Wednesday, November 15, 2006

106 raking leaves the Alzheimer's way

Thank you all for your comments & suggestions on the Medicare thing. We did write to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (email) and she sent a (snail mail) letter the same day with all the forms we needed to authorize her to step in and help. Meanwhile my mom kept calling Medicare during the more "acceptable" times and finally got through to a person who CLAIMS it is fixed but everything has to be re-submitted by the doctor and the hospital. So I am not convinced we are out of the woods yet.
Then my grandmother got a letter from Medicare saying they were cutting her benefits because an audit showed she had more than $10,000 in "stocks and investments" which she doesn't. She wanted me to take care of it. I know nothing about Medicare and insurance. Why me? My mom ended up going over there and making the calls. Of course because she's not my grandmother, that causes its own set of problems. She's got POA for my dad, but not my grandma, who's mostly competent. It didn't exactly get resolved, but my mom said they kept questioning my grandmother's address so she's thinking they mixed her up with someone else.
I asked my mom if I could borrow the leaf-blower to do my yard. Instead they decided to come over on Saturday and help. Which is fine, great, all that. I was feeding the birds so I didn't come out right away. As soon as I did, my dad looked up at me and said "Hi!" in absolute astonishment, as if to say "what's SHE doing here?"
I took the leaf blower and did my garden and my Meditation Circle. My dad raked the section of my yard closest to the house and my mom raked up by the garage.
My father picks up every twig, stick and fallen branch.
Every one.
He breaks it very carefully into pieces about a foot long.
And places them on the nearest table.
I have one wooden picnic table and two round resin tables. All three were piled high with carefully broken twigs, all aligned parallel with each other.
Then he starts carrying the leaves up into the back, where we have a big compost-kind of pile. He gets confused and then brings the leaves back to the leaf pile in the middle of the yard and puts them there. In fact, I think he may have been bringing leaves FROM the compost pile TO the yard for a while.
My mom started to carry the leaves from his section and he was standing there confused and she accidentally conked him in the head with the rake handle as she went by. She felt bad, but this is how he is. He hasn't the sense to duck or get out of the way. (When I am leaving their house or my grandmother's, he will stand right behind the car or right in front of it, waving and waiting. Sometimes he walks away and then wanders back. I'm afraid I'm going to hit him some day.)
My mom gets impatient with him, and I know she shouldn't, but I can see why. Sometimes he just doesn't GET it. She's saying 'hurry up and finish, I want to go home' and he's just standing there watching us work. Then he goes to pick up some leaves, and there's a branch, and he has to go through his breaking up the branch routine. He hands ME the pieces. I say "I don't want twigs. I don't save twigs." And I throw them back into the leaf pile, which gets him all upset.
After he left I found twigs piled everywhere. It was like being in Karl Wagner's short story "Sticks."

No comments: