Years ago when I was teaching special education exclusively, I would have people tell me that I must be a special person to work with special needs kids. I always brushed the thought away because I didn't (and I still don't) feel that my working with special needs kids made me any more special than the next teacher. Yes, there were challenges, but isn't that the case in every job? Since I've moved into the general ed classroom, I still have challenges...they are just different. Instead of kids who can't, I have kids who don't or won't.
However, I do believe with ALL OF MY HEART AND SOUL that those who work with geriatric patients, especially those with Alzheimer's, do deserve numerous stars in their crowns. I posted last night about the conversation between my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Well, this morning, I kind of lost it with my mother-in-law.
My niece is having her baby shower this afternoon. At breakfast, Connie and I were talking about it, and of course, Billie didn't get invited (or so she thinks.) We told her she did but that she had just forgotten. (I've had this same conversation twice in the short time I've been writing this post.) We told her that she needed to go because Gavin is her great-grandson and Libby would be hurt if she didn't go. Then she began with her old standby: "I'm so dizzy in my head I can barely stand up."
While she was washing dishes, Connie told her to take a shower and we'd go riding later this afternoon. Oh, boy...she perked up at that. "Can we go out to the forest to Momma's and Daddy's graves?" Connie told her that she didn't know where we'd end up, but we'd go somewhere. Once she finished with dishes, I told her to go take her shower. She headed toward the bathroom, or so I thought.
A few minutes later, I went to our bedroom and there she was...GOING THROUGH MY PURSE! She said she was just moving some stuff so she could make up the bed, but she had my bottle of Lexapro in her hand looking at it, and it was IN my purse. I sent--again--her take her shower.
She went to the bathroom and I heard her moving stuff around. Then she said she just was going to bathe off and not take a shower. I told her she needed to shower, but she insisted she didn't want to. I insisted she needed to because she didn't take one yesterday.
Her: "Yes, I did."
Me: "No, you didn't, and you said last night you could smell yourself." (She says that all the time, but we don't smell her.)
Her: "Well, I do stink, but I can bathe off and get clean." (She was bathing off, but she wasn't using soap AT ALL.)
Me: "No, you don't get good and clean if you don't get in the shower and use soap."
Her: "I took a shower yesterday."
Me: "No, you didn't."
Her: "You weren't here yesterday. You don't know."
Me (using a tone of voice that I really shouldn't have): "I'VE BEEN HERE SINCE 8:00 FRIDAY NIGHT. YOU DID NOT TAKE A SHOWER YESTERDAY!!!"
Her: "Well, I'm just dizzy in my head and I don't feel like it."
Me: "Fine. Don't tell me you smell yourself. If you aren't going to take a shower, you are going to stink."
Now, let me ask you this: Who is the crazy person here? The answer to that? I am. I'm the one who, almost two hours later, is still catching myself clenching my jaws while she's over in her chair happy as a lark. I feel horrible about losing my temper because deep in my heart I know she can't help it. It's just so damn frustrating to see someone you love deteriorate so much. Have I told you lately that I HATE ALZHEIMER'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She just said...again...that she wasn't invited to Libby's shower.
And I have a pain over my left eye.
So yeah, anyone who works with geriatric Alzheimer's patients and can go through a day without losing his/her patience deserves not just a star, but a whole galaxy, or stars. I couldn't do it. Give me a teenager any day.
Have a GREAT day, and please pray for me 'cause I need it.