Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Mema, Hee Haw and Doctors
None of us enjoy going to the doctor and my mother is no exception. I must say that I could probably count on one hand, the times that she has seen a doctor in the past 5 years. As far as physical problems, mother has a bum right knee and a little high blood pressure and that is it. Now her dementia takes over where those slight imperfections leave off.
Mother's firstborn granddaughter Shelly, lives out of town. Shelly is a School teacher and has some summer months off right now. For the past month, she has traveled down once a week to spend a night and day with mother and help run errands for her. Shelly is someone who will make you happy just being around her. She has a really big smile and loves to talk. When she was little, being one of the oldest grandchildren, we would ask her to bless the food when we would have a dinner at mother's. Many a day, stomachs in unison had played a tune while Shelly thanked God for everything from "toes" to "giraffes." Shelly has a special heart for her "Mema" and the feeling is mutual.
Knowing that Mother would be needing lab work done pretty soon, I somehow got Shelly to agree to come and take her. You see, getting mother to the doctor is a feat that nobody wants. And, I might well add, that nobody wants to accompany her there either. I have my reasons for this attitude and will gladly share them with you. A few years ago, mother needed a doctor visit. I proceeded to call and make her an appointment. Mother would trick you into telling her which doctor you were taking her to then when you weren't around, she'd get the phone book and look the number up and call and cancel. Nowadays, her dementia doesn't allow her to attempt this stunt. As I have said, there are some up sides about Dementia. After prepping her for weeks, begging and pleading she finally gave in to going.
The waiting room was packed and mother didn't like that from the get go. Now mother has something inside her, coupled with Dementia that spells "entertainer." As we sat in the small crowded room, she begin to dispel the rumor of my being her "favorite child." Words began to come out of her mouth like "know it all, "She treats me like a child," "Miss Bossy, "she took my car keys" well, you get the picture. Pretty soon, she had everyone in the waiting room giggling. As the nurse called us back, I was delighted to escape this insanity as much as mother was.
Mother had been experiencing some bladder troubles. She had been hospitalized a few months prior and needed a close eye kept on specimens. The nurse took us into a small examining room and quickly called to mother to come back. She then asked her to go into another room and give her a urine specimen. I'm thinking all the time..."I don't know if that will work. Does this person not realize that mother has Dementia?" The nurse handed mother a packaged towelette to use before submitting. She took it and went into the "little room." I got up out of my chair as I sat in the examining room and waited on mother to come out. There she was, specimen in one had and in the other was the towelette, unused, still in it's package. I said "mother, you were supposed to use this before submitting!" She looked at me with a silly look and said, "well, I did use it!" Mother had used the towelette, unwrapped, sharp edges and all...OUCH!
I pretty well promised myself that the next time mother had to go to the doctor, I wouldn't be the one taking her, but it seems that broken promises are common in my life these days. Mother's regular doctor had stated that the specimen showed still some trace of infection, so he advised her to see a Urologist! I agreed, and the office set an appointment up with one who comes to our local town once a week. I won't go into the hardships of getting her to agree to see this doctor, but I can just say, it wasn't easy. After several weeks of waiting for the appointment to arrive, off we went.
As we entered the waiting room, I could only see two or three patients waiting. I thought, "Alright, this will be a snap!" To my surprise, we sat and waited for way over an hour. Finally, we were called back. The nurse was male and very nice, mother assumes that all male nurses must be gay, due to their chosen occupation. That day, was no different, the halls rung out as she "whispered" to me that "HE MUST BE GAY!" After these comments, I began to get a little apprehensive as to what mother might say to the doctor when he came in. We were left in this room for over one hour. If you have never sat in a 5'x10' room with a Dementia patient for over an hour, please don't try it. We both were becoming very frustrated to say the least. At one point mother got up from the examining table, backed up to the door and said rather loudly, "If they don't hurry up and come in, I'm going to kick this door down like a "Jackass!" I pleaded for her to return to her seat or I was walking out. Soon the doctor and nurse came in and asked me to leave the room, he explained that they needed to perform an ultrasound which the doctor called, "taking pictures" of mothers bladder.
As we were leaving the office, mother "whispered" to me that she was uneasy as to what they would do with the pictures that were taken of her while naked! Considering this event, you can see why I am reserved about accompanying mother to the doctor.
Shelly will surely have some stories to share with her children and grandchildren about her Mema for years to come after her trip to the doctor. I will really miss her when she returns to work in the Fall.