Alzheimer’s sucks: Not so clean dishes.
One of the things mom has always done quite well is washing dishes. She says she enjoys it. She often feels cold, so the hot water feels good.
A policy that has always been in our home is that dishes must be scrubbed practically clean before they go in the pile to wash. She can’t stand anything caked on a dish and to then try to get it out. We’re allowed to soak them and then scrub clean, but they still must be scrubbed before going on the “to wash” side of the sink.
Well, that’s now a problem.
Today, I was getting lunch, and mom was preparing to wash dishes. She was taking dishes from the dirty pile and putting them away. Drying if need be, but putting them where they belong. She was even putting them in the right places. (She is starting to forget where they go or where to get them from.)
Ummm…, “Mom, what are you doing with those dishes?”
Mom, “Someone is putting clean dishes in the dirty dish pile.”
Me, “Anything on that side of the sink is dirty.”
Mom, “No, see how clean they are?”
Well, yes, they do appear clean. But they’ve appeared clean for decades per her own requirement. Although she herself is skimping on this part, so I’ve been sure her dishes were clean too so I didn’t get hollered at.
A few weeks ago she hollered at me for taking out perfectly clean dishes from the cupboard and putting them where the dirty ones go next to the sink. Well, no, they were dirty. Just scrubbed so they “looked” clean, per her strictly enforced policy. And … ummm … I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loathe doing dishes. I use as few as possible even knowing I won’t be washing them, because I don’t want to burden another with a job I abhor.
Note: Can you tell we do not have an automatic dish washer? Many have offered, and my dad was glad to install them, but mom always refuses because she says she loves to wash dishes. So my dad said we did have a dishwasher … its name is “arm strong”.
For future reference, I’m thinking it’s better to get hollered at for having small items caked onto dishes or leaving crumbs. I’d rather she be upset with me for that than to find I’m eating from/with dishes, pots, pans, and utensils that have not had a thorough washing.
I’ve no idea how long this has been happening. I’m NOT going to think about it. No one has gotten sick … but I may pretend to use as many of the dishes and utensils that I think we may have used over the last month or two and put them – with the appearance of dirty – into the “to wash” pile. Yikes!
Moral of the Story: Every day is a new adventure. It’s not always clean living.