I called Grandma the other night to remind her of our upcoming doctor's appointment. (Why, yes, I do schedule ALL of my doctor's appointments at the SAME time as my grandparents. Because we all go to the same physician and they can't drive themselves there so it just makes sense. Also because that way I can be all up in their business and it looks as if I'm just there for my own health.)
Anyway, I called to find out if they needed me to get to their house a little early in case they might need any help getting ready. Or in case they needed someone to herd them out the door and into the car ON TIME.
She said no. They had it all under control. Hmm.
"Were you gonna wash these here clothes for me?" (That would be Grandaddy in the background, yelling to Grandma in his little old man voice.)
"I was, but I've been telling you for hours to take them off and bring them here...it's eleven at night now! I'm not staying up waiting on your clothes to get done!"
"Well, I was plannin' on wearin' them to the doctor's! But they need washing."
"Take 'em off then, and I'll wash them in the morning."
"But I was gonna where this to bed! It's cold! If I change now I won't get warm again before I get in the bed...so..."
"OK I'll wash them in the morning."
"If you don't wash 'em tonight there might not be time!"
"Then take them off and I'll wash them."
"Well, I wanted to wear them to bed!"
"Then I'll wash them in the morning like I said."
"But I have to have a bath in the morning...how will you have time?"
"THEN YOU CAN WEAR THEM DIRTY!"
"Oh, I couldn't do that! You need clean pants to go to the doctor!"
"Then take the pants OFF and I'll WASH THEM."
"What would I wear to bed?"
"I don't care...other pants?"
"But...I might get cold..."
"Do you want me to wash your clothes or not?"
Yeah. This went on forever. They do this ALL the time. It's life with Alzheimer's I guess. He gets confused. And when he does, nothing will convince him.
In fact, when I arrived the next afternoon, they were still arguing. Only this time it was about his shoes. He wanted to wear bedroom slippers. His new shoes hurt his feet. She thought bedroom slippers looked ridiculous. I settled that one fast!
The man is almost 89 years old. He's survived WWII, Dengue Fever, snakes in Guam and being stranded in Leyte. He lived through fires, floods, typhoons, car accidents, and natural disasters. He's been a bus driver, firefighter, soldier, city fire marshall, business owner, grandfather and great-grandfather. The man has little pleasure in his days right now. Who the heck cares what's on his feet??
I put Grandma in the car while Darling Daughter helped him change out of his uncomfortable shoes and into the slippers. By the time she caught on it was too late to do anything but fuss.