Thursday, April 4, 2013

Grandmother Update

My mother called me a few weeks ago and told me "At lunchtime today, all of Bubbe's teeth fell out."

Oh?  You don't say.

I correctly assumed that there was more to the story.  These teeth were attached to an ancient bridge, which finally gave up and broke. 

Bubbe's paid caregiver popped her into a taxi and took her straight to the dentist.  Bubbe, being semi-demented, gave the dentist a hard time.  She resisted even climbing into the dentist chair, however eventually the dentist was able to examine her mouth.  Then she refused to consent to any procedures.  Stymied, the caregiver brought her back home.  Later, she told my aunt that the dentist had never even looked in her mouth - because she didn't remember that part.

The long and the short of it is that Bubbe has also not remembered to care for her teeth for quite some time.  They are a proper mess, and she's got a series of appointments to have most of them extracted.  She showed up at the family Passover ceder without her top front teeth, and was very embarrassed by this.  She held her hand up over her mouth every time she spoke or laughed.  Poor Bubbe.  She's having a hard time of it.   On the other hand, she seemed to be in high spirits at the ceder, and other than being slightly bonkers and having a hunched spine, her health is quite good, for a 92-year-old.

Now my other Bubbe, my dad's mother, isn't demented at all, at 96, bless her.  I swear her memory is better than mine.  She has obviously lost some bone mass, however instead of curling forward her spine has pancaked straight down.  So even though I need to lean down a little to rest my chin on the top of her head (I'm 5'4"), she stands up quite straight.  She's stiff and slow, but again, has mainly good health.

The last time I visited other Bubbe, she showed me something she'd made in an arts-and-crafts class: a cedar plate.  (During a Passover cedar, five symbolic foods are displayed on a special plate during the ceremonies.  You can use an ordinary plate, but some people keep plates made specially for this purpose.)  She told me she had made it out of mud.  She meant clay, but throughout the conversation she kept referring to it as mud.  I mean, I suppose that's not exactly wrong, but something about it tickled my funny bone.  "Then they gave us this mud, and as you can see we didn't have a lot of time to work with it.  That's why the edges of the mud aren't smooth."  :-)  Funny Bubbe.

So there you have it.  I will have to save up a lot of money for retirement, because if my genes have anything to say about it I'll live to see 100.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Sorry to hear about your Grandmother's teeth issues, but glad to hear you have such longevity in your family.

DarcKnyt said...

I love the Bubbe stories. I hope I live long and prosper as she has. :)

Jenski said...

My grandmother (who had Alzheimers) just got new dentures and is not enjoying them. I think it's because she was really enjoying her chocolate Boost drinks for meals. I assured her she could still have them.

Jameil said...

Rashan's grandma and great-grandma lived to 97 and 94 respectively. I hope he's been drinking from their tree of life! The best longevity in my family was my great-grandfather who lived until 90 but so many of them took terrible care of themselves. Hope for the best? I definitely hope you're around for a good long time yet!

Granny Annie said...

Your adventures with the grandmothers is delightful and your telling was quite fun. It is interesting how you spell "cedar/ceder". I have only seen it spelled "Seder" but I have never been to Canada:) LOL

Lynn said...

Your family sounds wonderful. It's hard to be a caregiver when they slip into dementia.

Tracy Moore said...

Wow Spark...looks like we'll have you around for a long time...yay! Nice stories. :)

Vanessa T said...

I'm so sorry about your Bubbe's teeth! However, that's still pretty awesome they lasted 92 years.

Extra awesome is that you still enjoy the company of both your grandmothers! Between the 2 of them, they have almost 2 centuries of wisdom and advice and stories to share. How amazing!

Yep, you'll be sparkling your 100th birthday cake, I can see it now. :D

LL Cool Joe said...

My father-in-law had Alzheimer's and real problems with his teeth, but refused to open his mouth so the dentist could sort out the problems. It was actually quite tragic, because in his last few days he was obviously in real pain with his teeth but too unwell to let anyone near his mouth.