Thursday, January 8, 2009

The story of Two by Four and Fatty Patty

My mom is obsessed with fat people...let me just say that first.

I was supposed to visit my Mom in November in Dayton Ohio, and stay a week.

I try and go and see her at least 4 times a year and stay a few days to a week. I know that she was looking forward to my visit and was very disappointed that I couldn't come this time.

Since I was diagnosed in November with Leukemia, I spent that time that I would have spent in Dayton, having a bone marrow test, cat scans , blood work, you name it...they poked for it!

My Mother did not take my having to cancel my visit very well. She kept asking me why I had to schedule my tests during her week...I tried my best to explain to her that I had to do the tests as soon as I could....but she kept asking.

I admit to being a little sensitive when she would say this to me...accusingly, like I was lying... In my heart I knew that her remarks to me were coming from disappointment rather then anger, but I was hurt anyway.

During that week that I was to be in Dayton visiting Mom, we were going to have a meeting with the staff at her assisted living place .We have had one other meeting since my Mom has been in this home and that one went really well...everybody seemed to be smiling when they left. I thought that was a good sign!

Anyway, the laundry list of complaints was growing by the day, so I had to rescheduled our meeting with the care nurse and the manager of the facility for this past week. The meeting was yesterday, I still couldn't go to Dayton ...more appointments, and now it looks like I won't be able to go until March. My sister-in-law Gail came to the rescue..she said that she would attend the meeting. I did feel bad for her somewhat because she had to go alone without my brother.

John, my brother, decided rather then attend the meeting, he would go to Florida early this year.

He left the day after Christmas ....and won't be back until May. He's another story.

I'm actually glad that my sister-in-law went to the meeting instead of my brother... to be honest! Gail is a lot more sympathetic then my brother John...he just tells her, our Mom, to stop complaining and live with it... so she gets her feelings hurt and I hear about it!

So the one hour meeting yesterday turned into a 2 1/2 hour complaint session. As you have probably guessed my Mom really doesn't like being at this assisted living place ...and she told the staff just that, in spades!

She's to sick to live alone and she won't have anybody live with her.

Her choice really..

... did I mention that's she is very stubborn too....probably not ...because my fruit didn't fall far from her tree. on that issue?
So yesterday's meeting was winding down with only one more complaint left on the list.

Gail was feeling that she was almost home free...

....not so fast...Annie...(my Mom)... was just getting started!

It seems that a particular aide was rude to Mom. so she starts the final item on her list with name calling!

Always a good note to end on...right?

While explaining her last item on the list, my Mom referred to this aide as "Two by Four" and not by her name Samantha. (Gail sank even lower in her chair, she said)

Now my Mom knows very well the name of this aide.. In fact I coached her several times on the phone before the meeting.

"Her Name is SAMANTHA ...not Two by Four

Now say it back to me ...SAMANTHA!"

A similar incident happened when my Mom first went into assisted living over a year ago, she called another aide "Fatty Patty"

At that time, I explained to her that she should not call people names like that, it could hurt their feelings and besides she might not get good care from the aides that were assigned to her.

Sounds least to me! So I naturally thought that this time my Mom would remember my advice about name calling and would refer to the aide as Samantha.

When I asked my Mom on the phone yesterday, if she had called the aide by her proper name... she of course said "Yes"

Except it seems that my Mom's proper name for this aide was and still is " Two By Four" Gail told me on the phone that my mom had used the phrase at least four times.

Gail said that she wanted to run at this point, but she didn't and I am eternally grateful.

She leaves for Naples today to join my brother... on the first plane out!

The meeting did finally, mercifully end when the Doctor came in to examine Mom...

the administrators stood up and thanked my Mom for being so "FRANK" and quickly existed.

I'm sure they have had similar conversations with other patients many times...

but bless them anyway for their kindness and respect.

Kind of funny side note...(sad actually) my brother John is big himself and has diabetes.,,, he doesn't like overweight women either.... not overweight men, ....just overweight women?


I always tell my brother that he's the pot calling the kettle black(or is it the other way around?)

Maybe I was born under a cabbage leaf after all.


  1. Oh Peggy! I laughed, I couldn't help it; you've made me feel better about my own family stories!

    I hope your next visit with you mother goes well, and that Two by Four doesn't mind her name *too* much. LOL Your Mom sounds like quite a character.

    How did the tests and scans go?

  2. Oh dear.... oh dear....
    I hate to say this, but it must be an age thing. I liked your mom. She was "frank" 25 years ago but respectful. Sounds like she's darn irritated with her situation and doesn't have enough room to understand that you have some reason for a bit of irritation yourself. Your brother...sorry John, is a coward. Good for Gail!!!
    I'm sorry, Susan, I had to laugh a few times. I guess sometimes if you don't laugh, you might cry.

  3. Oh Peggy. Your sister in law was brave thats for sure. I dont know what it is, but my father, who sometimes posts on my site has got very straightforward in his older age too. He used to be a big man himself but due to several operations is very thin now. He can also eat what he likes and never puts on weight.

    However, he too seems preoccupied at times with other people's weight. It is almost like an obsession with him

    The governmet should employ him to make fun of fatties and shame them into losing weight and saving the health system.

    As for your brother, well I am sure his attitude is shared by many men. Its like the guys that are old fat and ugly yet still think they can attract young girls. I jsut visited Thailand and it made me a littel sick to see so many old men with beautiful 16 year olds.

    Anyway, there are many of us that can sympathise with you on this one.

    And we are going to be our parents one day too. So we better prepare our kids!

    I hope you stay well.

  4. Peggy, I was sorry to read about your leukemia. I hope it goes into remission real soon. Not a fun illness to have.

  5. Your mother reminds me of my mother and her outspokenness when she was in a nursing home. It was embarrassing to hear some of the statements she'd make, loudly, about others. Also, it was interesting to observe which of my mother's five remaining children stepped up to the plate to be there for her in her later years, and which ones were glad to stay on the sidelines, merely watching.

    I, too, hope the leukemia is under control very soon.

  6. What a great, funny family story! Guess we all have them, don't we? I'm sorry I haven't been by lately, my computer problems have caused a lot grief, lost sites, lost information! Should have a new one in about ten days and I can be a more regular visitor! I love what you've done with your site! It looks great!

  7. The things they say!! Poor Gail for having to sit through that. I think those aides are used to hearing rude comments. I hope they find it in their hearts not to take it personally! My dear s-i-l lives in Naples!! We visit there about once a year.

  8. Judging from what Kay said, your Mom has been speaking her mind for years.[Maybe I interpreted it wrong.] Anyway, I've been trying to think of a solution for you, and I have none. Does the help ever tell her to stop that? Hang in there.


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