Wednesday, 12 November 2008
I went to visit my Grandma in the nursing home today. Grandma has had alzheimers disease for several years, and has steadily gotten worse over the last year. When I say worse, I mean, she repeats the same thing several times, before realising, she's already said that! I'[m the only family she has here, now, and I haven't been to see her in over a month. I feel terrible about that. I go and visit her, give her an update on Mini's adoption. Talk about the kids and my family. She'd listen, taking it all in, and ask me questions (often the same question!) regarding what we've just talked about.
Today was different. It was 930am and Grandma was in her dressing gown, at her little table having her breakfast. Her hair was messy. Her bed unmade. I guess you might not think that's odd. But it is for Grandma. She's up, showered, dressed and ready to go at the crack of dawn. She often didn't know what she was going to do, as she'd forgot what day of the week it was - but was ready to go, when the nursing staff told her what was on the day's agenda.
As soon as Grandma saw me, she excaimed "Oh! My granddaughter! I'm so glad you're here!" She's always glad to see me, but she sounded troubled. I asked what was the matter. And for the next 15 minutes I heard a complete mish-mash of information - including the two little boys that keep misbehaving in her room. I thought, some visitors kids must've accidentally gone in her room. Unfortunately, it was the "invisible" boys - that only Grandma could see and hear. She'd stop midsentence, and say "hear that? where are those naughty boys?!" When I said I couldn't see them, she told me I was ridiculous, he was right there, but his friend had run away. She was very worried, that these children were her responsibility and their parents must be worried sick, she had to take them to the Police Station. She started talking to the boys.
I felt ill. I wanted to runaway and burst in to tears. What has happened to my Grandma?
I didn't stay long, the nurse came to encourage Grandma to have a shower and get dressed. She said she was just about to go to bed for the night. I didn't want to leave, but at the same time, I couldn't be there any longer.
As soon as I left her room, I was crying. I cried for my 40 minute trip home. I'm crying now. How do you try to help someone who doesn't know they need help?
Gosh, I love my Grandma. It completely breaks my heart, that the intellegent, generous, kind-hearted lady, that is my Grandma... is slipping away.