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“Old” Is Relative, Especially To Your Relatives

, , , , | Related | November 12, 2021

My grandma likes to hear what I’m up to, so I text her every once in a while. Tonight, I spent some time at a clothing repair event staffed almost entirely by older women who were immensely sweet and helpful.

Me: “I just spent a nice few hours with some old ladies.”

Grandma: “Define ‘old.'”

Me: “For the sake of my health, I will not.”

Grandma: “Good choice.”

She was quite cheery for the rest of the conversation!

We Should Totally Just Drug Grandma! (Not Really)

, , , , , , , | Related | October 12, 2021

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

 

I submitted this story. Grandma is up to her tricks again.

One of our cats figured out that if she puts her toys on the track for Grandma’s stairlift, it acts like a slide. This same cat also found and stole a bunch of pipe cleaners my mom had planned on using in her classroom. One day, Grandma wants to come downstairs but her stairlift isn’t working. My dad figures a cat toy is probably jammed in there — not the first time that’s happened — and tries to get it unstuck. It still doesn’t work. Dad tries a few things over the weekend but he can’t fix it. He calls a guy on Monday to come out and look at it later that week. The guy finds that a pipe cleaner has slid in and the metal part touched something and shorted out something electrical. He has to order a part, though, so Grandma is stuck upstairs for at least another week.

Grandma barely leaves her bedroom. It’s actually rather pleasant downstairs, especially at mealtimes. Dad brings her food every day so she doesn’t starve and we don’t have to put up with her. But she starts to get stir-crazy and her behavior gets more extreme as time goes on.

Because Grandma is barely moving, she starts to develop muscle cramps in her legs. A normal person might try stretching or doing a few laps in the hallway upstairs. Not my grandmother. She calls her doctor and gets a prescription for Percocet. She takes one pill, decides it doesn’t work, and schedules another video appointment with the doctor.

My dad is working from home right now, but Grandma doesn’t understand, no matter how many times he explains it to her, that just because he is home, it does not mean he can jump up whenever she calls. Dad gets up super early and finishes his work by 2:00 pm every day. He tells her to schedule her appointments for after 2:00 so he can help her set up the video call. She schedules the second appointment for 11:00 am. When her appointment time arrives, she calls the house phone downstairs and tells him to help her. He says he’s in a meeting and can’t right now. She calls my uncle — Dad’s brother — and says Dad is refusing to help her with her doctor’s appointment. My uncle calls Dad and is like, “what the heck are you doing?” and comes over to help her. The doctor prescribes her Tylenol with tramadol. Once again, she takes one pill and decides it doesn’t work.

The night before her stairlift is supposed to be fixed, she calls the house phone around 9:00 pm. She wants us to take her to the ER so she can get a shot for her pain because “the last shot I got lasted me nine months.” Dad points out that her stairlift is still broken and she can’t get downstairs.

Grandma: “I’m having shooting pain down my legs. I have to go to the hospital. Call 911 and they’ll carry me downstairs.”

Dad: “I’m not calling 911 just so they can carry you downstairs. Did you try Advil?”

Grandma: “No, I can’t take Advil because the doctor wants me to take acetaminophen and you can’t mix those drugs.”

Dad: “When was the last time you took acetaminophen?”

Grandma: “Yesterday. Just call 911 so they can take me to the hospital.”

Dad: “First, how do you plan on paying for this trip? Second, how do you expect to get home?”

Grandma: “They’ll bring me back once I’m done.”

Dad: “No, they won’t. You need to move around some. That will help. But if you really want to go to the hospital, then you can call 911.”

Miraculously, her pain suddenly wasn’t that bad. And sure enough, once the stairlift was fixed and she was able to go downstairs, she started moving around more and she wasn’t in any more pain. And so ends a lovely three weeks without Grandma.

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“Y” Is This Conversation Is Looping?

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2021

I deal with contracts and I get a cancellation request for a contract. It’s from a granddaughter who wants to end the lease of her grandmother’s home. I check if all fields are filled in.

Immediately, I notice that the handwriting and signature are bold and confident. It makes me think a teenage girl wrote this, instead of a fragile lady in her eighties. Still, the lady could have wonderful handwriting, but just in case, I check the contract she signed over twenty years ago.

The style doesn’t match one bit and the name she used then was her married name and now it’s her maiden’s name. So, I call the number on the request.

Me: “Hello, I am calling regarding the cancellation for [lease]. When processing it, I noticed the signature does not match the one on the contract. Could you please explain that?”

Granddaughter: “I don’t know. My grandmother signed it.”

Me: “I see. Well, we can’t process it like this, because the signature does not match the contract in the slightest bit.”

Granddaughter: “She is over eighty years old! Her handwriting must have changed in the past decades.”

Me: “I took that into account, but it’s too different from the contract.” 

Granddaughter: “I don’t understand why you are being difficult. My grandmother is illiterate, so I’m helping her. I filled it in. She signed it herself.”

Me: “Could you please explain to me why she signed with a different name? And why she could sign her contract? Not only that, I see a very specific ‘loop’ used in the Y in the name. It’s used throughout the entire form. You just said you filled in the form, but she signed the form. Could you explain why I see similarities between your handwriting and her signature?”

There is silence.

Me: “Miss, if you signed for your grandmother because you wanted to help her, please say so. I do believe she wants to end the lease and that you want to help. If she no longer can sign, for whatever reason, please explain that to us and give us proof. But I cannot process this form because this is not signed by your grandmother herself.”

Granddaughter: “But… I…”

Me: “You know what? I’ll keep this cancellation on hold. That gives you time to get a signature from your grandmother.”

Granddaughter: “Yes… Thank you.”

I’m not worried about any fraud, because when a lease is cancelled, we visit the person twice, and at least one of the two times the person who signed the contract needs to be present (unless we have proof that person cannot be present). And as long as this request of cancellation is on hold, nothing will change for her grandmother. 

Please do not sign for your family members if you want to help them. It just gets flagged as an attempt of fraud.

Be Proactive; Doctors Can’t Fix Dead

, , , , | Healthy | September 27, 2021

My grandmother told me this story that happened to her some years ago. She was sick for a few days. But she is the type of person that says, “It’s nothing. I’m not going to bother the doctor for so little. It will go away,” and waits until she can barely walk.

One day, she was laying in bed, trying to rest, when she realized that she should call the doctor. She called the office and got to speak to the doctor. This doctor saw my grandmother pregnant with my mother, my mother pregnant with me, and me reaching my twenties, so he knows our family pretty well.

Grandmother: “Hello, I’m Mrs. [Grandmother]. I’m not feeling really well, and…”

And at that point, she collapsed. She fell to the ground and woke up some minutes later. She was confused and did not remember calling the doctor at all, so she went back to bed.

Fifteen minutes later, she heard some loud banging on the door. She ran to the door and was really surprised to see the doctor.

Grandmother: “What are you doing here?”

Doctor: “You called me! And then you stopped talking and I heard you falling on the ground. You were not answering, so I jumped in my car!”

My grandmother was obviously really grateful, and the doctor did some checks and prescribed some medicine. I think he lectured her a little bit on her stubbornness, too.

My grandmother made a full recovery.

Being A Grandma Is About More Than Blood

, , , , | Related | CREDIT: nerothic | September 13, 2021

I had a friend in high school and it all went well until we were both twenty-five years old. We were the best of friends, but due to several circumstances, we stopped being friends. This friend had and still has a grandmother. She’s ninety-three years old, needs a walker, and smokes a pack a day, but she has a heart of gold. We used to visit her often.

Around the time I was twenty-eight, [Grandma] and I met by chance, and she invited me for a drink. From then on, I visited regularly, about once a month or every other month. I came to her birthday, she came to mine, and I visited around Christmas. I sent her flowers about three times a year and brought them every time I visited. She saw me as an unofficial granddaughter and said so herself. My biological grandparents were sweethearts, but one got dementia when I was in my early teens and my other one lived in another country, who I saw once a year.

[Friend] initially didn’t know about our visits, but two years after I started to visit [Grandma] regularly, she found out. She never said a word to either [Grandma] or me about it.

Now, the health crisis has changed our lives. [Grandma] and I talk on the phone and videocall. I went by her apartment last week to do a socially distanced visit so she could meet my new daughter. Everything went well. [Grandma] was proud. She told me how happy she was to have me as an unofficial granddaughter, and to have her unofficial great-grandchild from time to time. I told her I loved her and that I loved having her as a grandmother.

[Friend] called me yesterday evening. I was exhausted — I have a newborn — and the moment I picked up the phone, she started berating me.

Friend: “You greedy, money-hungry b****!”

She called me a couple of things more.

Me: “What the h***?”

I was so tired that I didn’t even know what to say. I eventually managed to ask what her problem was.

Friend: “My grandma has a copy of her will in her home; she left it out and I saw it. You’re to receive something from [Grandma] as her granddaughter!”

Yep, I am in her will, and she calls me her granddaughter in the will.

Me: “I don’t care what you think. [Grandma] can do with her things whatever she wants. I don’t care what she does.”

Friend: “What pisses me off is that you’re called a granddaughter when you’re not. You’re not entitled to anything! You need to stop calling [Grandma] your grandmother, because she’s not!”

Me: “It is up to [Grandma] to do what she likes. She calls me a granddaughter because, to her, I am just that. I call her my grandmother because that’s how she feels to me.”

After going back and forth for a while, I simply hung up.

I called [Grandma] and told her what had happened.

Grandma: “I had a feeling this would happen.”

Me: “How?”

Grandma: “[Friend] called me right before she called you and basically told me the same thing. I tried to call and warn you, but she was already on the phone with you.”

We talked with her son, who apparently already knew I’m in the will along with her sentiment. He expects there will be a storm when [Grandma] passes — hopefully not for a long time — but that will be our concern and not hers.

I told [Grandma] and her son that I don’t want to stir up trouble.

Grandma: “What I’m leaving you is something that suits you, and it’s my right and my wish to leave it for you when I pass. [Friend] can b**** and moan all she likes; it’s not hers to demand what happens with it.”

I don’t know what it is, although I have my suspicions. I hope not to find out for quite some time.

[Friend] has not called back yet. I hope it stays that way.