The Doctor’s Visit

When I decided to write about Mom and our adventures, it was never my intention to be doom and gloom all of the time. The blog is just a glimmer of our life and the times we share. Good times or not so good times, we are a team and I learn many things along the way. Some days, I laugh until I hurt.

Wednesday was her check up with my doctor, whom I adore. She has not met Dr. W before and I was excited for her to meet her and for her to get her flu shot. It was also a day for us to get out and have some fun. As I was thinking about how her day went, I thought of some things that would maybe help you if you take your loved one in for a doctor appointment. Memory loss or not, I think they apply to any aging senior. Not in any particular order…

1. Always know where the bathrooms are located. If you are confused as to why, you will soon find out.

2. If you loved one makes a comment about a man her same age being a “skeleton”, its ok to move over a chair or two. You also might want to tell them to use a quieter voice when they announce this.

3. When checking your loved ones height, anticipate that they will argue over the shrinkage. “I’m not 4’10, I’m 5’4.” Maybe just let them know they are still 5’4. (I knew she seemed shorter to me!)

4. The same applies to the weight. Mom has gained a few pounds and disagreed with our assessment that she has gained. I want her to gain, but she is still in the mindset that “up a few pounds” is a tragedy.

5. Never let her sit on the high examining table, even if she wants to. That almost gave me a heart attack getting her down.

6. The nurse is never trying to kill you when taking your blood or checking your blood pressure. Even though you state it, I am a nurse and I know they really aren’t trying.

7. When the doctor asks you what you did for a living and you look at me blankly and grab my hand, you may need someone to also hold onto your hand, as well. Sigh.

8. Her labs came back yesterday and her blood was 100% coffee. Its a new lab value for Swedes.

9. It is always cold in the doctor’s office. Bring a sweater, jacket or try and turn up the heat on your own. Kidding!

10. When the doctor asks your loved one that is must be nice to be taken care of by your daughter and her response is “Which daughter?” knowing you are the only daughter. Do.Not.Let.It.Bring.You.Down.

Overall, it was a sweet day and Mom checked out fine. Can’t wait for the next appointment.

Jodi

 

Laughter

“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane”. -Robert Frost

This week, I choose to laugh. I think when you watch a loved one disappear on a microscopic level every day you can decide that you will be sad, fearful, overwhelmed or depressed. I am all of these at times, but the need for a laugh will awaken your senses, bring things back in perspective and get you back on track. 

This is what made me laugh in the past week:

We found my Mom’s remote for her TV. We bought a great new TV for Mom when she moved in and within ten days, she lost the remote. I have looked high and low for this remote. In a memory care unit, things disappear and I am totally understanding of this. Almost every day I have searched and checked with the nursing staff, finally giving up and just keeping her channel on WCCO, her favorite channel.  Last week, her phone rang when I was there and she used the remote (!!!) to answer. I looked at her table and both the phone and remote were there again. After five months and all that searching, it has showed up. Just like it was always there.

For months now, when I have visited, her clock has been on the floor. I keep thinking she has been messing with it and just doesn’t pick it up or she is tripping over the cord. When I called last week, she said there was a man in her room and they were talking. I could tell she wasn’t annoyed but I wasn’t sure if it bothered her so I called the front desk and they got him out. That was my first clue. When I went last week, I found him in her room again and he was attempting to take her clock. Mystery solved. He was very sweet and when I spoke to the nurses, he used to be an engineer. I think he was very interested in her clock and now I see he is in her room all the time. Now I see him holding his clock, walking down the hallway. I think Mom may have liked the company.

When I went to visit Mom last week, I met her in the beauty shop. Happy getting her hair done and very content. When I looked to Mom’s right, there was a woman sitting in the other chair and I looked closely at her. She had Mom’s sweater on. Then I looked closer and she had her sweater, pants and even her shoes on. The beauty shop assistant and I had a giggle. You know this happens in a memory care unit. It is a small event that left us all with a good laugh. She even looked like Mom.

In the scope of my Mom’s life, things will at times, make you mad but it is important for me to laugh. The staff work so hard at making sure things are correct. I will say it again and again. They have a tough job. Some are spit on, pushed, screamed at, called vulgar names and not given the respect they greatly deserve. I remember my first nursing assistant job like it was yesterday. Four years in a memory care unit. Patience and laughter are key. Kindness to the staff, goes a long way.

Today, you can choose to be angry or mad at whatever life gives you. Our lives are busy and complex but if you can laugh just a little, it may bring you some calmness and peace. Even if I can’t find the remote again. 🙂