I really didn't know what to expect Friday on my weekly trek with Mam-ma. I ran some errands before getting to her house about 1:15 p.m. She had placed a towel in the floor on her carpet where the dining area meets the carpet, and I asked about it. First mistake. Well, it was because she had cleaned the carpet, and she wanted it to dry. So she had spilled something on the carpet? "NO! I just got stuff on it from the floor." "Oh, so you mopped the kitchen and splashed out?" "NO! I did this area and the one in the other kitchen doorway." Apparently my ESP was not working Friday. Finally, I surmised that she had decided the carpet leading into her kitchen and dining areas was dirty, and she had somehow spot cleaned it! (When we returned from the beauty shop, I removed the towel - a huge tripping hazard that could have produced a fall.)
Then I sat down to dispense her medicine for another two weeks, and I looked at her grocery list, and on the bottom she had written "Lorazepam." I had just come from the pharmacy getting medicine for my husband and me - I got HER meds the previous Friday. I asked, "Are you completely out of this?" "Well, purty much!" she replied. I counted - she had ten doses. I said, "You don't take one every day, do you?" Oh yes, she takes one every night - and sometimes in between. So she didn't think 10 would do her for another week.
I called the pharmacy and ordered a refill... her last. She had not had this refilled since April, so that tells you how often she takes a half tablet - clearly not every night! But she is never going to grasp the concept of planning ahead... it's all I can do to get her to buy milk when she still has part of a half gallon! And I bought her EIGHT bags of Cotton Pickin' Cornbread Friday, because they hardly ever have it any more at Wal-Mart and don't carry it at the other grocery store in town. A friend of mine was checking out behind me and said, "Your grandmother must eat a LOT of cornbread." I told her, "You have NO idea!"
As I hung up the phone from calling the pharmacy to order the Lorazepam, Mam-ma pressed on her lower abdomen and said, "I think I'm getting a .... oh, a ..... oh... um... well... a kidney stone. Sometimes it really hurts there... it comes and goes." Well, if it comes and goes, that's probably not a kidney stone. I just ignored her. As my sister pointed out later ... she tells me this on a FRIDAY afternoon?!
As I filled her meds, there were SEVERAL compartments that were still full... like all for a Friday and Saturday, and some for a Thursday night. I questioned her... did she not take her medicine today? Yes, she did... that was for Friday. "Today is Friday." "Well, I don't know." But she assured me she had taken her meds that day... and even at noon. So I have no clue why there was three days worth of medicine there, but I told her, "You know, when you miss your medicine, that might be why you feel bad and can't explain it." She didn't respond. All of those compartments should have been empty except for the one for Friday night's medicine.
We stopped and got her Ativan (Lorazepam), and on the way to the beauty shop, she asked, "Are y'all gonna join that place and swim?" I told her we have not joined our city's new community center, and we haven't decided whether we will. She said, "Well Ruby went out there, and she says it's real nice. She's gonna do some things out there. She told me 'Polly, you ort to have Debbie take you out there and get you a membership, and you could go with me.'"
I suggested she let Ruby try a few times and see if she liked it and was going to continue going before we got a membership, but I added, "...but we can get you one. They aren't that expensive." She retorted immediately, "Why it won't cost me a thing!" I asked her how she figured that, and she said, "Well, if you have Blue Cross, it doesn't cost you anything." Now my mother-in-law told us that if you have Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical insurance, you can participate in the "Silver Sneakers" classes at no cost... or so she heard. But I said to Mam-ma... "But you don't have Blue Cross." "I most certainly DO!" she retorted! "Mam-ma," I told her... "you have Medicare and Medicaid. Your prescription drug coverage this year is Blue Cross. That is NOT medical insurance." "Well I know it IS!" she shot back. I told her *I* would look into it for her. I do not want her calling out there and playing the "poor little widder woman" card. Hopefully she has not done so already!
I plan to check into the memberships at our community center ... there is a lovely walking track, and that would be a safe, comfortable place for Mam-ma and Ruby to walk year-round. I think it will cost her $10 a month, and she can well afford that. I plan to investigate the memberships this week and will probably get her one that starts August 1st. So hopefully I can take a 3-month membership (the minimum) to Mam-ma next Friday that will be effective the following Monday.
I have not heard another word about the "kidney stone," and it was not mentioned when we returned from the beauty shop. I'm assuming she has moved on to some other ailment or distraction by now. If she gets upset, she has plenty of Lorazepam now!
Meanwhile, I recently heard about a woman who was diagnosed several years ago with vascular dementia, which has symptoms that sometimes mimic Alzheimer's. Her daughter noticed that there was something wrong with the back bumper of this woman's car. When she asked her about it, the woman said, "Oh, the paint is just peeling." Wanting to be sure, the daughter asked her husband to take a look, and he said, "She's hit something." So when confronted, the mother said, "Well, I didn't want to tell you, but I was trying to parallel park, and I backed into a car behind me." The daughter said, "And you found the driver and exchanged information?" The mother replied, "Well NO! I got out of there!" Her daughter tried to explain that this was illegal and could be considered a "hit and run," but the woman didn't care ... she was not sticking around to risk a citation!
It was a funny story that really wasn't funny ... but at least I was thankful Mam-ma no longer drives. Hey ... I will take a "silver lining" anywhere I can find it these days!