I determined today, finally, that I can no longer take Mom to the grocery store. I know she enjoys it, but I just can’t anymore. Any trip to the store results in frustration for both of us due to a battle of wills I’ve seen play out with toddlers in the cereal isle when Mommy says no to anything on the lower two shelves.
Mom’s dementia means that she has no impulse control. She wants what she wants and has no capacity to understand why I try to say no. And diversion doesn’t work in a grocery store. What do I divert to? Lettuce?
She has no idea what anything costs. She has no idea that we might already have plenty of it at home already. She has no idea that I’m trying mightily to stick to an established, carefully planned budget. And she more than usual wants shit that has no business being in our home.
Two-for-one boxes of chocolates. Pudding cups. Sugary soda. Cookies, cakes, and pies. The brand of hotdogs that probably stunt growth in children.
Some might say, “Why not just let her have it? At this point, what does it matter?”
It matters quite a lot. Beyond her dementia, Mom is in exceptional physical health for a woman 87 years old. She has a few chronic conditions, but they are completely under control. On her last check-up, her doctor declared her, “Perfect!” She’s a little overweight, mostly because of how much I have caved to her insatiable need for junk food. But that has to stop. I have to put my foot down. And I just can’t keep busting my grocery budget on empty calories.
And then there is her dementia. Mom has cerebral vascular dementia (VoD). The best way to slow her decline is to keep her cardio-vascular health in good working order, so she is not so prone to TIA or stroke. Gobbling down chocolates and pastries is not the way to do that.
Sure, I’ll let her have some, in moderation. I’m even doing research on making my own CBD edibles, to feed her need for chocolate (fully loaded with blue, black, and red fruit, of course!) while she gets the good stuff at the same time.
I ran to Publix without her last night. (She’s not so advanced that she can’t be left alone for a few minutes.) She wasn’t happy about it, but it was so nice to just get in, get out, get only what I needed, and not have to deal with an 87 year old toddler.
I’ve spent the last three days formulating a very carefully planned and researched healthy monthly menu planner, grocery list, and budget. I’ve found the best prices, scoured the sales and coupons, and if I can stick to it, I’ll be able to pay all our bills, gas up the Jeep, feed the beasties, refill prescriptions, and not run out of toilet paper. Fingers crossed.