Yesterday I went to Bickford, and went to Mom’s room. The room was stuffy and smelled–usually the smell is urine, but this was more doggy in nature. I noticed Mom’s pillow-in-a-sham was on the dog’s bed on the floor–who knows why? Mom may have laid down with the dog on the floor, or she may have offered the pillow to the dog because she thought Coco would like it. I picked up the pillow, and realized that the sham was redolent of dog; I figured the aides changing the bed linen simply didn’t realize that the sham needed to go through the wash. I peeled off the sham, and found that the pillowcase beneath was stinky and needed to be washed as well. I tossed the sham and pillowcase into her laundry basket, and looked for a clean pillowcase. After rooting through Mom’s closet at some length I could not find one, and my annoyance level zoomed up. Both sets of sheets I sent with Mom when she moved into Bickford had been long lost; she was now the proud owner of an ugly turquoise sheet that was definitely not hers. I had bought more sheets, but still it seemed that she was using crummy ones that were not hers. This I had sort of given up on–the disappearance of laundry in assisted or nursing care is a reality. Thus: GR-R-R-R-R-R!
I stamped down the hall and found the woman who cleans the rooms, one of my favorite staff members. I told her I couldn’t find ONE pillowcase–righteously indignant–and she was suitably annoyed along with me. We went to the laundry room and searched; nothing was there that I could identify as Mom’s, but there was a set of sheets and pillowcase that were not. The aide urged me to take them since they’d been on the lost and found shelf for a long time. Back I went to Mom’s room, and swooped down triumphantly on the pillow–now the room would smell clean! I picked up the pillow, and noticed that there was still a pillowcase on it. Oh, yes, Mom used to put two pillowcases on, one left for a season to protect the actual pillow from the dreaded body oil, and the other changed and washed each week. But it wasn’t too fresh either, so I peeled it off, and found: another pillowcase. Huh? I peeled that one off. There was another. I peeled off one pillowcase after another, and found that there had been at least six pillowcases on one pillow. I started to laugh. Mystery solved! For some reason Mom had been adding one pillowcase after another. I threw the pile of pillowcases in the laundry and headed down the hall to share the fun with staff members. I left chuckling–a nice change from some days’ departures. I’m hoping the room will now smell fresher–especially since the carpet will be scrubbed clean of doggie odor as well–but hallelujah I will not have to make yet another shopping trip to buy pillowcases.