Monday, October 6, 2008

I Know Why I'm Crazy

It runs in my family.

Recently I took Aunt and Uncle to a doctor’s appointment. Before they could get both walkers in the door, Aunt shouts to no one in particular, Where’s my chairs? I hate these new chairs.

Her beloved comfortable seats had been replaced by dinette ones.

We get settled and I go up to the frosted window to get the paperwork. Aunt now directs her ire to the medical administrative assistant, These chairs are ugly. I want my old chairs.

I return the paperwork to the window and Aunt again shouts, All lies. And you can keep that insurance card. Not worth two hoots in hell.

Administrative Assistant slams the window shut and the show Girlfriends on the CW station, a comedy about three black women in LA, provides a temporary distraction.




After an inordinate amount of time--an amount which we Americans have been told only happens in countries with socialized health care--we are called into the inner office. Aunt immediately presents the doctor with a list of meds that she requires.

Oh yeah, my aunt hordes meds. Recently she took her stash to the hospital and hid them under her blanket, insisting she needed her own sleeping pills and the 4 Tylenol PM to get to some rest.

Once the dealer, I mean, doctor is finished examining her, we exit through the waiting area and Aunt notices the Bernie Mac show is now on the CW. What the hell is this? she remarks. There was another black show on when we came in here. Is that all they show anymore?




And yes, there was a black woman sitting behind my aunt in the waiting room. She did not have a window to slam shut.

Afterwards, we did what all seniors do after their doctor's visit--we went to Applebees.

When our food is served aunt requests two take out boxes and makes Uncle scoop up half his meal for dinner tomorrow. I'd like to request an ice pack for my head.

It takes us about as much time to eat as we waited for the doctor and I am thankful it is only half the meal.  We ask for the check and Aunt orders Uncle to go to the bathroom.

He shuffles away and she yells, And pull up those pants for Chrissakes. Your Depends are showing.

At this point I hide behind my own version of a frosted window --the dessert menu.

But I know we are almost out of there. What else can she say?

A lot. The last time we were here, she continues, you came out of the bathroom with you pants around your ankles.

Yes, people, I tell you she’s crazy. But the worst is over. We're heading home.

Oh no.

By way of explanation, she tells Waitress that her husband has Alzheimer’s.

And is Incontinent.
And used to have Chronic Diarrhea.
And could never make it home without a Mess.
In the Restaurant.
Or the Car.

Now here’s my question: How much do you tip a waitress who’s just been forced to listen to info about your uncle’s bowel movements?

I dearly love my aunt. And I love her no BS attitude. But by now my head is aching.

We take the freeway home, and aunt is still as good of a backseat driver as she ever was.

We get stuck in a traffic jam and aunt doesn’t hold back cursing out the drivers who dare to pass in the shoulder. Afterwards, she begins cursing the TV networks for taking all her shows off the air. Next she begins cursing the healthcare system, and then all at once she realizes she forgot to ask the doctor something.

Damn it, she says. A few days ago. I was in bed 46 out of 48 hours. I meant to ask the doctor if I should be mixing my sleeping pills with my Vicodin.



By this point my head is pounding. 

But I think Aunt may be able to help me out.





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21 comments:

Honeybell said...

This is why I became a nurse. I couldn't get enough chronic diarrhea stories waiting tables.

Jenn Thorson said...

Oh my gosh, Meg-- too, too funny. I'm getting a bit of an image of the old woman from Throw Momma from the Train.

You're surely a good niece to endure that day.

Suzie said...

Too funny. Ah arent the eldery cute like little buttons?

Doug at Taunt Vortex said...

My wonderful wife used to work in an assisted living center.

Here's a quote from one of the female residents, as she is standing in the hall with her walker :
"I'm pooping!"

And, no, it wasn't a one-time thing.

Chris Wood said...

Glad you had fun! Your aunt sounds like a lady who knows her mind.

I feel a bit sorry for your uncle, though. That can't be particularly happy for him!

ksd said...

You ARE a GOOD niece - and the ONLY niece - which has it's perks! I thought all old people went to Bob Evans after a fun time at the doc's. The waitress deserved a BIG tip!

unfinishedrambling said...

I'm sure The Wife could tell stories like yours-- and worse-- from the elderly patients she carts around as an EMT. At least, your uncle wasn't waving his junk at you like the people she encounters. ;)

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Honey Bell - You, my dear, should be paid more than an airplane pilot! And you can't pay a pilot too much as far as I'm concerned.

Jenn - Well, there was that nice payoff.

Suzie - Sorry. No.

Doug - Your poor wife. Taking care of people not unlike two-year olds. But at least toddlers are cute.

Chris - Hey, everyone needs a spouse to tell them to pull up their pants. He's lucky!

Ksd - If they drink, they go to AppleBees.

Unfinished - Your poor wife. She deserves to watch Pushing Tin tonight.

ML said...

Sounds like my visits with my Aunt Jane! She is crazy too. And yes, every visit ends with lunch out. I try to steer her to the buffet places. The waitresses can only take so much abuse.

Jinksy said...

I'd probably play the role of an antagonizer with your aunt.

"There are in fact not enough shows with black people. And with almost 50% of the U.S. population being Hispanic, we need a lot more George Lopez. The George Lopez Network."

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm sorry... really... I mean I'm really sorry... but I'm laughing way too hard to be properly sorry.

Yikes. Seriously. Sorry to hear it.

I have to go somewhere and laugh now.

for a different kind of girl said...

Meg! Good news! There's a very, very chance that we are related!! From the sound of it, your aunt and my grandma were sisters! I'll look for you at the next family reunion, cuz!

A Free Man said...

1. It definitely runs in families. My sunset years are going to be an interesting one for those around me.

2. Thanks for pointing out that the myth of the efficiency of the American health care system is just that.

3. Applebees sucks. My parents always drag me there when I'm home. It's just the worst kind of fast food - fannied up fast food.

April said...

Wow. Makes me grateful my only living grandma speaks Spanish most of the time!

Always Home and Uncool said...

Another reason to look forward to old age. Sigh.

Maggie, Dammit said...

OH. MAH. GAH.

This is so awesome.

I mean, I'm sure it was painful and everything at the time, but it made for REALLY awesome reading. Thank you. ;)

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

ML - Good call.

Jinsky - Then that would lead us down the Will & Grace path. It would be endless.

Jen - Thank you. I'm glad someone is.

FADKOG - I thought you seemed familiar--red hair and all.

A Free Man - Having lived in a country with national healthcare--Japan--I'm all for it!

April - You ARE lucky.

Uncool - But there is a beauty to not giving a shit--metaphorically, I mean.

Sarah♥ said...

Oh Meg.. this made me bust out laughing!

Jonny's Mommy said...

This just cracked me up. If I wrote this already, I'm sorry, but my computer at home is possessed, so I'm adding this comment at work. (bad girl, I know)

I was laughing so hard and I think it is because I know so many of these women. My grandmother was never this bad, but....oh wow....she had a personality! Love this and thanks again for the comment on my post about toddler speech delays.

Ms Picket To You said...

my awesome grandfather used to make me do George Jefferson imitations. i was about twelve when i realized he was basically seeing me in black face and howling all the way to the 1940s. sigh.

Rock and Roll Mama said...

So glad it's not just me. I had to pull my Dad out of a hospital waiting room the other day, as he began railing about the mortgage crisis and how if they stopped giving mortgages to "irresponsible people" things would be just fine. "But could I get a mortgage? Not me, not for the white males!" In a waiting room full of, well, not white males. I was like, wait, when did you turn into my grampa? Are you gonna start talking about the damn Puerto Rickans like he used to???Aye caramba.