My wife's mom has been with us for more than 4 years now. As we learn, she unlearns. The first night she was with us in Illinois, she poured a trash can full of water down the heater vent in her room to "put out the fire".
When she began going up and down the steep stairs several times a day, and because of my own disability due to arthritis, we made the decision to move to Arizona.
That was over four years ago. My poor wife has had to deal with her mother while trying to support a husband as he underwent two knee replacements, a hip replacement, and a gall bladder removal.
We have learned that when "Grandma" speaks, it is easier to agree with whatever she says, whether we can discern what she is saying or not. Makes things easier.
We've been having a terrible time trying to adjust her schedule to conform to our sleep habits. She always "had strange men" in her room and "people in room" who won't let her sleep. This was helped for awhile by covering mirrors and window with sheets so no reflections could be seen.
Then wandering got so bad that we uncovered the mirrors and introduced her to the "new friend" that was going to take care of her. Now she is "best friends" with her reflection and spends hours folding clothes and piling them in front of mirror like it was an altar. She talks constantly with the "mirror lady" and can often be heard giggling and whispering like little schoolgirls. Only problem is when we try to take her from the room for bathroom, meals, etc. and we never "let her friend come".
And now, she wanders the house at night--whistling. Do you believe it? WHISTLING!! She can no longer walk without WHISTLING! It is maddening, but I guess we should look on the bright side. It's like having a cowbell on her. She cannot sneak away. We can keep track of her every move. But it is getting increasingly difficult to get any rest with the constant WHISTLING!!
The Doc gave her a prescription for sleeping pills, but they have the effect of a handful of uppers, making her much more vocal and animated than usual, and causing her WHISTLING to increase in both volume and tempo. All night long. Every single hour of every single night. WHISTLING!!!
She has been unable to put two intelligible words together for months and cannot respond anymore, even to one word commands like Sit, Eat, Go, etc. She just wanders the house, night after night after night, dressed in three pair of pants and six to twelve blouses over her nightgown--WHISTLING!! But once again, we try to look at a bright side. When she finally crashes from exhaustion at 9 or 10 in the morning, we know we have about 3 to 4 hours of silence to enjoy before the WHISTLING starts anew.
But I am soooo tired. In three weeks, I have another hip replacement surgery and it will be followed by a six week recovery period where my poor wife will have to wait on me as well as "the WHISTLER".
I look forward to the peace and quiet of a hospital stay, but sympathize with my wife, who doesn't get that luxury. She will be even busier than normal.
I know we should be happy that MIL is not violent, mean, or worse, but it is sometimes about all we can take to ignore the WHISTLING. Maybe we could leave Saltine crackers laying around.
I never dreamed that we would enter our forties with an AD MIL and a disabled breadwinner. Oh, well. Maybe I'll discuss it with my reflection as I shave this morning. But if the lips in the mirror pucker to whistle, I may cut his throat.
- Steve Stoker