Friday, April 8, 2011

Hugs, Kisses and the Pee Pee Pants

I woke up at 4AM wondering why I hadn't yet heard, "Can somebody please help me?! Can somebody please take me to the bathroom?". Like a nervous parent I went into Grandma's bedroom to check on her and she was sleeping just fine, so I went back to bed. 15 minutes later I got the call, but for a change it was , "Julie!" (that's my mom's we're getting in the right ballpark). I switched her water pill from bedtime to morning hoping that she wouldn't wake me up four times throughout the night to go to the bathroom and it seems to have helped. It's either that or the fact that I am trying to keep her awake more throughout the day so that she is actually sleeps through the night. It's kind of a catch-22 because in order for me to get things done during the day it is better if she is sleeping, but in order for me to get a restful sleep it is better to keep her awake. Oh well, we're working it out.

So, at 4:15 I go in and take her to the bathroom and somehow she has gotten  herself out from under the covers and is seated down at the end of the bed. A few nights ago she had gotten herself into her wheelchair and halfway to the bathroom. I wonder what she would have done if she could have reached her walker before the wheelchair got a little stuck in the carpet. It's funny because she doesn't seem capable of these things when I am helping her. Anyhooo... last night I brought her the walker and as we were walking to the bathroom I am looking behind us and seeing a little pee dribble trail between the bed and us. It steadily increased as we got to the toilet. I couldn't believe the double layer of diapers had failed me!

So, as I'm stooping, trying to get her diapers off, crammed between the toilet, the walker and grandma in the tiny little nook at the end of the bathroom, tired and annoyed that I am going to have to clean the carpet and mop and sanitize the linoleum at 4:30AM, as urine is pooling around my feet, and she's shouting at me that the floor is all wet and I'm trying to tell her it's because she is pissing all over the place, but she can't hear me because her hearing aids are on the bedside table, what does she do next, she does what she always does when I am in the middle of helping her with anything—she starts hugging and kissing me. I started to shout back, "Grandma, this is no time for hugging and kissing—focus!" But I realized she had no idea she was peeing all over the floor and herself and me, and she couldn't hear me anyway, so I succumbed to her love and affection.

Once I got her all cleaned up and back into bed, and got the bathroom and myself all cleaned up and back into bed I was able to get a few hours more sleep. I was up for a while and it was getting to be late in the morning, so I decided to go wake her up so that I could get outside to start working in my new garden. So the first thing she had to do was go to the bathroom. As we were walking to the bathroom I noticed we were leaving behind another pee pee trail! Dammit! Double diapers fail again and she didn't have a water pill at night. The trail through the bathroom got worse. Pee was pouring out of the diaper. But this time the fault was mine. Somehow at 4:30 in the morning I had managed to put the diaper on inside out, so the plastic liner was on the inside repelling all the liquid. Ugh!

It was my turn to initiate the hugs and kisses, which she devoured of course, then re-clean the carpet, shower grandma and bleach the hell out of the linoleum. She finally got breakfast around 11:15 and she's now sitting on the deck watching the birds. I need to go fix her hair before the birds build a nest in at and then it is finally out to the garden.

It just cracks me up that no matter what she does and how I am trying to manage it, she is constantly grabbing for a hug and kiss. I can be bent over her giving her a full-on lecture about why I want her to stop blowing her nose and wiping her mouth on her clean shirt. And she'll say, "ok sweetie" and reach for the kiss. Oh grandma. xo


  1. Life really is a circle! you know by sharing this you're helping a lot of us put our own lives in perspective.
    Thank you for the example Brenda :-)

  2. Brenda, you inspire me and I honor your commitment to family. A labor of love, indeed! Holding you in support, strength and joy.

  3. Funny how we tend to rush from one thing to the next, totally missing the moments in-between. When your grandmother is gone, you won't miss the pee-pee trails but you sure as hell will miss those hugs & kisses. Take all of them now as you relish this time with her. What an amazing life lesson you are learning, this experience is also going to give you so much wisdom.

  4. Thank you all for the wonderful words! The encouragement was really great after a long and trying day with her. Thank you!

  5. You and your grandma make me smile and laugh. You're one amazing granddaughter Brenda. :)

  6. Very touching,ure so dedicated!
    it opens my eyes
    how are U holding up in all this though?

  7. You are a far far better woman than I could ever be!