My grandmother is a hot mess…

… before and after Alzheimer’s and if I didn’t believe it before, I believe it now.

So I told you about my grandmother’s sweet escape yesterday right? She just walked out of the front door of the house that she and her husband have been living in for forty something years and told my grandfather that she was going to her real home. She just unlocked the door and walked out. Now my grandfather had a stroke  many years ago, and ever since then he hasn’t been able to talk the same or move the same, so he couldn’t walk, let alone run, after her. He couldn’t get her back in the house so he called the police and then he called my mother. My mother rushed over there as soon as she found out. Turns out that my grandmother had walked down the street and somehow fell. She busted her chin (and needed stitches) and  scratched on her forehead, nose, and left cheek. I’m guessing she fell trying to run away when the police started chasing her or something because a nurse told me that a police officer had to chase her down. My eighty- something- year- old grandmother probably knocked the wind out of somebody who was probably half her age or younger and is trained to chase after people. Anyway, the ambulance came because she’d needed one, as I imagined she was pretty bloody. After she was in the ambulance, my mother had just arrived and wanted to see her before the ambulance drove her away, and my grandmother is screaming “That’s my daughter!” As soon as they open the doors and are about to let my mother in, my grandmother sees my mother carrying her own purse and asks “Is that my purse?” because she has this obsession with her purse and someone stealing her purse (which someone has never done) and carries it around all the time even in her own home (she puts it on the counter next to her while she washes up). Now mind you, she’s battered and bruised and is caring about her purse. Interesting. Anyway, fast forward some hours when my mother calls my grandparents’ home and no one answers, so she’s freaking out because my grandfather is there and isn’t answering which could’ve meant that he was getting up to try and look for my grandmother and fell, as he has multiple times, and couldn’t get up. So my father drives me over to my grandparents’ house to find my grandfather just sitting in the living room, as normal as ever, watching the news. He listens to the TV really loudly and just couldn’t hear the phone. So then we get a call form my mother asking us to come pick her up as she has left her car in front of my grandparents’ home and took the ambulance with my grandmother to the hospital where she was being treated. So, we left, kisses to the grandfather, and then we drove to the hospital and before then, I’d been told by my father that I was going to wait in the hospital with my grandmother while my parents drove to go get my mother’s car. Turns out that wasn’t the plan. I should’ve known better; men, they’re never listening. Anyway, I wait with my grandma anyway in the emergency room and she’s got bruises all over her pretty face with this giant bandage on her chin and has blood on the top of her hospital gown. I felt so badly for her. “Here’s your granddaughter,” my mother said and then my grandmother smiled and said “Ohhh…” My mother left and I just sat there with my grandmother watching The Late Show with David Letterman on this tiny TV. And then she says she’s cold, so I go ask for a blanket, and then my grandmother says she isn’t cold, but when they bring her the blanket and put it on the bed, she says “Oh that’s better” which indicates that she was in fact, cold. Then, the nurse comes over and tells my grandmother that she’s going to give her a tetanus shot because the doctor told her to give my grandmother one. Tetanus shots are supposed to prevent tetanus, or lock jaw, that could happen to you if a certain bacteria enters your body through cuts and bruises, as my grandmother had. The nurse tries to explain some of the this to grandma and she goes “I don’t have any cuts,” and the nurse looks at me and is like amazed and asks my grandmother “You don’t have any cuts? I thought you fell…” Then my grandmother says “Oh yeah I did fall.” But that realization changes nothing. My grandmother ,  being as stubborn as she is often for no reason, says she may be allergic to it having just told the nurse that she wasn’t allergic to anything as far as she knew. Then, she later changes it to “I’m allergic to tetanus shots” and turns around and winks at me. She informs her nurse that she needs to speak with her doctor and she’ll think about having the shot. When the nurse says “Well I’m going to give you the shot now” my grandmother screams “Nooooo!” like a child. So the nurse says offers my grandmother that she’ll talk to her daughter (my mother) and ask her about my grandmother getting the shot. A little while later, my mother shows up and the nurse comes over to talk to her about the tetanus shot. My mother tries to tell my grandmother that she had to get one because she’d slammed her finger in the door and you get the shot for your own safety and that it won’t hurt her. Then, the nurse tries to give my grandmother the shot, and while doing so my mother is trying to take me to the exit, where my father is waiting for me to get in his car and drop me off at home. I decide we should wait until the nurse gives grandma the shot, because we don’t want the nurse to get beat up. She hears that and genuinely thanks me, as I’m sure she realizes, my grandmother would’ve probably beat her up. (I learned that people with Alzheimer’s have this like super strength. I guess God was like, well  if you’re going to lose your mind I’ll give you super strength so you can at least defend yourself if someone’s trying to harm you. Thanks God. That was a smart idea.) She gives my grandma the shot and then I leave.

Later, as my mother was trying to coax my grandmother to get in her car so she could drive her home , it involved some other people. This is how high maintenance my grandmother is. Getting my grandmother into the car involved:

  1. my mother
  2. my grandfather
  3. a doctor
  4. a nurse
  5. a second nurse
  6. a security guard
  7. a second security guard
  8. a janitor/ maintenance man

Even with these people it still took 45 minutes. She thought it was all a  part of some sort of evil plan and everyone was in on it.

My grandmother eventually did get in the car and my mother drove her home, where she is probably driving my grandfather up a wall and planning her next escape. For my grandmother is no ordinary old woman, she’s worse, but I still  love her so.

Do you have a story about your own grandparents? Share it in the comments.

Until the next adventure in grandma wackiness…

Kisses!

-M.

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