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.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Thank you NICE People!

I want to thank everyone for all the very nice comments on my last post.  It helped to get it off my chest and out in the open.  But, as I tried to sleep last night, I got really, really paranoid that someone would read it and it would come back to be more than trouble that it's worth to leave it posted.  *Bawk*Bawk*  So, I deleted it.  But, I have kept all the comments and will take them to heart. 

It's so nice to know that people care. 


**Okay - here is the Reader's Digest Version for those of you that have been nice enough to ask what I deleted!

It is time for Shara to VENT

When I was a teenager, I kept a Diary. If a teacher or a cute boy or a mean girl did something that day, I wrote about it. I poured my heart out and got it off my chest. It helped. It didn't make it go away or any different, but it helped. Now that I am a grown up (like it or not) I don't keep a diary. Instead, I blog. Usually, I blog about junk and sales and scenery and The Beanery. I try to be politically correct for any family members that happen onto my blog. I never want to ruffle feathers or hurt feelings.

But, sometimes MY feathers get ruffled and MY feelings get hurt.

I've blogged about my Grandmother in the past. A difficult, difficult impossible woman since 1950. Now that she is older, Great Googley Moogley, she is worse that difficult, tenfold.

She got sick in February with a Bleeding Ulcer. She was in the hospital in Critical Intensive Care and received five units of blood. She was there for two days and then - *poof*- time to go home. She was so weak that she couldn't hold her head up, couldn't walk or really even think. We begged for help, so they decided she needed to go to Rehab to regain her strength. It was a Rehab SLASH Nursing Home, which really turned out to be about 99.9% Nursing Home with very little Rehab. She was miserable. Her room was 10x14 and she had a roommate with Dementia. The roommate cried out with horrible terrible swear words all night long. The lady in the next room cried out all night, "They're hurting me!" over and over and over. My Grandmother got little to no sleep. She couldn't sleep with all the crying and screaming all night.She got more and more exhausted. She got even crankier and had bouts of anxiety, which the doctor prescribed medication which made her completely out of it. She couldn't focus, have a conversation or participate in the wee bit of rehab she as given each day. She got weaker and weaker by the day. She was in a terrible state. She needed my Mom and me to do everything for her. And, we did it. We brought her things, went to her doctor's appointment's, ordered her things, whatever she needed. We tried to make her comfortable and get the help she needed. She blamed the two of us for "putting her there". She got more and more angry at us, treated us badly and belittled us. We can do nothing right or good in her eyes.

Then one day, out of the blue, it was decided without asking US if we agreed, that she would go HOME.  She assured the people in charge that she would be "fine" at home and could do everything for herself. We hadn't even seen her push herself to the bathroom in a month, but she conned everyone else into thinking she was ready to go home. Granted, the rehab hospital was not working out as planned, but going home was not what she was ready for at all. No Sireeee Bob.

Two weeks ago today she went home. With the help of my Mom and me. Only. And, two weeks later, My Mom is still there. Twenty four hours a damn day for two straight weeks being bullied and told not to eat anything in the house and accusing her of things. We knew she shouldn't be home alone. She wasn't ready. She will never be ready. She does have an Aide that come in for four hours a day, but that leaves my Mom for the other 20 hours a day. The Aides bathe her, with my Mom's help. My Mom cooks for her, helps her with bathroom activities, cleans her house, does her laundry, literally wipes her nose, dispenses her medication. I could go on and on. She is getting so tired. It absolutely breaks my heart. I help during the days as much as I can, but I do have a family and I am supposed to be educating a kid. My Mom has a family and a life too. It is terrible that family came in and made life altering decisions fora ll three of us and then left. We are stuck. We need help so badly. I am in tears all the time. It's bad enough to have to work like a dog, but then to be treated badly on top of it...well, it just isn't fair. My poor Mom. She is doing things that no daughter should have to do to their own Mother. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not a complete hard hearted bi-otch. We expected a certain amount of care giving - shopping, meal prep, house cleaning, etc. Just not bathing, and toilet issues and medication and blah, blah, blah. The hatefulness is the hardest to handle. It is just so draining.

She needs to be in Assisted Living. Or she needs round the clock care. She is in the beginning stages of Parkinson's and is very clumsy and unreliable to microwave food or handle hot or dangerous items. The little bit of care giving she is paying for now is simply outrageous. Her first week of care was over $500.00 for 28 hours of care over seven days. My Mom is about to lose her mind and I am worried for her. I want my Grandmother to be safe and cared for, but my Mom is my primary concern right now.

I'm sure a lot of you have been through this. It is just so damn hard. Physically, mentally and economically. I don't know where to turn or what to do. We don't see any end in sight. It is just exhausting.

Okay. That is out in the open and off my chest. Whew. I feel better already!


Oh well.

Thanks for reading this if you are still here at the end. It just helps to get things off my chest every once in a while.

***Thanks again for all the sweet comments.  I just wanted to edit somethings out that made me sound like I wasn't a caring person.  But, I think you all figured out that I do care.  It's just hard to do it!

I'll be back another day with some JUNK and an adventure.  Hopefully!


  1. I understand deleting it but do know I care and you can vent to me anytime! The road is easier when you have friends to help you travel it!

  2. Darn, I missed it! Well, whatever it was about, I agree with you 100%! Just trying to be supportive, after the fact!

  3. I'm with Carol. Whatever you were venting must have been important to you, so you should be able to share. So whatever it was, I am with you.

  4. PocketChange11:15 PM

    Shara, I didn't see your earlier post, but I can understand the strain and physical exhaustion both you and your mother must be under. It is DEFINITELY not easy to take care of an ailing parent, especially one who is angry and frustrated with their present circumstances and cannot do anything about it. Have you contacted your local Office on Aging to see what resources or programs your grandmother may be eligible for? Are there any day programs (2,4, or 6 hours) that you could take your grandmother to, so that you and your mother could get a rest and reprieve from the constant around-the-clock care? Can you ask other family members to pitch in, even if only to relieve your mother for a few hours? My heart goes out to you and your mother at this difficult time. I hope you can find some assistance - ask around because I'm sure others have been in the same boat and could give you some advice. Please continue to vent, and let us know how things are going. Take care.

  5. Being a caretaker is one of the hardest things a person can do. It's like we forget about ourself and only worry about the person we are taking care of.

    Then we get tired, run down and become angry. We get mad/upset at the person for needing to be taken care of. We get mad at others around us for not helping out and we get mad at ourself for being there to begin with.

    I fully understand. I had to take care of my uncle and his "girlfriend" whom I hated. Well, I didn't hate my uncle, just the girlfriend.

    However, once my uncle died I was so sad. I wish I could take care of him again. I also felt guilty for all my angry thoughts.

    He too wasn't in his right mind towards the end and became... well how do I say this "a hand full".

    You should contact the hospital where your grandma was and speak to the case worker. Let them know your mom can NOT take care of her anymore and ask for help in getting your grandma moved to assisted living.

    She won't want to go but it sounds like she will have to. She is not safe to live alone and if you make that clear they can not leave her home alone.

    Good luck and I want you to know you can email me any time you want to vent!


  6. This post brought back a whole bunch of memories about my Mom that I've been trying hard to suppress but of course that's impossible. She died in January 2009 in a "temporary" nursing home/rehab center (she'd only been there a week after getting out of the hospital after breaking her hip) but had she not passed she would be living here with me and I'd be insane by now. My father has been in and out of hospitals for the last 3 years and is forced to have his (privately paid) home health aide with him or he'd probably be dead, as well. Oh, and do NOT get me started about what he's had to endure in what is supposed to be the best hospital in Birmingham, AL--he's had things stolen (like his HEARING AIDS), my sister has come in and found him laying in feces, they take him to dialysis and when they bring him back they literally throw him back in the bed, and on and on and on.

    God bless you and your mother, Shara. I still remember the post you did when that squirrel was crawling all over her--maybe one day soon the two of you could take an hour or two and see if you can find him again.

  7. Shara, You sound like a very caring person! In every family the "dirty work" always seems to land in the lap of one or two people. I have been in this position and yes it is SO HARD! It's normal to feel the way you do. You can't keep those feelings inside forever. You'll explode just like your pyrex dish! Wish I could give you a hug in person. Yvonne
    an Indiana Librarian

  8. LynnW1:30 PM

    HI Shara-

    Does your mom have Power of Attorney over your grandmother's health and financial issues in the event that your grandmother can't look after her affairs?

    I'm sure there is a family caregivers support group in your area. Contact the Mental Health Dept or your local hospital social worker. You need to know all the resources that are available.

    It's so important that you and your mom especially, take extra good care of YOUR physical and emotional health now.


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