Parental Journal 72 from Planet Elderly – Trip Back to Missouri Delayed

Saturday, July 16, 2016 – early morning

After last night’s trip to Condell Immediate Care Clinic, I decided to stay a while to make sure Mom’s leg wound swelling goes down and that she manages the schedule for when to take her antibiotic

Mom woke up a bit ago to make sure she said goodbye before I left.  It was 5:45 a.m.  When I suggested I stay a bit longer, she did not object.  She toddled back up to bed and I’m enjoying some early morning coffee.

Evening

The swelling has gone down, but Mom remains confused about taking the medicine.  Not good.

This afternoon I asked Mom what her plans were for next week.  In addition to seeing Dad, she said she was going to get her friend Evelyn, bring her back to Grayslake, and have her stay a few days.  She intends to drive herself even though she has no idea how to get there.  She was not aware she has a doctor’s appointment Monday, but I reminded her.

When I suggested having some transportation assistance from BrightStar, she flatly refused.  She doesn’t want assistance from anyone except maybe Kevin.  Then she lectured me about how I make her nervous, told me to go home and forget about her because if she dies it’s a good thing because then she won’t need to worry about anything.  Finally, she got in her car and left.   I understand her frustration.  I would feel the same way under these same conditions.

I went for a ride, too. I wanted some fresh air and time alone.  I ended up relaxing in the parking lot of the public library…and decided to tend to my own physical and emotional health.  I will return to Missouri tomorrow.  I spoke with a representative from BrightStar, and she confirmed that they cannot assist Mom without her permission.  Then I spoke with my best friend, Bonnie, for a free counseling session.

After my phone visit with Bonnie, I stopped for a root beer float…then headed over to visit with Kevin to tell him Mom now refuses assistance from BrightStar.  Kevin was already over at Mom’s…and surprised to see me because he thought I had returned to Missouri.

I filled Kevin in on last night’s visit to Condell Immediate Care Clinic and why we went there.  Then we talked about Mom’s antibiotic schedule, and in the process of counting them, discovered that she had taken more than she should have…even though she has a sheet to follow.  Her ability to follow a written medicine schedule is gone.  She’s even confused with a weekly pill dispenser.  Most of the time she ignores it and gets pills from the bottles…when she thinks it’s necessary.

Kevin had a firm conversation with Mom about her meds.  I said I thought he should take over distribution of medicine and he agreed.  Mom did not have a say in that.  She’ll be pissed about it tomorrow and forever, but she has not been taking her regular medicine and she messed up on the antibiotic already, so in our minds she is pretty much done with managing her own medicine.    We are forcing assistance on this issue.  Done.

Next forced lesson:  not being able to pass the driving test and therefore needing transportation assistance.  That lesson should be resolved by mid-August when I return.

Gee…more drama ahead.    That said, I fully realize that there will come a day when I will miss the drama we had struggling to keep Mom safe and comfortable.  I will miss her fiery temper…her tenacity…her determination…her giggles.

About jjmummert

Just another voice in the wilderness from someone who's lived on this planet for over 60 years and faces permanent residency on Planet Elderly. Update: As of March 2, 2017, I turned 70. I'm now an official resident of Planet Elderly. Dad passed away September 22, 2016. I view the Parental Journal entries as part therapy, part family history, sort of a case study of what our family experiences with one parent in a memory care unit, another living independently with short-term memory loss, and me, the only child daughter who lives 400 miles away. It's quite an adventure. Recommended readings for others who have loved ones who live with some form of dementia: The 36-Hour Day, The Myth of Alzheimer's - What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis, Alzheimer's Early Stages.
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