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April 2009



Monday Brain Dump: Getting Old Sucks

So this weekend I spent a lot of time at my grandfather’s convalescent home since my dad is in town and he wants to spend as much time as he can with his parents who are getting super old (they are both 94!).

Anyways, this leg thing (which is still hurting me btw) had me depressed but after spending time around a lot of old people it has me even more depressed! I seriously don’t know what I will do when I get old. It seems like a lot of people there are just waiting for death to take them away. It would be sweet relief. When it comes to a point in your life when you become dependent on others, it just sucks. Take my grandfather’s roommate at the hospital….

All day he yells “NURSE!!” every 5 minutes. When the nurse comes in, he’ll tell her he can’t breath (a lie), he needs to go to the bathroom (something he can do on his own….he has to pee in a portable “urinal”, or the bottom of his feet hurt (a lie or not, it’s something they can’t do anything about apparently). All day long, he complains about these things to the point where the nurses have stopped coming. He just lays there yelling “NURSE” all day and will sometimes ask us if we will go get the nurse for him. (Which we did do the first few times but the nurse was like just ignore him). When the nurse tells him to stop calling for her, he just says you try laying in this bed all day long! The reason he even does this is because he literally has NO visitors and is super lonely. When the nurse comes in, it’s the only little interaction he has with someone. My grandfather does not speak english so he can’t really converse with him. The 3rd roommate is literally a mute. Noone has ever seen him talk and he is usually drugged out anyway. SO SAD! I feel so sorry for both of these men!

I’m really thankful for my wonderful aunts. My Grandfather is a very lucky person. I have 4 aunts that live near my grandfather that come to visit him DAILY. Without fail, one aunt comes in at lunch time and helps feed him, another aunt comes in at dinner time to do the same, my 3rd aunt visits him every saturday at lunch and my 4th aunt takes him home every saturday evening so he can experience a different environment from the hospital. This is EVERY week! Can you imagine giving up your time like my aunts do? I can only hope that one day when I am old I can receive the same attention and care that they give my grandfather. It’s amazing! It’s so sad seeing all of the other people there with no visitors. :(

Despite all of the attention my grandfather gets, his life in the convalescent home is still depressing. Just because he is confined to a bed all day with only a tv for entertainment. He has alzheimer’s so he is unable to do any reading or enjoy much of anything. Today when my father and I came to visit the first thing he said was “When am I going to die? Why can’t I just die already?”. He basically feels like his life is pointless at this point. Man..soooo sad.

Another depressing point is my grandmother. She lives with one of my aunts. My grandfather misses her so much! It’s so sweet. All day long he sings a little line that basically means “where is mother at”. As in where is his wife. She is very old and is confined mostly at home because she gets motion sickness very easily. She can’t stand car rides, it makes her very tired and nauseous so it is hard for her to visit my grandfather much. One time I went to visit her and I told her that grandfather always asks for her, and she started crying. I was like ooops….I just wanted her to know that he misses her! I can tell that she misses him very much as well. It is wonderful to see that their love has stood the test of time.

Anyways, after this weekend I realized how much it sucks when you get so old you aren’t able to do anything but just exist. If you have any grandparents out there, you should go visit them! I think it would seriously brighten their day.


Comment from Louise
Posted: April 20, 2009 at 9:09 am

Aw, sorry to hear about your grampa. Mine is getting up there in age too. But he’s more like the guy who’s yelling “nurse!” every five minutes. Fortunately for him (and unfortunately for my parents) he lives at home with them. He’s there mentally, but he’s just getting super unhelpful and not really trying at all to do anything, including walking himself to the restroom or anything like that, so my parents have to change his diaper for him, guide him to the restroom, etc.

Seeing people get old like that makes me wonder what it’ll be like when we’re old. I know it sounds cold, but I hope if I ever turn like that, I hope someone will take me out back and shoot me. Not being able to go to the restroom on your own or wipe your own butt is no way to live. I’d rather go out with dignity.

Comment from Hakushaku
Posted: April 20, 2009 at 10:54 am

Yeah, ditto with Louise. Thank god I drink enough to be dead by the time I’m 50. After reading this post, I might take up black tar heroin or train-dodging too, just to make sure.

But then again, by the time we’re senior citizens, I’m sure we’ll be working in the salt mines for our Robot overlords on the blackened husk of planet that was once Earth, as narrated by Sigourney Weaver.

But then you don’t have to worry about any of that, GirlRobot! Judging by your legs, you’re well on your way to the glue factory already.

I also like how you skip a generation, from looking at how great your aunts take care of your grandfather, to hoping your kids will take care of you. Haha aren’t we forgetting something, kiddo?

Comment from J
Posted: April 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Crap. Now I’m depressed.

Comment from kristen
Posted: April 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm

That is sad! We had a geriatrics lectures not too long ago, and I liked the quote: “A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators kiss babies. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”

Where do your gramps live?

Comment from girlrobot
Posted: April 21, 2009 at 10:05 pm

ha, thanks for these comments. i agreed with everyone of them. and hopefully my dad will live a long and healthful life. if not, i will definitely take care of him!

that is a great quote kristen! so true. he lives in la verne…near pomona.