Through the Windowpane
“For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part;
but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12
Only read this if you want a good laugh.
Grandpa: “My stomach hurts.”
Jill: “You need your Omeprazole. We’ve been out of it for a couple of days and that’s why your stomach hurts.”
My husband Robert takes an Omeprozal pill and hands it to Grandpa, laying the box down on the table across from him.
Grandpa starts swinging his pill container to catch the edge of the box so he can get it near enough to him to grab.
Robert notices he’s trying to get the box. “What do you want Grandpa?” he says in a loud voice (so Grandpa could hear him).
Grandpa jumps in his wheel chair. “What are you you yelling at me for?” Grandpa says, getting angry.
“Because you can’t hear me.” Robert replies.
“Do you want him to read the insert?” Robert asks me.
“I don’t care,” I say, trying to concentrate on the work I am doing at the computer which is a few feet away.
Grandpa starts reading the drug insert. After a few minutes he says, “I don’t have chronic heartburn,” he says.
“Yes you do, Grandpa,” I said. “You’ve been on that drug for a long time. You have acid reflux and you were without Omeprazole for two days, so now you have heartburn again.”
Mr. Hypochondriac continues his self diagnosis. “I don’t have chronic heartburn,” he says again.
He sits at the table for a half hour stewing over the fact that he is positive he doesn’t have chronic acid problems. I’m ignoring the fact that he is moping… I get up and start to make dinner.
“Do you read directions?” he asked.
“Why are you asking me that?” I replied
“I just want to know.”
“Does this have to do with your medicine?” I ask, knowing full well it does.
“Well, the directions say you shouldn’t use that product if you don’t have chronic heart burn.”
“You have chronic heartburn, Grandpa. You’re always eating Tums. You just told me that you take a Tums every night. That means you have chronic heart burn!”
I explain to him that his other medicine causes heart burn and that’s why he needs to take Omeprozol which he’s been on the whole time we’ve been taking care of him (three years). Every time we run out, he only lasts a couple of days and then he starts complaining of acid reflux – because he has “chronic heart burn.” I give up, I say to myself.
Grandpa finishes dinner.
“Time to brush your teeth, Grandpa, and go to bed.”
While Robert is getting Grandpa ready for bed, the crazy argument continues.
“If I was Jill I would go to the doctor with the instructions and tell him he is wrong,” Grandpa says, trying to get one last lick in before bedtime…
“If you were Jill, you could wear a dress,” Robert replied.
My stomach hurts now. Oddly enough after a little health episode of my own in January, I was prescribed Omeprazole. I don’t take it however. I don’t have chronic heart burn. But I’m sure burning tonight!
It isn’t often that we get a chance to repay our parents for all that they’ve done for us.
Sometimes Grandpa get’s on a kick that real Christianity is caring for orphans and widows and he wants to start a non-profit to minister to them (James 1:27), until I remind him that he’s a widower and I already have my hands full.
When I was changing him before lunch, he said to me, “Who thought when I was changing your diaper that you would someday be changing mine?”
“That’s God’s approved plan,” he continued. “That’s real Christianity.”
That’s life full circle, Pops. It’s payback time, I thought to myself.
Somehow I don’t think my diaper changes were as profound.
I haven’t written for a long time, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a lot to say, it only means that life got in the way of the written page, but some days just have to be recorded, not for posterity’s sake but for sanity’s sake. Today is one of those days, and I’m glad. Now I can hopefully end my hiatus and return to a somewhat regular blogging routine, which means that I will be recording these wonderful life stories that keep piling up in my backlogged writer’s mind. Even so, this entry was sitting on my desktop waiting to be finished along with several other posts… I may not catch up for sometime, but the thrill of getting this one posted equals progress and a breakthrough – I hope.
It’s the day after Christmas when the family is still asleep, but grandpas and puppies have to go, go, go!
First abut the puppy…
We live on a country road where a lot of dogs and cats are dropped off to be abandoned. For a couple of months a mama doggy had been raiding the leftover chicken food pans, and early in December one of her pups followed her to our run-in shed at the back of the property. Loud yelps alerted us to her presence, and after picking the stickers out of her fur and giving her a bath, we did the responsible thing and took her to the county animal shelter.
Two days later, we heard yelping again, this time in the field. My husband and daughters trudged out to a ridge of wild rose brambles in the middle of the cow pasture and rescued another pup. We repeated the de-burring and bathing process, and did the responsible thing and made another trip to the animal shelter.We already have a dog, numerous cats (some we brought with us and some that were here), 13 chickens, a duck, and four geese – and Grandpa of course. There is no way we were going to add a puppy to the mix, so we took all the pups to the county animal shelter – plus one of the stray cats that came with the property.
Feeling rather proud of our grown-up decision, we carried on with life, wondering how to depopulate our cat collection. Our smugness was short-lived, however. We were unprepared for the next and cutest puppy of all – a fluffy white bundle of fur with a big patch of brown on one side of its face. We think its a Newfoundland/Shepherd mix and she won our hearts, or one of our hearts (specifically the youngest member of our family).
Begging us to keep it, we (okay, I) caved in, and we (I) have been caring for a puppy early in the morning before we (Robert and I) get Grandpa up. So when I got up this morning to let the puppy out, I heard a lot of commotion coming from Grandpa’s room. The trapeze bar above his bed makes a loud squeaking noise when he’s moving around a lot, and I didn’t want him to wake the daughter whose bedroom is underneath his, so I went in his room to see what he needed. It was 7:30 a.m. Dad usually gets up around 9:00 a.m. I opened his door.
“What’s going on,” I asked.
“I have to go to the bathroom.” he replied.
“Okay, wait a minute, I have to take the puppy out.” I know taking care of the puppy first seems odd, but Grandpa is a slow mover and I was trying to avoid still another puppy accident!
I took the puppy out to do her business, and then woke Robert up so we could take Grandpa to the bathroom.
When Grandpa was all situated on the throne (as we sometimes call it), he turned the wall heater on.
When I came to check on him a few minutes later, I thought I would pass out, not to mention him passing out.
“Turn that heater off, dad,” I said.
“No I’m cold.”
“Turn it off!” I said louder, a little more emphatically.
“Stop raising your voice!” he said testily.
“I’m raising. my voice because you’re not listening to me. You’re going to pass out in here. It’s nice and warm. You don’t need it on anymore.”
“You can’t have the heater on that high,” I said loudly partly out of frustration and partly because he has selective hearing.
“Stop yelling, there is no excuse for it,” he said in a righteous tone.
“You’re not listening! That’s excuse enough for me.”
Knowing from past experience that this conversation was going no where, I left the bathroom to go get his breakfast ready.
While cooking his eggs and sausage, I had a few minutes to think about a compromise. I returned to the throne room to check on him and said, “You can turn the heater on for 30 seconds or a minute, but then turn it off.”
“Oh, that’s okay,” he said, “I don’t need it. I’m not cold.”
He just did it again! Sometimes a “discussion” with Grandpa is like making a one hundred and eighty degree turn. We end up right back where we started and that makes my mind spin. But what else is new!
So, you know, I try to get everything Grandpa could ask for before he does because he sometimes asks the wrong way. Like just now, he said, “What, no water?”
“That’s right,” the hubby said, “you have no water.”
“How do you ask for it, Grandpa?” we said in unison.
“May I please have some water?” he replied. He said he just couldn’t believe it wasn’t on the table. Well, with all that’s on my mind, believe it or not, once in a while, I do slip up!