Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesdays with Grannie

My grandma has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It wasn't really a shock because her mother had dementia and eventually Alzheimer's and for the past year or so my grannie's memory has been in the shitter. It started out with little forgetful things and has charged into repetitive stories and questions that loop over and over and over again. It's both annoying and sad and everyone seems to be dealing with it in different ways. I have a very high tolerance for annoyance so I can hang out with gram and hear the same 3 stories 187 times in a few hours and answer the same 5 questions every 10 minutes and not get too frustrated. Others can't but they do their best. 

In addition to her deteriorating mental state, her little body is getting worn out too. She's been having some back issues that have led to some walking issues and pain but overall she's still sputtering along with the help of a walker for balance. My aunt lives next door and shoulders most of the "burden" of helping care for her. When I got home from Nigeria I realized how much pressure she was under so I volunteered to help her out one day a week for a few hours. So every Wednesday I hang out with grannie from around 2 pm until about 8:30 pm. Sometimes she has doctor's appointments to go to or shopping to do, but most of the time we just hang out at her house and watch tv and chat. 

My family recently decided to talk to her about moving to assisted living. She's on a lot of different medications and with her memory problems they are worried about her overdosing or harming herself in other ways. While they figure all of these things out we continue with our weekly hangouts. I know that things could progress quickly so I wanted to take some time to blog about my gram so I'll have some happy memories to think about when things take a turn for the not so happy. 

I've been thinking about this for a while but just haven't gotten around to posting so I have a few posts in mind from the past few months which will hopefully carry me through even if I don't get any fresh ideas every week. But my gram is hilarious and chatty so I'm sure I won't have too many problems coming up with new material. Looking forward to next Wednesday!

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