A traveling we go….

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh.
It cures a multitude of ills.
It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”

― Audrey Hepburn

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”
― Robert Frost

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(Gloria ready to head over to dad’s)

So today, Gloria the dammit doll and I had to travel over to Dad’s.
I still can’t get over the coincidence of Gloria the dammit doll having the same name as my stepmother—what are those odds?!
Anywhooo, our week is a bit off kilter as we’ve had to deal with life here on the homefront, which in turn has put us off track for our weekly pilgrimage, or two, or three or four…you get the point, to Atlanta.

It was going to be a busy trip…
There were to be groceries to buy, bills to pay, visits to banks, trips to doctors, and a visit with dad’s tax folks…it is that time of year you know…

So…as Gloria was driving us over to Atlanta early this morning, she’s spies something with her wee eye….

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(Gloria behind the wheel on I-20)

A groundhog, running for its life frolicking along the side of the interstate catches Gloria’s eye…

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(Gloria was driving too fast for us to get a picture of the groundhog so we had to borrow one from the internet–the internet is nice that way)

“Well, this must be our lucky day” remarks Gloria.
What are the chances of seeing a groundhog running for its life playing alongside the interstate?? she exclaims….
The sun is shinning popping out here and there from behind the sea of remaining storm clouds, north Georgia is experiencing snow showers while we’re doing good to keep the car between the lines in the gale force winds, but if Gloria thinks today’s our luck day, who am I to rain on her parade?!

When we get to Dad’s we meet the new caregiver…one of these two Gloria’s gathered near me keeps running them off, I’m not naming names but Gloria the dammit doll is off the hook…
and so far things seem ok.

Dad is sitting in his chair, the one I sometimes wonder if he’s not glued in to…but I notice he’s not completely dressed—as in his pants are on, but the shirt isn’t tucked in, the belt isn’t fastened, nor are the pants.
“Hi Dad, what’s up with your pants?”
“Oh, uh, uh, they just won’t stay together.”
“Dad, I just bought you three new pair, where are they?
Oh, uh, uh, they’re back there, uh, uh, I don’t need them.
Suuuuureee you don’t…

Long story short, it seems Dad’s colitis is acting up—which happens every time things in that house become chaotic…
Of which they certainly have over the past month or so….as in all hell has been breaking loose, hence why Gloria the dammit doll has had to work really hard on overtime….and dad isn’t keeping his pants zipped, buttoned or belted as he’s running back and forth to the bathroom. Have you ever seen a very feeble 88 year old, who lists dangerously to the right, attempt to hurry to the bathroom—puts new meaning into scary viewing.

The caregiver fills me in on the latest trauma dramas.

The main bathroom, the one my stepmother uses, has been the crime scene for her last two catastrophic falls. Each time she has managed to wedge herself up against the door, preventing help from getting to her. Subsequently she has been emphatically told by the nurse, the doctor, the care service, her son, the EMT’s, Dad, me… to allow the caregivers to assist her in and out of the bathroom and not to lock nor completely shut the door.

Defiant to the end, the door has remained locked tight despite the cries of those imploring from the other side she open up the door.
So on Sunday her son removed the door.
(Shades of having a teenager…just a really old teenager)
As in he lifted that sucker right off it’s hinges and carted it off to the basement.
Replacing the door with a rather chic little curtain job, giving way to an air of a day spa happening in my stepmother’s bathroom. Easy and breezy in a fab chic sort of way.

My stepmother had become unglued prior to the door’s removal…
As in raging, manic, irate, irrational, hateful, threatening…you name it… as in it might be time to call in reinforcements.
Hence why Dad now has colitis…again.

A visit to the doctor earlier this week, along with some tweaking of dementia meds, and there is actually peace and clam at the day spa house today….odd and frightening at the same time

Gloria the dammit doll looked at me as we both wondered if we were in the right house.

Yet Dad was anything but peaceful..he was troubled…even fretful.
Quiet and agitated at the same time.

When my stepmother had to leave to go get the staples removed from her head…those staples from her latest catastrophic fall in the bathroom…of which shattered the mirror, which she had fallen into…cutting herself to shreds…the result of defiant stubbornness as in I won’t use the walker, I won’t allow help, as in I will lock doors….but I digress…
I stayed behind with dad, at the house, just to figure out what was troubling him…
as if I didn’t already have my suspisions.

He has worked himself back into a full blown sick tizzy of worry… and no matter the reassurance, the emphatic explaining on my part, he was hearing none of it…he was back to being a dog with a bone—a bone that is used up and no good.
He obsesses…to a very dangerous and unhealthy level–welcome to his dementia.
We couldn’t get lucky and have two with the same sort of dementia—nope–we’ve got to do battle on multiple fronts.

So I’m now wondering how best to help–
I’ve lined up a trip to the gastroenterologist.
I’ll be emailing the nurse for suggestions.
We may, God forbid, have to cut out his sweets and chocolate….
and I will keep my fingers crossed that my stepmother will now rest in this period of bizarre calm in order that dad’s guts can also get to a place of calm…

For life at Dad’s is anything but calm…as in, when it rains, it will indeed pour….and I usually won’t be holding an umbrella…

So finally late this afternoon, while Gloria the dammit doll was driving us back home, she poses a question my way…

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She mentions that maybe she should try her luck at a dammit doll dating match site.
She’s been working herself to death as of late, as in working overtime between both dad and my stepmother…
Maybe it’s time I get her a helpmate.
She had actually seen a fellow in a store front window when she was on a recent visit to Savannah..a fellow who she thought was really pretty cute…yet she was afraid to approach him.

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I had seen him as well, sitting there in that window with those big brown eyes, but I told her that he was not her type.
I explained to her that he appeared to be nothing more than a smooth talker and totally full of crap.
I promised her that once we got back home later in the day, I’d go on-line in search of a Mr. Dammit doll…one that she could call her own…

Well, I’ll keep you posted as to who shows up to ask Gloria the dammit doll out on a date…
Kind of reminds me of those long ago mail order brides…I just hope he’s not a Russian…not that I’m opposed to Russians mind you but I would like one who speaks the language.

Until then…it seems Gloria has had a day of it and needs a little rest….

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A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

*****It should be noted that my cheeky approach in this situation of life with my dad and stepmother leaves me in tears more oft than not—-so there are times, such as today’s post, in which I’ve got to reach for the humor when there is strength to do so… otherwise my spirit would indeed break and dry up–
Tending to them and their needs, maintaining their world as peacefully as possible.. for both of them… requires finesse, the patience of Job, stamina, sanity and a steady hand—doing it alone is none too easy. It often leaves my own world, home, family upside down and pulling the short straw.
Those of you out there who face similar situations of caring for aging and elderly parents..those with both physical as well as emotional and or mental needs..know how very difficult life can be.
Alzheimers and dementia are not kind.
Hence why Gloria the dammit doll has made these bad days a bit more tolerable
🙂

17 comments on “A traveling we go….

  1. David says:

    Not too many tears I hope Julie. This did all bring a smile to my face. Especially when I saw the big brown eyes of the Poo Pillow staring at me. Beth’s friend gave her one for Christmas in 2014. She took it to church on Christmas Day and when Paul (the elder who was leading the service) called up the children with their presents up went Beth with her Poo Pillow. Not quite sure how to respond when he reached her Paul asked if the Poo Pillow had a name. Beth smiled sweetly and said;” Paul, his name is Paul the Poo Pillow!”

    This year Beth baked Poo Pillow cakes (chocolate meringues) and took them to church on Christmas Day, knowing that Paul was leading again. When the children went up Beth went up too with a tin full of these cakes. He was very nervous when he got to Beth, but I think he appreciated the gesture. I have a video clip somewhere.

    Quite a miracle how you managed to find a Dammit Doll called Gloria ….

    • Ahhh, Beth is a gal after my same heart 🙂
      That is really funny David–I can only imagine seeing you sitting there a bit nervous as to the reaction …and finding a name for the doll was not a difficult task at all …quite simply really—I bet the future soul mate for Gloria just might be name Edward or Dale…kind of like Dad 🙂
      And yes, there are tears…some days there are lots, some days there is just stalwart and steely determination—just depends. I think handling it all pretty much alone is the hardest part. I know we have care and a nurse in place which is a true Godsend but being the sole person responsible for maintaining the house, all the bills, the coordinating of all the care, the doctors, the taxes, the groceries and just the overhaul happiness is very hard—some days I do better than others and some days I just get swept up by it all—especially by Dad and his very childlike obsessive behavior—when he tells me he’s just a little boy and I have to remind him he’s my dad—that’s tough—when you still need a dad and yet he’s decided he prefers to be a little boy…. Ugh

  2. Lynda says:

    Julie, sometimes humour is the best way to express our deep concerns. As I read your post today I could feel the pain underlying every word. How very difficult to see your dad tied up in knots because of someone else’s behaviour that cannot be contained in the present circumstances. Prayers continue for you and for your family who have to share the greater part of you as you trek to Atlanta so frequently. Blessings my friend.

  3. ColorStorm says:

    Sooooooooo, the doll has a friend. In Austrailia it would be a dammate………
    but I suppose it would be okay to name it thus.

    Dammit and dammate were sitting on the wall…………dammate fell off and who was left?

    ……………………..yep, go head and say it ‘dammit!’

    Ha jewels, with kudos to Ms. Hepburn. Yep, just supplying a laugh in a serious time. And life is good with all the warts.

  4. atimetoshare says:

    Humor is the only thing that’s gotten me through 74 years of living. I sure could use one of those dammit dolls on occasion. My grandma used to go out to the woods and smoke a cigarette.

  5. Karen says:

    You have a difficult road where the answers are few. Humor is all that we have sometimes. I’m glad that one Gloria is able to lift your spirits a little. My parents have both passed away now but I too had some of the same problems…it hard.

  6. I can hardly write a comment because I’m laughing so hard. The last photo of Gloria head down in the basket sent me over the edge in hysteria! I’m so glad you’ve not lost your sense of humor which is nothing short of a minor miracle considering all the insanity that’s going on in Atlanta! I think perhaps Gloria the dammit doll was a God-send and the only thing that is actually keeping you from going stark raving mad. I wish I’d had two when I had to go through my nightmare with mom and her dementia. Why two you ask? One for each sister that jumped ship and left me to do it all by myself. And oh the beatings they would have taken!!! Ya know, I love you for a lot of reasons, but one of the most prominent ones is your sense of humor, missy Cookiecrumbles! Love and hugs, a boisterously guffawing tumbleweed 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. I am glad you have Gloria – the doll. Somedays all we can do is laugh because if the tears start, they won’t stop. I won’t pretend to know what it’s like. When my dad was sick, it was his physical health that deteriorated. In the end the pain dulled his mind a bit, but he was always my dad. What you are doing is a wonderful thing. One day at a time and some days, one hour at a time.

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