Archive for June, 2013

Post #99 – Still unhappy, but there is a dog named SUE…

Posted in dogs, Family, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, Travel, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Do you hear it? No? It’s the SOUND of silence…:). The Food Channel isn’t squawking over the monitor in my office! No, I’m not ignoring Nana, and she’s still kicking.

The moment described in:   …. has come to fruition. It took a month of research, a voluminous passel of online forms, many phone calls and several HOURS packing up Nana’s 51-pound suitcase, but she is now living in a 5-star nursing home, Greenlawn Retirement Home in Georgia. It’s 5 miles from where she lived for 52 years!

As you can imagine, all the prep work necessitated my absence from these hallowed cyber halls. So, my apologies for that…:). But THANK GOD, the airline didn’t charge $90.00 for Nana’s obese valise.

However, nursing home care requires a SEPARATE Medicaid application, which hasn’t been approved yet. Therefore, please say mega prayers for its acceptance. Otherwise, we’ll owe $5200 for her 30-day tenure at Greenlawn, and she’ll have to endure another grueling journey north. Her income is well below the maximum allowed, but even a minor error committed while navigating the mean streets of Georgia’s RED TAPE, could mean rejection.

Sadly, Nana was stunned by the news of her relocation. Apparently, my constant dialogue about our massive credit card debt/bleak finances caused by her financial baggage was lost on her. She was silent at first, but then, she started weeping. And I think Charlie felt worse than I did.

He kept saying, “We really don’t want to do this, but we’re broke”, which is true, and our debt isn’t going to dissipate until I can work FULL-TIME.

However, later on, she was THRILLED about living in Georgia again, with its balmy climate, and she can see all of her friends.

Our trip southward was no vacation, but I can’t say enough GOOD things about the staff of American Airlines and the Columbus/Jacksonville airports. Someone was always ready to assist with bags/a wheelchair/whatever. They made EVERYTHING pretty painless.

On the other hand, there’s a reason we call Nana – QUEEN MAUDE. And I realize that Nana can’t help being cold all the time. She’s NINETY-SIX. However, she’s often completely ridiculous.

We arrived at the La Quinta Inn (courtesy of Ben and Allicia’s Amex points!!) around 9:15 our first night. Not five minutes later, Nana said, “I won’t be able to sleep with that air condition on. I’m already freezing!” And, yes, she says it just like that: AIR CONDITION – without the ING, a Southern-ism, I guess.

“How about I turn it up to 75?” I offered.

Nana frowned.

“It’s 95 degrees out. I cannot sleep without air.”

Nana sighed.

“I’ll turn it up, and you bundle up with all the blankets on and see if you’re still cold.”

But Nana wouldn’t budge, so the AC went off, and after much discussion, I reserved another room for me. I was bleary-eyed exhausted, and I got nauseous after 64 minutes sans FREON-cooled air.  I hated leaving her alone – even two doors down, but I didn’t know what else to do.

When I returned from booking another room, Nana said, “I need another blanket.”

“Why? The AC is off.”

Nana shook her head while giving the comforter an angry toss. “I can’t sleep with these, this thing-”

OMG…here we go. “What’s wrong with the blankets?” I asked, dreading her bizarro reply.

“Feel of them,” she snipped as if her bedding was manufactured from decomposing body parts…

I felt the sparkling white linen and ordinary cotton bedspread and shrugged.

“They’re perfectly fine. What’s wrong with them?” If they were a DARK color, THAT would be cause for hating the allegedly awful bedding because Nana will only tolerate PASTELS. She once demanded another room during a 3-day hospital stay in 2008 because the curtains were dark brown…

“I just don’t like the feel of them.”

I argued with her relentlessly, but she persisted. So, I called the front desk, knowing she wasn’t going to shut up until I did. After 30 minutes, 2 phone calls and a trip to the office where, of course, they had no blankets, I was ready to strangle Nana.

“I can’t believe they don’t have any blankets. What kind of hotel is this?”

“The best we could afford, Nana – a FREE, 3-star hotel,” I answered. “And it’s JUNE for heaven sake. All of the Eastern seaboard is experiencing unseasonably WARM temperatures,” I stammered.

Nana just grimaced.

At 11:45, another fucking BLANKET still hadn’t arrived. I sat at the desk, my shoulders drooping while contemplating adding a stiff blast of bourbon to Nana’s bedtime tea – when she asked…

“You okay?”

“I’m dying to take a shower. I think my sweat is SWEATING because it’s so damned hot in here.”

Nana’s lip quivered, and I immediately regretted that remark, evoked by the guilt from banishing my Grandmother to a HOME. But she could’ve worn a sweater over her pajamas like I KEPT suggesting or swaddled herself up in the supposedly icky bed clothes, and she would’ve been FINE. Then, I could’ve turn on the AC a tad and slept in the FREE ROOM. BUT NO…welcome to the nightmare known as Nana MAUDE’s universe…

“Go on. I’ll be fine,” she said.

I had stayed fearing she’d have trouble with the dead bolt (with her arthritis) – or she’d forget to lock the door.

At midnight, I relented and went to MY room. She remembered the lock and the DO NOT DISTURB sign, but I didn’t rest easy. And, GUESS WHAT? Another blanket never appeared, and she slept just fine on the less than-Laura Ashley SHEETS, etc.

Unfortunately, her doctor (of 30+ years) didn’t sign Medicaid’s authorization form the next day, so they couldn’t admit her to Greenlawn yet.

In lieu of sleeping in separate rooms again, I booked a suite at the Marriott. I stayed there before (RE:  )…

Anyway…the Marriott has a bedroom, and…

KITCHEN 3a kitchenette, which was nice because we had breakfast in our room, in lieu of making it to the FREE continental meal before 9 AM. Nana took the bedroom, immediately cranking the HEAT, and I slept on the slab of concrete/sofa bed, with the AIR CONDITIONING chugging away. So, I spent $150 for 2 extra rooms because HER Highness wouldn’t compromise. Is it any WONDER that we racked up so much debt because of her?

FINALLY, two days later, on JUNE 21st, 2013, Nana was admitted to Greenlawn.  She got weepy when I left for the hotel that evening, but thank you, JESUS, thus far, she LIKES the food at GREENLAWN! Check out: as to WHY that’s so AWESOME…

By the time I departed Georgia, Nana seemed happier than she’s been in months – even though yesterday on the phone, she said, “I’m unhappy, and I’ll always be, but I’m making the best of it…and Boots sat on my lap today.”

BOOTS 2Boots, one of Greenlawn’s pets, and Ms. Pickles, another cat who scurried away before I snapped this photo (so named because she LOVES pickles, and she’ll snatch yours right off your plate if you’re not looking). Nana loves cats, AND the dog named SUE, pictured below…

DOG NAMED SUE 2… a really sweet Shi-Zhu, who belongs to one of the administrators. And don’t you LOVE the ponytail? 🙂

Despite the obvious adjustments, I really think Greenlawn is the best place for her. She’s rarely alone, and they have lots of activities like a middle-aged crooner belting out Nana’s favorite Frank Sinatra tune her first day there during “happy hour” at 3:30, LOL.

AND they have a beauty shop on site! What’s better than that? 🙂

Anywho…thanks for suffering through my laborious account about Nana’s new digs…

Over and out from the now QUIET abode of TENACIOUS BITCH and her band of truth spouting hippies…~TB