Archive for ‘Rafi’

April 21, 2011

I don’t know where to begin

Photo Courtesy Takgoti on Flickr

What a month I’ve had! I should have been documenting everything as it unfolded in this here blog but instead I hid my head in the sand by keeping ridiculously busy….

In a nutshell since my last post the following insanity happened: My grandfather passed away, my grandmother was hospitalized, released to a nursing home, kicked out of said nursing home within three days, in desperation put on anti-psychotic drugs prescribed for my mother (they didn’t work for mom) that have turned her from a witch into a kitten, all this while my mother entered a verbally angry and combative stage, my father put a deposit down on an assisted living facility because my mother was literally unmanageable, changed his mind and  put her on my grandmother’s anti-psychotic drug that miraculously is helping manage her behavior. And did I mention that while all this was going on I helped put on my son’s preschool fundraiser AND threw him a 4th birthday party with a friend?

If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past month is that I am a firm believer in anti-psychotic drugs. I used to be on the fence about them, but after seeing how the right drug can absolutely tame the most agitated soul so that you can care for them, I’m convinced! Without them my grandmother would be in a psychiatric ward right now and my mother in a facility.

Thank you Haldol and Seroquel!

February 18, 2011

I used to be her favorite

While this blog was created for my mom, there are definitely plenty of other people in my life that warrant writing about, in particular my grandmother Rafi, my father’s mother.

Growing up we never called her grandma, just Rafi. That was probably attributed to my father’s tumultuous upbringing and my grandparent’s cool attitude towards affection. Anyway, I was my grandmother’s favorite, no doubts. Rafi always wanted a daughter but ended up with two sons. My father joked once that the only way his mother would love him was if he got a sex change…..so when her first grandchild was a girl, well, you can guess how much I was doted upon.

In recent years, however Rafi has also suffered with dementia, though unlike my mother, Rafi has what I like to call good old-fashioned senility. Remarkably she still lives on her own with regular visits from a caregiver, my dad, and my brother, and she is content to eat cake, watch the weatherchannel all day and generally be left alone. I used to visit her regularly but once I had children it became harder for me to pop over to her place. And when I did bring my kids to see her they usually started crying the minute she opened the door (she does bear a slight resemblance to a witch). My sporadic visits took their toll on our relationship, and the last time I visited her she screamed at me, “La drona, la drona!” (thief) and threw me out of her house! Two Christmases ago she hit me when I tried to get her to wash her hands, and at this point she has no idea who I am.  I pretend it doesn’t hurt but it does.

In the past few months my grandmother’s aggression has hit a 10 and her caregiver asked if there was anything we could do since she is tired of hiding the breakables when she visits (my grandmother likes to throw pots at people). I volunteered to look into it since I am persona non grata over at her place and want to help her out in some way.  Well, I am happy to report that after a month of discussion with doctors and a local hospice agency we finally have medication in hand; something that will hopefully calm her down and perhaps, if we are lucky, allow us to give her her first bath in two years. I’ll save the bathing discussion for another post….

So this morning my dad, my grandmother’s caregiver, and I will attempt to tame this wild woman, and maybe, just maybe I’ll be her favorite again.