What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Grandma Update

I love you guys.  Sooooo many nice sweet comments on my last post, and not just for trying to win those silly Valentine's.  Really, everyone is so nice.  Thank you.

Grandma update:  On Saturday we finally convinced her to call the ambulance.  The first responders thought they would give her something for gas and send her home that night.  But, it ended up that she had a bleeding ulcer and was literally bleeding to death.  (Which makes me realize now that the ambulance techs must not have checked her out that good - they left without the lights and drive slowly.  Meanwhile, she was bleeding to death.)  She is very, very sick and would have died if not finally gotten help.  She is not out of the woods yet, though.  Having said that, I will tell you that she is being the most difficult patient ever.  She had a screaming fit at the two nurses last night and I was so completely overwhelmed by her loudness and rudeness that I broke down and started wailing.  The nurses thought I was concerned over Grandma (that is weird to say because I only call her by her first name, not Grandma), but I was crying for those poor nurses.  I know they are used to it, but it killed me to see them trying so hard to help her and she absolutely did not care at all.  Right before we left, she blamed my Mom for making her go to the hospital.  Guilt trip number three hundred.

Don't think badly of me for talking smack about my Grandma.  She is a different kind of person from anyone else on the planet.  Very difficult, very selfish, very much "her way or no way" and all that other stubborn stuff.  And, not since she got older.  From day one she has been that way.  She's not the "I made you cookies" sort of Grandma or "Here's a birthday card" Grandma.  So, not your usual Grandma.  In fact, is she knew I was referring to her as "Grandma' she'd pop me in the mouth.  "You don't call you MOTHER 'Ma' so don't call me Grandmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwww." 

She's not out of the woods yet, the scope could cause heart failure, but they take precautions.  She is 84 and a diabetic.  But they think it will work.  She'll be in the hospital for days and days then to Rehab (or that will be fun news to break to her....) for a few weeks.  Then either home with help or somewhere where there is help.  She has a wonderful old doggie that is our concern - finding help with her and making sure she is well taken care of - she loves my Grandma and she is very sad that she isn't home. 

She is completely addicted and I mean addicted to Diet Coke.  Guess what probably caused her Ulcer?  Diet Coke.  Guess what she can't have any more?  Diet Coke.  Guess who isn't going to tell her that?  Me. 

Since no one likes a post without a photo.  Here's me, my Mom, Grandma in brown and my Great Grandma in purple on the left.  Four generations.

I'll be back when I can.  Thanks again everyone. 


  1. Shara,

    I'm sorry to hear about your Grandma. I hope she's able to make a recovery. Sorry she's being so difficult to be around though. It sucks when you just want to help someone and they are hell bent on not wanting it!!

    Hope you guys have a good day. I'm still trying to dig out!

  2. Oh my gosh Shara, that Photo is GREAT!! You are a 'clone' (in looks) of your Mother! It is really startling!! When I first glanced at the photo, I thought - wait, Shara couldn't have been that old in the 70's (?)... I HAD to read who the people were to TRULY believe it though!

    ((H U G S)) for all the crap you're going through right now!!
    It sucks! I'd like to say it will get better - it will, but it may well get worse before it does though (sorry... but YOU are one Strong Chick!!)

  3. Shara, I'm so sorry your Grandma has taken a turn. Try to remember that you're doing the best you can, and try not to feel guilty. That's my #1 emotion where my Mom is concerned. She can't make a decision, about anything, and everything is usually up to me. I have to remind myself that I'm doing the best I can, and that's all I can do. It's kind of like a mantra that I say to myself!

  4. Oh no! Your grandma is not different then that many others. She sounds just like mine was. She was a mean lady in her younger years and it just got worse as she got older.

    I know how you feel with her being so hard to take care of. I went through that with my Uncle a few years ago.

    I was so embarrassed at the things he did. Like taking off all his clothes and walking around the halls of his apt.

    Then when he would have to go the hospital I would die with how difficult he was.

    Then one day it dawned on me that this is HOW he was behaving and not me. So why was I feeling badly.

    The staff knows it is not you. They also know a lot of elderly people are hard to take care. Plus perhaps her sugar is out of whack and that makes people go crazy too. Again, I know because of my uncle.

    I had to have the ambulance pick him up to take him to the hospital once and he was so out of control the police came. Well he told them he was going to grab the gun and shot the cop. OH MY!

    It's so hard to deal with. Just know that you are not to blame for the way she acts or the things she does. Everyone else knows that too.

    Big hugs! Hang in there.


  5. She sounds like somehting else, lol. Im glad you guys got her to the hospital though. Big hugs, I know this cant be easy.

    That is an amazing picture though.

  6. Quick! Let me make this into a sampler for you. I posted this quote on my blog yesterday...

    Just because you are in pain doesn't mean you should be a pain!

    Let the doctor's give grandma the news and fall back on, "they said..." Bless you! It isn't fun to look after an un-grateful person!


  7. Hi Shara-

    Loved the family photo! Your mom's beehive 'do was fab!

    Your situation is all too typical. I've been there too. Your grandma is not going to change and be a sweet, compliant patient. People's personality traits get more pronounced as they age.

    So, just be a good support for your mom, who is probably at her wit's end about now.

    Let the hospital personnel run interference for you. Keep in contact with the case worker, get rehab and nursing home referrals so you all won't be overwhelmed. AND, let them be the bearers of the bad news ("No more Diet Coke"). It's their job to deal with difficult patients and there isn't anything that they haven't heard or seen.

    Take care!


  8. Anonymous2:39 PM

    Do not apologize. Your Grandma sounds exactly like my MIL. It's hard when they get this way. We will celebrate her 83rd Birthday Sunday.

    I hope this week is better for you and your Grandma.



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