Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving: The Grateful Undead

Ah, thanksgiving. When we tell our family members we really love them despite their passive aggressive behaviour and their level of stupidity which surpasses the stupidity of my toaster oven. DOB had diarrhea, which I know because I was grooving to my iPod and working on my doll house when she wandered in asking if I had any Keopectate. No wait, Immodium. Whatever.
The next day was thanksgiving, but she didn’t want to join us for dinner. Here’s how that went.

UCC: We’ll be eating about 4 o’clock. Will you be able to join us?

DOB: Actually, no. I can’t get up, or else I just go like (moving both hands down and away to the righ quickly). It just comes out like water whenever I even stand up.

UCC: Thanks for the detailed report. Maybe if you stood up, it would all come out and be over rather than rolling around inside your gut. Would you like me to bring you in a plate of food?

DOB: No, because whenever I stand up, I…(hand motion, but this time down and to the left) and I haven’t eaten anything all day, except I’m drinking water.

UCC: Hmmm. Nothing going in but liquid, and nothing coming out but liquid. I wonder how you could go about remedying that? You say you haven’t eaten all day? You should at least drink some juice so your blood sugar level doesn’t get too low. Remember how the doctor said diabetics shouldn’t skip meals?

WISIMH: Remember any good knock-knock jokes? Ahh, yes, the one about what happens whenever you stand up. Reasoning with you is like trying to explain the second law of thermodynamics to my cat. Reasoning with you when you have low blood sugar is like trying to explain the second law of thermodynamics to a dead cat.

So, I reported this to TCG, but he took no action despite my concern about how when her blood sugar gets too low she tends to fall over and foul her diaper. Later, he took her a plate with some butternut soup and a gob of mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. Later:

TCG: She took her blood sugar and it was 64. So she took a sugar pill. Wasn’t that smart?

WISIMH: And then you did another blood test to see if she’s still in the stupid zone and encouraged her to eat and/or drink? Told her not to take insulin which would bring the number down ever more? Told her to eat something solid, like, say, fiber? No, of course you didn’t you moron. Much better if we wait to see how this all comes out.

TCG: Well, isn’t that good? We can’t do anything right?

UCC: Don’t go there.

WISIMH: Do something right? Do you really want me to answer that honestly? Ok. I wanted her son to take charge and implement some common-sense measures that will prevent the need for me to wipe shit off her fat ass later, and consequently, the need to increase my prophylactic dose of alcohol.

TCG: Seriously. You’re mad when she doesn’t take your advice to eat, and then when she eats a bit of food and takes measures to raise her blood sugar, you’re still mad. What do you want from her? What do you want us to do?

UCC: You need to drop this subject now. You don’t want to be asking me what I think we should do with your mother.

WISIMH: Breathe. Breathe and keep your mouth shut. And visualize a Spring meadow covered with yellow flowers, a starry night sky, a deep dish of apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream, anything but that hand motion about what happens when DOB stands up. And whatever you do, don’t waste your breath trying to explain how whenever DOB does something stupid, TCG frequently makes it worse. Breathe. Happy Thanxgiving, everybody!


Martha in Michigan said...

I realize through this blog that the management of diabetes is not so simple. Not brain surgery or rocket science, as they say, but not stupid-simple, either. Several factors interact, requiring a mind that can hold more than one idea at a time. DOB is obviously incapable of this with low blood sugar, but seems generally incapable, as well. Perhaps she's always been marginally intelligent, but more likely there's been a gradual and irreversible slide from decades of bodily imbalances.

Now, as for TCG, I wonder.... I know he's no idiot, and I don't think he's losing his mind -- although the COPD-related insufficient oxygen likely impairs his reasoning at times. Perhaps the real problem is the inchoate emotional overlay to all your interactions re DOB. He reacts subconsciously in anxious and threatened ways to any situation or conversation involving his mother. That high emotional arousal short-circuits the fine analytical functions. IOW, he's so upset he can't think straight.

Don't you find yourself increasingly emotionally volatile with age? (I do.) That' one of the hallmarks of various age-related dementias, too, so we all deal with it eventually, in ourselves and others. YOUR problem is that you still have your wits about you, so you are executively managing both their aggravatingly idiotic actions and reactions and your own desire to respond in kind. You have to be the smart one and the grownup, when you'd really like to be taken care of yourself, once in a while. At least you know, from the chest pain episode, that this is possible when necessary. Maybe you should fake it once in a blue moon ;-|. Failing that, it strikes me that a professional head-shrinker could probably not devise a more effective therapy than writing it all out this way.

Unindicted Co-Conspirator said...

My "inchoate emotional overlay to all your interactions re DOB" is indeed my problem. The chronic low numbres exacerbate ALL of our stupid behaviors.