Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nursing Home Visit

Today, my mother and I visited my 100 year old grandmother at the nursing home. Of course, this was difficult because of my contamination issues. I hate touching anything there. My grandma's fingernails were very dirty, and to be honest, this really grosses me out. Basically, I just used one hand to touch everything and I used the other hand to hold my wallet. I'm sure I looked goofy.

Though she no longer knows us because of her Alzheimer's Disease, when my "memere" saw me, her eyes got big and sparkly. She speaks very little now, but it is amazing what you can tell when you look at her face. Today was one of the days when she was more alert, and we were able to read a whole host of emotions on her face. It was hard, but I let her hold my hand because she seemed to want to do it so badly. While holding my hand, she kept caressing it and examining it. I know she didn't know exactly who I was, but both my mother and I agreed that she seemed to know I was someone she loved. The best part was when my mom showed her an old picture of me and she kissed it.

I did wash my hands in the bathroom before we left the nursing home. The funniest part of this visit was when my mom offered to turn on the water faucet for me so I wouldn't have to touch it myself. I had to remind my mom that that would have been enabling!! This is funny because my mother has been one of my stronger non-enablers throughout my recovery. Oh well, I guess I can allow her a slip up now and then. Ha ha.

14 comments:

  1. So sweet Sunny. And your mom knew going to the nursing home would be hard for you so she was really trying to be tender by being an enabler for a moment. lol Every so often my husband does that too, if it is an especially difficult situation where he thinks he can ease some of the anxiety. Good for you for doing it on your own..I might have caved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Krystal Lynn - my mom was just trying to be gentle with me 'cause she knew how hard it was. I really do appreciate that, actually. But, I'm also glad that I'm well enough now that sometimes, I'm able to refuse the extra help. So it's a win-win! Thanks for your support.

      Delete
  2. How wonderful !!! I am so happy to read that you were able to see your grandma, to put aside the anxious feelings for a moment and so she could hold your hand! That is a very precious gift you gave her :) *Wow, 100 years old!*

    I also think it wonderful about you and your mom. My mom and I have somewhat of a strained relationship.

    Blessings!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Deanna. The neat part though, is that God gave me back a precious gift - because she really did seem to sort of "know" me in a way, and that's not something she does very often. My mom told me that she thought that was God's blessing to me for forcing myself to go.

      I'm so sorry your relationship with your mom is not what you would like. Sadly, I hear over and over again how common that is. I do realize how blessed I am to have the people in my life that I have.

      Blessings back at ya!

      Delete
  3. Sunny, a tender, poignant story. I'm so glad you saw your grandmother and she was more alert, and how sweet that she kissed your picture. Congrats to you for going to the nursing home and handling it just fine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thanks, Tina! Oh it was so sweet that she kissed my picture. It actually made me tear up.

      Delete
  4. Sounds like you did great! Good for you!!

    I had similar issues when my aunt was going through cancer treatment. And what was I going to say, sorry you have cancer, but that hospital is germy and I'm staying home! (yes, that's exactly what I wanted to say of course)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Ann! It's true, you feel so selfish about feeling that way about visiting, but then, it's so hard. I'm sure it was a very hard thing for you to visit your aunt. I think it's great that you put her needs before your own.

      Delete
  5. You did really well! I'm glad you were able to visit with your Grandma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I was able to visit my grandma too, Elizabeth. It helped a lot to have my mom there. I'm a big baby and it sure helps to have someone help me with my ERPs. : )

      Delete
  6. I teared up after reading your grandmother kissed your hand. I used to have similar experiences when visiting my grandmother in a nursing home. She didn't quite know who I was, but she knew (and I knew) how much she loved me. I could just feel it. If you weren't so strong, your OCD may have kept you from this poignant experience. But it didn't. Good for you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, I'm sorry you had to experience the pain of Alzheimer's in your life too. It's a really cruel illness. The connection between people is interesting - you can feel it even if you can't quite communicate it in normal ways.

      Delete
  7. What a beautiful time. I am sure she knew you in some way. While I don't have many contamination fears, nursing homes are and have been a trigger since I was small. My mom has always loved elderly people, so I've made many a trip over the years to visit neighbors, church friends, and family members. Definitely exposure therapy!! So glad that you and your mom got to share this moment as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna, I find that nursing homes are such difficult places for many people for SO many different reasons. Your mom seems like a very kind and compassionate person. That sure does sound like good ERP! I think my mom was glad to be there too, plus I think it made her feel good that she was able to help me through my ERP.

      Delete