake falling and the plan was stopped.
However - eventually mom began to fall for real. Never really a hard fall - more of sinking to the floor.
Whenever staff would go into my mothers room and find her on the floor my mom would snap “I didn’t fall, I was praying”.
I said, "whaa!aaaat? "
Mom gave me a " significant" look and pointed with her crooked arthritic finger at the water jug and arched her eyebrows knowingly.
It was hysterically funny and so very sad, all at once.
I ask her if she was going to get up to shower or if she was just going to lay there and pretend.
She said she was just going to lay there and pretend.
It was funny to but it was also quite a joy to hear her make such a long statement since she has aphasia and has extreme difficulty forming sentences longer that two or three words.
I am still smiling about it.
Waking her up:
Me: Mom it’s time to get up for lunch.
Mom: Are you my Mom?
Me: No, you’re my Mom.
Mom repeating: So, you’re my Mom.
Me: No, you’re MY Mom.
Mom: So, you're MY Mom.
Me, changing tactic: I’m your daughter.
Mom (figures it out): Oh Jeannie, I don’t know if I’m on foot or horseback.
Me: I eat really fast.
Mom: I eat halfassed.
Mom: Where is Uncle Archie? (Her brother who passed away 50 years ago)
Me: Uncle Archie isn’t with us any longer, but his picture is right here on your wall over your bed, so he can watch out for you and make sure you’re being good.
Mom: Like Santa?
Me: You’re doing really great Mom!
Mom: Then you’re easily impressed.
At restaurant, she would repeatedly ask if we ordered yet. Yes mom, would you like some bread? Oh I don't like bread. Did we order yet? Yes mom, would you like some bread? Oh I don't eat bread. Did we order yet? Yes mom, do you want a piece of bread? Well, no, there isn't any left!
We asked for more... and she ate a slice... Whaaaa?
I still like the "electric chair for MIL" the best...