Laughter in the midst...Of Caregiving.

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Okay, I'm breaking out here a bit because what I've found is that the old adage "misery loves company" is true, because anytime I get a chance to gripe about things I get worked up, so....

I want to start this thread looking for the funny stories in the midst of all this stress and chaos. As caretakers when we step out of a situation, can you imagine how sill we look bribing an 80 yr old person with a piece of candy to "come on, I'll take you out" to getting ready for a wrestling match just to bathe? I mean my parents would fight to the death over that right not to shower, and we've all seen that message board.

So let me start with a couple.... my grandfather and grandmother from my mom's side, both had health issues, but grandma had beginning dementia and was seeing imaginary things. One of the funniest stories I remember is that my grandma thought my grandpa was tunneling floosies (these tramps) through a wall in the basement and just having all these sex parties etc.

My mom was frazzled in what to do. She started to tell my grandma that we had friends from the church who were FBI and, "Ma, its okay, we have cameras in the tv to watch what goes on. The FBI are arresting these women as soon as they come through the tunnel." My grandmother being relentless kept saying, "I can't believe your father... WHAT would he want with all those women..." (as a young kid, seeing my mother now.... oh I know what he was thinking.... roll a few fatties, pour a few drinks and unwind under the nose of his favorite control freak and the more the merrier!

Another story...Grandma at one point saw a horse in her house and started yelling for her husband to get it out. My mother was so stressed by this time, and I'm a teenager and I said, "Grandma, I'll take it out for a ride. I love horses, and it probably just came in for some lunch. Do you want me to bring her back for a nap?" She'd say no and I'd take this "horse" outside. My mom thought I was crazy but she was stressed to the hilt. Grandma couldn't help it. She kept screaming what a mess it left in her house and look at the hoof prints in her house. I just told grandma that it was okay, I think its something I can get out. I don't know if she bought that one or not.

Now turning that humor on to my parents.... I'll think of a story soon I'm sure... I just need to distance myself.... and I'm thinking West Coast this time (permanent vacation? :)

Hope to hear your stories!

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One of many of our family stories is that my uncle was a very ridgid military man with the retired rank of Colonel. That is how he liked to be addressed. One man on his floor at the nursing hoe obviously didn't like my uncle (understandable), but knew how to get his goat. He would call him "Corporal." My uncle would turn purple! It was hilarious.

Wish I had looked at the posts, I and some others have written like stories on "needing to vent". And when we can take a step back some of it is truly funny. This is a great idea for a thread. We can come here and have some healing laughter.
mitzi keep the humor going I am sure sometime when I am up to it I will think of something funny to a real laugh out loud funny but today I am tired, cotton in my head can't get warm headache for the last three days. I'll stop in later
We're expecting snow tomorrow here in my neck of Virginia. But the other day Mom was certain it was snowing!
She was looking out the kitchen window at the birds at the feeders we have hanging iin the yard. She starts yelling that it is snowing, snowing bad, I better go to the grocery store and get bread and milk because we are going to be snowed in. I ran to look, and at first it did look like snow, only it was blowing up and only in one spot. I started laughing and had to get Mom to put on her coat and go outside to see. The clothes dryer vent is by the kitchen window and it was blowing pieces of kleenex that had been washed and then thrown into the dryer with the load. Too many kleenex! Lesson learned, check pockets! Oh, and that is how I found out there was a ho;e in the dryer lint filter. Nice snow storm.
Great idea ladies-a good laugh is so precious one of my friends senta joke that had me rolling on the floor-I called a frien to tell her about it abd could not stop laughing long enough to tell it to her and did not know how to forward it to her. When I husband was in short term nursing home his roomate was a sweet man but confused a lot and I and she would stay from 8am untile 9pm amd both leave just before dark= this is deer country and I allways said good-by to him later on she told me he thought she and I were going out to parties with strange men and doing all sorts of things- he thought the N.H. was his house.
I went to a nursing home recently to visit a former neighbor that was in the mid to later stages of dementia. Since it was my first time visiting her, I checked at the desk to see what room she lives in. I thought and I thought and I could not for the life of me think of her last name. I checked my address book (yes it is black!) and so finally in desperation I asked the receptionist if she knew which room she was in giving only her first name. The young lady was patient with me and looked down the list till she found one and I thought of her last name instantly and we both spoke it at the same time!
Then I proceeded to room 318. When I got on the elevator I looked at the panel after the elevator door closed. There was #1 (the floor I was on) and #2. No 3. So I figured I was on the wrong elevator. It did not go to three. I pressed the DOOR OPEN button and there was a woman who I presented my dilemna to. She told me, oh you must be visiting my mother. I am going up too. I'll show you the way.
So we get out at 2 and there is a sign on the wall floor 2 is to the right and floor 3 is to the left. But floor 2 and 3 are both on the same floor.
So her daughter and I go to her room but she is not there. So she suspects her mother is with her other daughter. So we start going around the nursing home but no sign of them. Finally her daughter gets a phone call from the other daughter with the mother and we walk to where they are and sit down to visit. Of course my former neighbor does not recognize me but her two daughters remember me from their father's funeral several months ago.
Every time their mother attempts to talk, the daughters interpret it and a lively discussion pursues. An hour easily goes by. That is what makes this experience bearable, having another person to continue the conversation with. If you can have a friend or acquaintance over that really can help.
I finally got a little recognition as I playfully told my former neighbor not to let her two daughters get away with anything. Laughter and humor works with those who are missing in alzheimers.
Well I hope I brought at least a few smiles to someone.
My mother thinks the people on tv are talking to her. She will have conversations with them and gets really mad when they try to sell her things. One day Mr Rodgers came on. It took everything I had not to bust out laughing. You know how Mr. Rodgers talks to the television. Well, that day they went to the Teddy Bear factory and I guess at the end he said he asked the television audience if they would like a TeddyBear like the one showed. My mother said yes, but he would have to send it to her. For weeks she looked for the teddybear Mr. rodgers had promised her. I thought about getting a few of his tapes because she enjoyed them so much.

Tonight, my husband was walking down the hallway and looked into the living room to see my mom sitting on the couch with her sweater over her head . . . just sitting there. He came in the kitchen and said, "Did you know your mother is sitting in the living room with her seater over her head?" He looked so bewildered . . . I just started laughing.

Or tonight at dinner when my mother came in making little sounds and doing a little dance. It was so cute. My husband got this look like "I'm in a crazy house". I just laughed and did the little dance with my mother who laughed and smiled.

God Bless
That story shows a wonderful humor and patience. Rather than try to control your mother, you participate in the imaginary life just like a child has. To be able to live with the behavior typical of children is a wonderful step towards being a caregiver. Thanks for sharing that.
When I went to visit my neighbor at the nursing home, her daughters kept up the laughter and good spirits. Now you just need to get your husband dancing!
Stillsongs, Some days are better than others. A lot depends on my mental attitude. I have two small children who crowded me out of bed last night. I had maybe 2 hours of sleep. So, tonight my tolerance was okay, but could have been better. It's so much better if we can laugh with them, hug them and enjoy our time, but often the stresses of life and the little curveballs they throw at us can throw our lives in a tailspin.

My goal is to have more patience with my mom and as you said participate in her world with love, kindness and lots of laughter. I work a part time job, my husband works full time and helps so much. He does have a harder time dealing with my mom. But, gosh is she so lucky to have a son-in-law who does so much for her. He's a huge help. Sometimes he has a hard time dealing with what my mom can and can not do, but he's trying and does a pretty great job. Besides, I can't even get my husband to dance with me. He likes to stand in one place and just kind of I don't know do that penguin thing (stay in one spot and just go back and forth). So, I don't think my mom is missing anything. LOL God Bless!
This laugh place is great we all need it every day-bless you all

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