Friday, July 17, 2009

Medicine Aside, This Week Was Quieter

Several weeks ago, someone told me that a friend of my grandmother's - Lois - was going to be celebrating her 100th birthday on July 12th with a party at the riverside resort her children own some 6 or 7 miles outside of town. Of course, Mam-ma was invited. When she showed me her invitation, she said, "Ruby is taking me." I questioned her about Ruby driving to this resort, and she said, "Well, Lois' son stopped Ruby at church and said, 'Now I want you to come to the party and bring Polly.' and Ruby said she would." So I talked with my sister and my mom, and everyone agreed that Mam-ma had made her own arrangements and we should let things lie. Neither my sister nor I know this family, and my mom was going to be in town - but she had plans, so we agreed that it would be okay for Ruby to take Mam-ma and enjoy a bar-b-q dinner with all the trimmings.

Friday afternoon, I took Mam-ma to the beauty shop (for the appointment she missed on Thursday while at the doctor's office), and after I got home, she called and said, "I forgot to ask you - are you taking me to Lois' party on Sunday?" I told her no, that I assumed Ruby was taking her. "Well she's NOT!" Mam-ma replied. I took a deep breath and said, "Then I guess I AM taking you, because you don't have a way otherwise." I added that I wish I had known this earlier, and she said, "Well Ruby just told me today at lunch. She says she doesn't know anybody there, and she feels funny about going." So I asked what time Mam-ma wanted to go - the party was from 12:30 - 4:00. She said, "Oh... let's go about 2:30." I asked if we couldn't go earlier, and she said, "Why? Have you got something else to do?" I told her, as a matter of fact, I had company coming for dinner... my friend Marla and her three grandchildren. Mam-ma said, "Oh... well... we can go earlier then." I told her that would really be helpful, and asked, could we go at 12:30 when the party started? "No," she said... "not that early." So I suggested 1:00, and she agreed. By this time, I am not a happy camper... but I agreed to pick her up Sunday afternoon at 1:00.

About 30 minutes later, Mam-ma calls again. "You just go ahead with your plans with Whats-her-name." I asked what had changed, and she said, "Ruby is going to take me. I just told her, 'Now you need to to this.' and she said she would. So we'll just go... and if something happens we can't, well that will just be that." I didn't know what else to say except, "Okay..." and she hung up. My mom told me later, "If she ends up without a ride, we will delay our travel a few hours and take her." As it turns out, Ruby did NOT go... but neither did Mom.

On Saturday, a family friend had a bridal shower, and Mom brought Mam-ma. On the ride to the shower, she asked about the party the next day and Ruby, and Mam-ma said, "Ruby has back trouble - Geneva is taking me." Now all I have heard about her friend Geneva is that she cannot hear conversations exchanged in a room with another person. But Mam-ma assured Mother that Geneva drove everywhere - even out of town - and would be fine. As it turns out Geneva and two other ladies picked up my grandmother - I didn't ask who drove. All I know is it wasn't Mam-ma... well as far as I know, that is!

So here are photos my friend David Baker took at the party of my grandmother visiting with her friend Lois. Apparently she had a good time... and I was able to focus on my company and the dinner I was preparing without interruption.

Monday morning, Mam-ma called to tell me that the doctor's office had called and reduced her morning Lasix by half. "So I'll just cut those pills in half, she said. I asked her if she was certain which pill was her Lasix... she assured me she was. I suggested she only do the pills through Thursday, when I would be there again, and I could finish cutting them. I double-checked with the clinic nurse to make sure this info was correct, and indeed, they did reduce the morning dosage. I am not sure why nobody called me, but I guess with the new HIPPA laws, they have to call the patient. Yesterday, I refilled all of her medicine boxes and straightened everything out to get the proper pills for each day, and I am praying she takes them on the right days and times. She has gradually improved this week, and I am certain all of her confusion last week was due to the overmedication and taking those extra doses of night-time medicine. We will never know why she did this, but I am monitoring her medicine more closely than ever now.

Yesterday, the grocery list was: broom, mop, cough syrup, sweet potatoes, candy (3 Musketeers). When we got home, a friend had been to a nearby orchard/farm and brought her about a half dozen peaches and a huge Wal-Mart bag filled with shelled purple hull peas - $20 worth! Now, for those of you who have followed this blog for awhile, you may recall that last summer she froze almost 2 bushels of purple hull peas. Even counting the half-dozen pint bags she gave me and my mother, I cannot imagine she has eaten all of the peas she froze last summer. But now she has more to freeze. I would just say it gives her something to do, but I know it involves a stove and hot water, so that is a concern. However, offering to help with the blanching, etc., would not be welcome. So I just pray hard!

Saturday evening, I arrived at the shower ahead of Mom and Mam-ma, and I was telling the hostesses (both nurses) that Mam-ma had overmedicated and was confused and not doing well. I laughed and said, "But watch... she will be fine for you tonight." Sure enough, her walk was steady, and she seemed her old self. Before the party was over, one of the hostesses had asked her to sit with her two adult mentally-challenged sons soon while she tended to some things for the wedding. I could not believe it... and of course, Mam-ma was saying, "You call me any time!"

As I drove out of Mam-ma's driveway yesterday, I could see her "extra" folding walker - parked strategically outside her back porch door... ready for use as she waters her garden, fills the birdbath, and feeds her birds. It was a miserably hot, humid day with scattered thunder showers. I could hear the doctor's words, "stay inside out of the heat" ... and I knew they had gone in one ear and out the other. And I'm okay with that... I would rather Mam-ma fall dead in her yard or garden than die miserably in a nursing home. I just have to hope she doesn't fall and break something. So far... so good. I keep praying!!!

BTW - at the other end of the spectrum... we had a great visit with our little friends... Griffin (age 11), Ruby Ann (age 8), and Roman (age 5). What a contrast!

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