Thursday, December 2, 2010

My New Toy and Grandma

I have a new toy! DH gave me my Christmas gift early. It's a Nikon Coolpix camera. I'm very excited, because the LCD screen on my old Fugi camera hasn't worked in over a year and it was having increasing trouble focusing.


Now all I need is time to play with it. My schedule is kind of crazy. I'm in the classroom, teaching Language Art and Thematics (a combination of history and science) until 12:30p.m. four days a week. Blaze sits next to me in the classroom three mornings a week, but he doesn't work well when there are distractions of any kind, so even though I take school work to do, we frequently have more work to do when we get home. Then, two days a week I have to go back to school after work to tutor a middle school student. Blaze still has speech therapy two days a week and physical therapy once a week.

I would like to think that the holiday break will bring some much needed rest, but we will be traveling over the break. A couple months ago, my 90-something year old grandmother was placed in a nursing home and she has asked to see both her granddaughters. My sister was there over Thanksgiving and I will be going to visit right after Christmas. She's been a very tough and independent old lady, who still insisted on working in the garden even after she lost most of her eyesight and started having mobility issues. My father tried to get her live-in help, but she told him she would drive the person away, and she finally did. When she was diagnosed with a condition called "sundowners", a form of dementia that affects people mostly at night, it became obvious to her sons that she could no longer take care of herself. My parents have been divorced since I was ten, but my father called my mother when he moved Grandma into the nursing home to let her know what was going on and he explained that he believed that this choice was probably saving her life.

My mother called last night and told me about the visit that she, my sister, and my sisters family had had with Grandma. She says Grandma's happy where she's living now, although the food is not always to her liking (this is a woman who has always canned a lot of her own vegetables and has never liked trying new foods, so that's not that surprising).


Tammy said...

Good job with the gift, hubby!!! That is so cool. :)

I hope your visit with your grandma goes well. For everyone. I am sure it will be nice to see her, but those types of circumstances can be tough.

Sundowners...I've not heard of that before.

Crescent Moon said...

I had never heard of sundowners until I was told she had it. In her case, she believed that people were in her house, who weren't really there. At first, she was very convincing. It was winter, which is the time of year when sundowners often gets worse because of shortened daylight hours, when she told us that a homeless man was breaking into her house at night and sleeping in her basement. Her explanations made perfect sense. She said he was running her clothes drier to produce more warm in the cold basement and claimed he had even come upstairs one night to use the bathroom, while she was in bed. My dad tried staying with her for 3 nights to catch this man, but never saw anything. Grandma explained that by saying that the man didn't show up because he had seen the car in the driveway.
Then it stopped making any kind of sense, because she started telling my dad that the coach of the Chicago Bears was living in her basement.
Most recently, the people on the radio were living in her basement.

Tammy said...

So not fair, these amazing older people who give so much in life only to end with one of these horrid forms of dementia. I'm glad you will be able to see her. Thinking of you...

Crafty Crow