The beauty of blogging about caregiving is you get to ‘visit’ with those you have loved and cared for and lost.
I was thinking about my Aussie Aunt Jean this morning (probably because I got yet another bill for her that I had already dealt with four or five times by now ) and wanted to just spend some time thinking about our time together.
You may recall “A girl should be two things: Classy and Fabulous” Coco Chanel http://wp.me/p3CPfo-3i. That was my Aunt Jean. So we were never at a loss to do some girly thing while she was visiting. Shopping was her hobby and she rarely came home empty handed. All her purses matched her shoes, and she was never afraid of sparkle and bling all the way up to 90 years old.
But like many elders, her ‘aches and pains’ became a focus for her as much as her pretty outfits.
“Can I wear that black and white zebra print blouse with these horrible Sketchers?”
“Jeannie, the adorable zebra print looks great on you. The rest of your outfit matches, and you have to wear the Sketchers because your fashion boots are not stable enough, especially with the walker.”
“How about if I change my shoes in the car before we go into the restaurant?”
We weren’t meeting anyone at the restaurant, we were just going out shopping and for lunch.
“No, I don’t want you to fall. You still have to use your walker.”
“Fine,” she said, but in a very disappointed accent.
Then the shingles arrived, and that plagued her every day. So to get her out of her shingles funk, I decided we would go get our nails done. By the way, she always had her nails done, this was not a treat for her, like it was for me. It was a necessity.
“Let’s go get our nails done!”
“Okay,” she said and with pretty much enthusiasm.
Off we go to the nail salon. My manicurists are delightful women. They treat my Mom, my Aunt and my daughters with kindness and interest. There’s lots of conversation and commenting like: “Ooohhh, that ‘s a pretty color! “My, you look so nice today.” “Are you going somewhere special with this mani-pedi?” That last comment for me because they know I don’t take time for this for just any occasion.
So there we were being all girly-girly getting French manicures and pedis and just relaxing and having a good time.
Two days later, Aunt Jean is still really uncomfortable with those damn shingles and one of her fingers on her left hand starts to blow up like a balloon.
We go back to the emergency clinic that diagnosed her shingles a few weeks ago, thinking that somehow the shingles moved to her finger?
The female doctor lances it, and works on it pretty hard so that Aunt Jean is wincing and yelping every once in a while.
“Well, Jean, nice manicure.”
“Thank you,” she says with an air of sophistication.
“But I think you got an infected finger from that nice manicure.”
See, I try to do something that will distract from those shingles and end up right back at the doctor.
“You just have to Laugh……………”