Sunday, March 27, 2011

promise me you'll put a pillow over my head (m)

While I was away, Aunt Y was taken to the hospital for congestive heart failure.  Once there, she developed a urinary tract infection, quite common in the elderly.  The UTIs tend to make the elderly confused, so they couldn't send her home from the hospital until they were convinced she is fine to resume independent living.  So, they put her in a rehab facility.

I got home from Florida and went straight to the rehab place.  She was calling for me for two days.  "M's the only one I can talk to," she told her sister, Aunt X. 

I know why that is.  You see, Aunt Y is living between two worlds.  The world of the living and the world of the dead.  She "sees" her husband (who died in 2007) and has long conversations with him.   She insists he is there as surely as I am in front of her when I visit her.  Aunt X loses patience with her and tries to argue that he cannot possibly be there.  I told her I believe her.

So, I am her co-conspirator. 

She was worked up the other night and could not sleep.  By the time I got there, she was quite agitated.  Her husband was "out all night.  I was worried sick.  I didn't know if he drowned, or what."  I quieted her down by saying it was she who was not at home and that Uncle H was probably at her house, looking for her.  I reminded her that she was in a rehab facility and that he might not be aware of that.  She considered this, calmed down and said, "I hadn't thought of that.  That might explain the situation."

My cousins are appalled by how much Aunt Y has slipped these past few weeks.  None of them wants to get old.  I hear them making pacts with each other.  It goes like this:

Steven to Diane--"If I ever get like that, put a pillow over my head."
Butchie to Debbie--"I don't want to get old.  Seriously, shoot me if I get old and lose my mind."
Phillip to me--"Pass the saltshaker.  I don't care about living long if that's what happens to you."
Marie to Kay Kay--"I'm saving all my drugs and taking a bunch at one time when I need it so I go fast."

And then, there's Cousin Patty.  Her method involves food, of course:

"I'm making banana bread laced with big-time barbituates. You won't know what hit you."

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