10 pounds down 32 pounds to go!

Monday, May 11, 2009

"We come from a long line of army deserters and nasty alcoholics"

So, my client thinks I'm a recovering alcoholic. She has a bit of dementia and a bent to the dramatic and told me twice today that I am an alcoholic. I wish I could remember the word she used but I guess I blocked it out. She is, if not an alcoholic herself, a dedicated drinker which is fine if you're 84. She can't drive, she can't see, she might as well drink wine. She very often offers me wine because she doesn't like to drink alone and because she has dementia we have this conversation A LOT. A. I don't drink and secondly I'm technically working and no I don't want any wine. At first she kept saying that I don't have a taste for it but would also often say "don't you have just a little with dinner?" and is always appalled when I say no. Perhaps not appalled. I think she feels guilty about being a drinker and wants to think that everyone else is a drinker too to make herself feel better.

My job in theory is very easy but in practice can be really difficult. It's hard having the same conversation over and over again especially when she tells me how lucky my mother is to be dead rather than unable to drive and read like her. I think my mother would prefer to be as healthy as my client is and to have reached her age but then it doesn't work like that does it. I tried to be the perky "you have so much let's make the most of it!" person but it's like pushing a rock up a hill. I feel like it's a waste of our time together to be indoors having these conversations but then it's not my money.

We spend a lot of time talking about the Alzheimers she doesn't have, the balance and vision that would improve if she stuck to gingerale and the British resident of the home who reminds her of Hyacinth Bucket but has always been kind to me. Another topic we hit often is the sexual urges of my animals. She's fascinated by this and I don't know how to make it stop. Animals have an urge to reproduce not just to get laid for laying's sake, but she simply can't tell the difference. This is what happens when you are raised catholic...your husband dies and you're left asking your caretaker to discuss the sex lives of castrated dogs, hysterectomied cats and baby chick chicks she doesn't even have yet.

I'm feeling particularly uncharitable today which happens when I have to work too many days in a row. I don't come up for air until friday so wish me luck and for the cat to get my tongue before I get myself fired. Actually, she likes me a lot and I know she does and most of the time I like her a lot too but some times like when she wants the marshes drained because they're too wet, when she points out fat people to call them slobs, when she talks about the homeless shelter residents as the dregs or when she speaks about the single parent students she had in New York and says "none of them knew who papa was" it really pisses me off. Everyday we pass a quarry right near her apartment and today she called it a mess and before I could stop myself I said "well, you're the one who moved here, that quarry's been there forever" and she didn't say a word. I'm not sure what that means or what I think I'm trying to accomplish by getting snarky with an 84 year old woman. I guess I just need a day off.

No comments: