I guess I have a new hobby: taking my mother to the doctor.
Atria did a mini mental assessment of her a couple of weeks ago, which I sent to her doctor, who called and said she wanted to see her. Today I went to pick her up and found her hunched over on the bench in the hall on the way to her apartment. I asked what was wrong and she said her back was killing her. She was also coughing and had a red nose, indicating that it was runny.
I told her I had come to take her to the doctor and said I would go and get her coat and purse so she didn't have to walk to her apartment. On the way to the car, when she leaned on my arm to help her with her back pain, i told her we would talk with the doctor about her pain. She said that was the kind of thing that when you have it you don't want your doctor to know about it. Sigh.
When we were waiting to be called for her appointment, I said we would also talk with the doctor about her cough and she said "what cough? I don't have a cough." Fortunately she was coughing so badly that they gave her a face mask to wear.
I also pointed out that her clothes were filthy and pointed out food stains on her pants and her blouse, which she has steadfastly refused to let me wash. The last thing I told her when I dropped her off was to be sure and put her clothes in the hamper so I could wash them. Let's see if she does it.
The first thing the doctor pointed out was that she was due for a retinopathy screening and so made an appointment with the eye doctor for Friday (couldn't go tomorrow since I work at Logos tomorrow).
Then she asked about her cold. My mother said she had no cold. Fortunately her lungs are clear, but she has a bad dry cough, which she could not deny because she coughed through the appointment. She also wiped her nose on her sleeve, her blouse, and the gown they gave her in the exam room.
The doctor prescribed a cold medication (Benzonatate) which, I discovered when I checked the prescription, she is supposed to take 3x/day. I'm note sure how I'm going to manage that. I figured out I'd put the pill in with her regular pills, which she does take (almost) every day, but I didn't relish going to Atria twice a day to make sure she took 2 more pills. But I figured I could fill a second pill dispenser with just the Benzonatate and then call her toward the end of the day and remind her to take the second pill. That'll have to do except for days when I go there to visit anyway, when I can make sure she takes the third.
Next I brought up the back pain. My mother --- I absolutely do not believe this --- said, "what back pain? I don't have any back pain" This was the woman who could not MOVE because she was in so much pain just two hours before, who complains every. single. day. about her back pain. The doctor recommended Tylenol arthritis and also physical therapy. Well, lots o' luck with that. She might make it to one session, but I guarantee she would refuse to go again.
So then we went to the memory issue. She didn't do any testing because the woman at Atria had done it, but had some suggestions, which include an MRI next week in Sacramento, the day after I go to Kaiser in Sacramento to the optometrist to get a prescription for my new glasses.
Then there is the "memory class" she wants her to attend to assess possible treatment. I somehow think that is a lost cause, based on her reaction to the "memory class" at Atria, but we'll give it a try.
It looks like 2016 is going to be filled with medical type appointments for my mother, as well as a lot of fighting to get her where she should be going for help.