Hello, I'm Sara Bell, and I'm My Nana's Keeper.

With the help of my family, it's my job to ensure Nana has the best quality of life everyday that she's with us.  Our posts share our experiences living with and learning from Alzheimer's, and we hope they encourage and inspire others who are also living in the wild world of Alz. 

Late Nights with Nana: Restroom Wars

It's scary AF to be woken up in the middle of the night by anyone, but even scarier when it's your 79 year old Nana who doesn't know where she is, who the fuck is in bed with her, or how the hell she got there.  Thank God I lock the knives up or she might have shanked me by now.  For real.  And we share the same bed every night because once she's ready, she doesn't want to sleep alone. Go figure.  It's become a legit fear of mine that I will be smothered or shanked by my grandma. Really God, are you fucking serious?  I'm fearless 99% of the time and this is what I get? Irrational fears that are totally sane when I think about them? Whyyyy???

I mean, most nights she's ok.  

She just needs to pee at 1am like the rest of us who go to bed a little early.  But sometimes when the urge hits her, she's in a bit of a panic.  I would be too if I didn't know where I was, who I was with, why I was there, and thought I was gonna have to just pee all over myself (which she tells me is what she thinks when she wakes up in a new place.  And this is a new place every single day.).

I'd say once she wakes me, she knows who I am, buts that's far from the truth.  In actuality, every time she wakes me (mind you, this is a part of our nightly routine now) it's different. Some nights she rolls over and wakes me before she gets out of the bed.  She says "Oh, it's you.  I need to pee." And we get up and take care of business and get back in bed.  She thanks me and goes right back to sleep.  

Some nights, she pushes my side or stomach and says "Hey, who are you" and I say, "It's just me Nana" to which she often tells me her name is Barbara and to quit calling her names because it's rude.  

Apparently Nana is not her favorite name. 

My bad.  I then apologize profusely and offer to take her to the bathroom.  That is legit why she always wakes up in the middle of the night after all, even if she doesn't immediately say so…

Other nights, she pulls my toes and says she needs help getting out.  I take her to the bathroom and she says, "Let's hurry up and get outta here before those guys come back," and it's a serious struggle to get her back in bed.  Because who would want to sleep in a house knowing there are also some strange men somewhere inside?  And then I'm sometimes borderline paranoid after she tells me these terrifying stories about what has happened to her before in a house like this (which I'm certain are not real, but Nana is a great storyteller).

And some nights, she's standing over me just staring, and I wake up to her resting bitch face looking me dead in the eyes.  No words, just these soul piercing blue eyes boldly staring down her potential kidnapper or rapist or murderer or whatever she thinks I may be on that random Tuesday night at 1am.  And I say, "Hi, Nana.  Need to go to the bathroom," to which I get little response, maybe a "Yes" if I'm lucky…