Saturday, June 20, 2009

Not Everyone Can Work On Their Own Dentures!

Thursday was a fairly uneventful “errand day.” Mam-ma was dragging… she didn’t have any energy, and she didn’t look well when I got there. Usually she doesn’t even look like she needs to have her hair done, but this week, she had slicked it down and it looked BAD. She was complaining of being tired and “feeling bad all over.” I quizzed her – did her head hurt? did she have a stomach ache? was her throat sore? No, no, and no… none of the above… but she “felt bad all over” nonetheless.

Finally when we got back home, I suggested maybe it was the heat. She insisted that her thermostat was fine on 78 degrees and did NOT need to be lowered! Then she said she had not slept well and had even gotten back up to take Tylenol and an Ativan. She said once she went to sleep afterward, she slept GREAT! I suggested maybe she had a “hangover” from the medication, and she said, “Well maybe that’s it!” I told her she should take a good nap and rest and see if the next day wasn’t better.

Friday, she called and sounded 1000% stronger and more energetic. She mentioned that she needed a new telephone book. Ever since we moved her telephone to the nursing home when she was there in 2003, the phone company has listed her address in the directory as the nursing home’s street address. She has mentioned it once before, or I would never have realized, and I debated whether to call the phone company or not. Mam-ma got someone else's extra phone book, so that solved her telephone directory dilemma. And the last time we changed something with the phone company, they disconnected her phone for several days. It’s sorta like calling the “black hole” to call the phone company about your account, so I hesitate to do it.

So today, I took her an extra phone book that I had. I had been out EARLY to some garage sales and stopped by her house at 7:30 a.m. She was up and had just eaten her breakfast, but her house was all dark yet, with curtains drawn and every door shut and locked. She said she was going to walk later in the morning. We are in the middle of a heat wave, and even at 7:30 a.m., the air in the shade was stifling! I told her, “If you are going to walk, do it now before it gets any hotter, while you can still get your breath.” She agreed and began getting ready to walk.

I asked if her teeth were feeling better since our trip to the dentist for new denture liners, and she said, “NO! I’ve got to go back! He [our beloved Dr. Eades] said I might have to, and they are too long… they are rubbing my gums.” I told her to let me know what day she could see him, but not to schedule anything for Thursday because “my calendar is full already.” She asked, “Oh… are you not gonna be able to take me to the beauty shop?” “Yes,” I replied… “YOU are part of that calendar!” She laughed, and said, “Well I guess it will be Tuesday.” I asked why she thought that, and she said, “Well I called yesterday, and they weren’t there.” (HELLO! We went through this LAST Friday!) I reminded her, “No… remember… they don’t work on Fridays!” “Well, that’s right!” she exclaimed. She added, “I can’t call them again until Monday.” “So you are assuming you might get an appointment on Tuesday?” I asked. She said yes… and added, “I’ve worked on them already… I cut a whole piece off, and they are better.” This is not the first time she has worked on her own dentures! I would attribute this to her work as a chairside assistant for another local dentist for 18 years - she literally "cooked teeth" on her stove at home in the evenings - helping the dentist make his patients' dentures. But knowing Mam-ma, she would whittle on them even IF she didn't know how to make a set of dentures from scratch!

I suggested that maybe her work would do the trick and the dentures would settle down over the weekend, and she said, “Well… maybe… but I don’t think so!” I told her to just let me know what she determined on Monday! I knew there was a reason I didn’t read that last magazine when we were there Wednesday!

As I left to go to more sales and Mam-ma to walk around the block, she said, “Wait just a minute… let me get a jacket.” It was already nearing 90 degrees outside. I said, “Mam-ma… the last thing you will need is a jacket!” She said, “Well I don’t walk very fast.” I told her… “You will break a sweat standing still today!” When we got on her driveway, she agreed that she didn’t need a jacket. As I pulled out of her driveway and started down the street, I watched her in my rear-view mirror. She was pushing her walker in the opposite direction. Her neighbors were having a garage sale… that may be as far as she got!

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