Monday, August 29, 2016

Notes from the Home - August 29, 2016

A portion of a recent dinner conversation:
Judy: "Elsie, did you tell me you were raised on a farm?"
Elsie: "No, I didn't grow up on a farm."
Judy: "I thought you said you had. I have a farming question I wanted to ask you."
Elsie: "I wasn't raised on a farm, but some of my relatives were farmers. Sometimes I worked on their farms, so I know a little. Maybe I can help you."
Judy: "Great. [sudden stunned and confused look] Now I can't remember what I wanted to ask."

*          *          *

Leila, my next-door neighbor, hasn't been well. One night as I got into bed, I heard Leila yelling for help. I called the desk, and Warren, the night security guy, came down to check on her. Five hours later, at three-thirty in the morning, Leila was yelling again.

She is often very, very confused. Wednesday evening, wearing only a night gown, she wondered into the hall and knocked on several doors. "When are they coming to get me?" she'd ask. When asked, who was coming to get her, Leila said, "I don't know." And she gave the same answer when asked why were they coming to get her. "Call and find out what's going on," she'd say. But she didn't know who needed to be called.

Her son David lives about forty miles from here, and he has spent more than a few nights with Leila recently. David is reluctant to move his mom to the Personal Care wing here at Covenant Woods, were there would be someone to keep an eye on her 24/7, because Leila wouldn't be able to take Gidget, her little dog, with her. In which case, he worries that the cure might be worse than the disease. He is hoping to move Leila to Magnolia Manor near where he lives, so he and his daughter can spend more time with her.

David and I got to talking one evening. He said he'd bought a laptop and wondered if I'd help him with it. I told him I would, but that he might be better off asking a ten-year-old. "I tried that," he said. "My granddaughter helped me a few times, but she's stopped coming over. She says I'm untrainable."

*          *          *

Mildred talked about her high school basketball career the other day.

"We played outdoors. The school didn't have a gym, so we played out in a field. It wasn't paved or anything, but they leveled it off and packed it down real good.

"Momma and some of the other mothers made our uniforms. We wore shorts; they came to just above the knee. Daddy said no daughter of his was going to go out in public in those shorts. Daddy came to all our games. I don't know if he was watching us play, or watching to make sure no boy looked at my legs."

*          *          *

I wish I could get my sleep pattern back into some semblance of a pattern. Last week, after three or four consecutive nights of two, three, or maybe four hours of sleep, I slept hardly at all Friday night. 

At two-thirty Saturday morning, I got myself out of bed and into socks, shoes, shirt and pants. The rest of the day was unproductive. I dozed off a couple of times in the morning, once while doing a crossword puzzle. At three that afternoon, I turned to Mr. Coffee, put the prescribed amount of Folgers in the proper place, filled the reservoir with water, pushed the on-off switch, and went over to the sliding glass door to enjoy the beautiful, bright, sunshiny day. 

And a very pleasant afternoon it was from inside, where the air conditioner kept the temperature at seventy-four - twenty degrees lower and considerably less humid than the great outdoors. A bird flitted around the dogwood tree; a lizard crawled on to the porch, stopped, looked around as if lost, got his bearings and went on; a squirrel dashed by; and I dozed off.

Slept soundly is more accurate. I was out until six o'clock. It was too late then to get dinner in the dining room, and the coffee that had been sitting on the burner for three hours had no allure. It was easy to say, "Better not have coffee. If I have a cup now, I won't sleep a wink."

A few hours later, at nine o'clock, I crawled into bed, instantly fell asleep, and remained asleep until seven Sunday morning. Ten uninterrupted hours of sleep, and I felt like hell. Besides the grogginess that comes from a long sleep, my legs were as stiff as they've ever been. Once I'm asleep, I don't move much, if at all, and it takes some time and effort to get the legs into pants, and the feet into shoes. Shirts, unless they're button-down, aren't a problem. I do have a problem getting my arms into a button-down shirt without getting the shirt into a tangled mess in the process. Untangling the shirt without having to take it off and starting over is no easy task.

After I was dressed and the grogginess wore off, I felt good. I didn't accomplish much, but I puttered around a lot, stayed sort of busy, and went to bed at ten last night. Sleep came quickly, and when I awoke, the digital display on the clock-radio read "6:02." That's what I thought, anyway. Once I turned on the light, put my glasses on, sat up, and put a sock on my left foot, I glanced at the clock, which now read "2:12."

Dyslexia had struck again. I opted to lie back down. That part was easy. Getting back to sleep wasn't. I got up again and finished dressing at three o'clock. Now I'm sitting at the computer. Who knows, maybe I'll finish this before I fall asleep at the keyboard.

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