Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Adventures with Grampie

It's been a week of them.  I'm telling you, we're living the dream around here!  We spent well over an hour the other night at Walgreens, dealing with his medication, though it didn't seem that long to Grampie because he had a nice nap while we were waiting.  When he tried to stand up, he fell back into the chair.  He's not too steady on his feet these days, but likes to get by without his walker. It's a pride thing, but I keep telling him that if he really falls, I won't be able to help him up and we'll be calling 911.

This morning he called me in a panic. "I'm in a tailspin," he told me.  "Do you have an extra shaver over there?"  He bought new blades for his yesterday, and they were the wrong ones.  He and Thyrza had been working on the dang thing for a long time before he called me to rescue him.  I got myself together, told the dogs they could go for a ride and we happily drove over to Grampie's, our heads out the window, our tongues waving in the breeze.  Oh wait, I guess that was just the dogs.  I was simply driving.  When I reached Grampie and his tailspin, the first thing he did was grab my hand and rub it across his face.  "I'm a shaggy old man now," he said.  I couldn't see the whiskers, but he was clearly overwrought by the state of affairs.  This is not a man comfortable with facial hair.  But before we could leave, he got a call reminding him that he needed a blood test this morning.  A blood test I didn't know anything about. So before dealing with the shaving calamity, we detoured to our medical facility...

where the parking lot was jam-packed.  So I decided to let Grampie out at the front door.  Now you have to understand that Grampie has gone to this same lab for bloodwork almost every week since they moved here, so letting him go inside alone was safe enough, and I'd catch up as soon as I'd parked.  However (and you'ver already guessed this, haven't you?), when I finally found a parking place (behind the building), raced inside and downstairs, Grampie was nowhere in sight. And they hadn't seen him. Now I've lost me some kids a time or heart-stopping minute or two.  Once J and his best friend/cousin M made my father's very pale face turn whiter than a sheet when they infamously wandered away from a family camping site.  I think I've told that story before.  And there have been more than one occasion when I've thought I'd lost Beve, which is quite a feat, considering.  How can you lose a man who's 2 meters tall?  Not easily, but I'm talented.  Once when we were in New Delhi, we got separated in the middle of a very busy market.  I walked out of a little shop, looked one way down a street at a sea of people walking, then turned and looked in the other direction.  And started running, dodging people and thanking God for that 2 meter man, who was was literally head and shoulders taller than anyone else on that street.  So though I've lost him, I've always found him easily enough.

But his taller, but now stooped father, I really, really lost this morning. Or I should say, he lost himself, which is really more accurate.  I went up one staircase to our doctor's office, back down the elevator to the lab, to the front of the building, to the back...talked to some very helpful nurses who thought we should 'lock down' the building, which I agreed to after checking upstairs once more.  And there he was, standing in our doctor's office.  And he couldn't even tell me where he'd been.  "I just got confused," he said. 

Disaster averted, though, blood taken, we moved on to Fred Meyer where Grampie had purchased the wrong blades for his electric shaver yesterday.  We got his money back, found the right blades, and before we even bought them,  I put them into the shaver, just to be sure they'd fit (a store employee assisted me in opening the plastic with a box-cutter).  Grampie's old whiskers poured out on my jacket, but I got the puzzle put back together correctly and he grabbed it from me.  And instantly shaved his face.  I mean, he wasn't just checking to see that it worked, but shaved every craggy plane, then wanted to see if there were any samples of aftershave in the store to put on, like he does at home after he shaves.  My mouth was hanging open.

I remember when this man was a strong, stately man with a tremendous about of pride in his appearance.  A man who would no more have shaved in public than...well, than take care of any other personal hygiene in a grocery store.  But Grampie's now 8, not 86.  I just haven't quite figured that out.  He can get lost, make poor personal choices, and needs to be watched all the time. 

And doesn't know it.  Sigh.

Beve just got off the phone with them.  He got in trouble from Thyrza tonight.  He's not exactly sure how he wandered into that minefield, but then one never knows.  Sigh.  Yep, adventure is the word for it.

As I told SK this morning when I was telling her about my day, just think, this may be what you have to look forward to!

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