Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Warning: Extreme Grandma Rant!

I don't know if I can truly express how angry and upset I am right now. I just received a call from the Area Agency on Aging. Apparently, Grandma's caseworker had some concerns about Mom and I when she visited last for two reasons.

1. The ceiling tiles in the bathroom need repair. They do, and my uncle has been promising to do it for the last two years. Mom and I simply don't have the knowledge to fix them. We replaced the roof a few years ago and had to rip out the old tiles. We were able to get most of them replaced before we ran into a snag that we couldn't fix. My uncle keeps saying he'll come out, but never seems to have the time. We have been slowly removing those that look like they have a tenuous hold on anti-gravity. I guess the case-worker saw them and is afraid they'll all come down and bonk grandma on the head. Fine, we've been trying to get them fixed, but I guess we should have, I don't know, hog-tied one of my uncles or the cousin who've been in construction, dragged them over and forced them to help take care of their mother/grandmother.

2. (And this is the one that really burns my ass) Supposedly, some of the aides have been bringing Grandma food because she says "there is none in the house". We buy food for her before and a hell of a lot more often than we buy it for ourselves. The pantry is full, so is the refrigerator. The problem lies in the fact that she simply doesn't want to eat anything other than chips, butter pecan ice cream, jello and fruit, with her diet soda washing it down. Mom and I buy stuff that's nutritious and filling, therefore it doesn't exist in Grandma's eyes. She eats it when she feels like it, if she feels like it and I guess none of the aides are pushing the issue with her like we have to. Of course, when TAFH is in, she eats whatever is put in front of her, because TAFH is taking care of her and dancing constant attendance.

I'm pissed, truly and utterly pissed. I'm shaking so hard that I have to keep hitting the backspace key to erase typing mistakes. I may not enjoy taking care of Grandma nine times out of ten, but I took on this responsibility and I will be damned if someone tells me I'm not taking care of her correctly. I give her more care and attention than I give my own health and mental well-being. Mom cries herself to sleep many nights. I just don't know what else to say. To think someone doesn't believe I'm taking care of her is mind-boggling.

They can live with her and try to get her to eat, bathe and change clothing. They can put up with her glaring at you if you dare to stay downstairs and watch television with her. They can learn to ignore constant insults about your weight and the fact that you "read too much" and "have too many books" and do those stupid crafts all the time (the only fucking things keeping me sane since I can't go back to school and get my degree because, surprise surprise, all the relatives are too fucking busy with their lives to let me go to classes). They can see what it's like to have one of the nicest people in your young life turn into Mrs. Hyde on you when you try to help her. They can come here and see the difference in her personality when there is anybody here but Mom and I. She's an entirely different woman: personable, sweet, nice, kind. Everyone always tells me, "Oh, your Grandma is so nice and sweet." Yeah? Live with her. She's crabby, cold, unfeeling and a plain old bitch about four days out of the week. Two of the other days, she's just totally ignoring us because we made her eat something she didn't like or had to go somewhere and made her leave the house to sit in the car with the heat on full blast (she refuses to enter stores, so we rush around like mad chickens getting stuff done and out quickly) and maybe, just maybe, she'll actually be nice to us on the seventh day. We live for those days. On those days, my Grandma is back. My real Grandma - not the ready-to-die woman I've been living with for going on five years.

Ooh, I'll bet the fact that all Grandma wants to do is sleep on the couch all day is our fault, too. Maybe we should drag her up and out of the couch and somehow force her to do exercises. Anyone have a remote-operated, body-control device I can use?

This has not helped cool me down, especially since I know, logically, that the AAA was doing what they are meant to do and I'm grateful for their existence. They do a lot of good and are extremely necessary. I just never would have thought they'd think Mom and I don't take care of Grandma right. I'm crying now. I'm going to go break my diet and have some chocolate.


Sinspired said...

I do hope you invited them to come and inspect the refrigerator at this very moment.

Shadowspun said...

I did. I made sure I told her that Grandma just doesn't want to eat anything she takes a transitory dislike to. The current one is ham, as of about half an hour ago, by the way. Mom called AAA and talked to Barb's boss and was, of course, in tears, too. We think they believed us. One of the other things reported was that the house is always cold. It's at 70 degrees at all times and there's only one aide always cold, so we think we might know who reported this bullshit. Grandma even scoffed when we told her what was reported. It wasn't even her fake "whatever" scoff, it was a sincere "what nonsense" reaction.

I also called work's employee resource line and have set up at least one counseling session. I think things have just gotten to the point where I need professional help to keep from hating myself and other people. You know I'm not big on self-esteem as it is. To be told this? *snort* Yeah, that'll help it along.

Anonymous said...

That's a hell of a lot to deal with...sorry you're having to go through it. :(

If it helps I had to call and get counseling through EAP and it actually helped some. I had to quit going because my new boss was an ass about appointments so I got out of the habit but I also got out of the situation that had pushed me over the edge into counseling. I hope you get a good one that can help you!!!

Shadowspun said...

I've arranged to do the counseling by phone rather than in person, as I simply cannot get to any office visits. One session down, we'll see.

Today's a middle of the road day. She won't eat for me, but she did go outside for a while. She just bitched about the laundry I'm doing, but it's not worth reminding her I only do this much laundry every few weeks and that Mom did a shitload yesterday. It's just that it's me doing it.

Oh, well. Three Grandma days in a row was a major accomplishment. Now that Spring is really here, there should be more. Winter really does a job on her. I love Winter while Grandma just gets more depressed and depressing.