But with the elderly you never know what's going to hit you! It's not like when the french-fryer goes on the fritz and the customers start walking out on you. Which is why I'm seriously thinking nostalgically about going to work in some truck stop somewhere. I know how to sling hash! I don't always know how to care for my clients.
This week one of my ladies had a melt-down temper tantrum on the sidewalk outside her dentist's office. She refused to use her cane and wanted to hang off my arm like a monkey. I told her to take her cane and start walking and she grabbed my arm and dug her hand into my flesh with all her might and screamed at me that I was MEAN! I was being MEAN to her. Like that will look good on my criminal record rap sheet. Elder abuse or in this case, caregiver abuse!
The other lady insisted that I was using someone else's broom vac and that there was squash in the fridge and I had better cook it for her. She insisted that the smoke alarm went off for 2 days in a row and nobody would help her. (She's never without care so that's just not possible.) Then she asked me if I had ever gotten a new tenant and when I told her I owned no rental property she got a little huffy with me. Because I'm, like, hiding my assets or something.
The worst part was when my third clients daughter called and asked me what happened to the bag of marshmallows that were in the cupboard? I had thrown them out. They were congealed, had melted and then solidified into a solid mass. Not the healthiest of snacks in my opinion. But noooo...I was told in no uncertain terms that if her mother wanted stale marshmallows I was not to interfere. It was her house and her rules. "If mom wants to leave an open can of cat food on the counter covered in ants, that's her prerogative."
After that phone call I wanted to crawl under the bed and hide my shame. What was I thinking to presume I could throw away bad or rotten food?
So it is just a little glimpse of happy to think about when my other lady tells me this story:
It was WWII and there was gasoline rationing, so my lady had to ride her bike 2 miles each day to prepare a little house she and her husband had purchased for her bonkers mother to live in. She had one sibling, Flora Jean, who lived far away so she was not able to help in this endeavor.
I say her mother was bonkers because she threw herself into the ocean and several other suicidal feats. In today's world we'd say she was manic depressive schizophrenic but back then she was referred to as 'a tad touched'.
Anyway, my lady prepared this little house with paint, wallpaper, soap and beeswax polish and on the day she took her mother to present her with this amazing gift of a home of her own...her mother walked in the front door, glanced around and said, "It doesn't mean a thing without Flora Jean."
And although it was meant to be a very pathetic story, it cracks me up every time she tells it.
I want to change the grammar around a little bit and make it into a country western song.
"It don't mean a thing without Flora Jeannot my pickup my dog or my gun...Since Flora Jean went on the run..."