Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

That's It -- I'm done

Unless she is unconscious or bleeding...profusely... (or both) I am finished taking my mother to the doctor.

Yesterday she was in terrible pain. She always has back pain, but it was shooting down her legs and she could barely walk.  While I was on the phone talking to Kaiser, she staggered to her bed and when I came home, she looked like death warmed over and said she wasn't going to get out of bed.
The nurse and I agreed I'd bring her in to Kaiser at 11:30 today and I fully expected her to be just fine, and me feeling like an overreactive idiot. Again.

But when I arrived she was in the kitchen and when I asked how she felt she said "not good" and it was one of her more vague days where she didn't know where she was or what she was doing. Good. At least she was symptomatic...and I hate to say I was glad that she was feeling bad, but at least the doctor would finally believe me.

I could tell how bad it was because she agreed to let me take her to the car in a wheelchair so she didn't have to walk down that long hall when she was in such pain. She is usually so adamant that she needs NO assistance, whether cane or walker or wheelchair, the fact that she got into the wheelchair without argument spoke volumes.

We drove to Kaiser and on the way there she kind of "came to" and started commenting on the pretty trees again, and when we arrived at Kaiser, she refused a wheelchair and walked to the waiting room.
We waited for awhile, during which time she asked me many times where we were and why we were there.

When we got into the exam room, she turned into Miss Personality again.  Pain?  What pain?  She had no pain.  The doctor manipulated her feet, her legs, her hips.  She poked and prodded and to everything, my mother responded that nothing hurts.

So  OK.  The pain is gone.  That's good, but again I felt like an overprotective mother running my kid to the doctor for every little pain.  That's kind of how the doctor seemed to feel.  We came home with the suggestion that she take Tylenol if she had pain again.

I decided to take her to lunch and we went to IHOP, the closest restaurant to Kaiser.  As she got into car, she winced and grabbed her leg and said it was hurting.  When she got out of the car she hobbled into the retaurant and when she got into the booth, winced and kept rubbing at her thigh saying it was "giving her fits."  When I expressed frustration that not ten minutes before, she had told her doctor that nothing hurts, she said "well, at that minute it didn't hurt."

Throughout the lunch she was constantly wincing and moaning and trying to find a comfortable spot in the booth because her body hurt so much shifting from cheek to cheek and groaning with every move she made.


She was uncomfortable in the car and didn't understand why I was frustrated.

I let her out and told her I'd be back in 3 hours with the guy who was going to see about fixing her chiming clock.  I had forgotten to take her key with us, so I gave her my key so I could leave her at the building, since there was no parking to be had in the whole block near Atria.

When I returned with the clock guy, she was not in her apartment and I had to get someone to let me in.  Darrell fixed the clock and left and I hung around until my mother got back.  She didn't remember where she had been. But she was moving like someone in great pain.  Again.

She hobbled over to her chair, sat down, winced painfully and said her legs were giving her a hard time today.

I couldn't even discuss that because she wouldn't understand.  But I went home and send the following email to her doctor:
I am sending my mother to live with you. We went to lunch after her appointment and she winced and gasped and groaned and rubbed her thigh and told me it was "giving her fits." She is only pain free when she sees you, so I will deliver her to your house at my earliest convenience. She won't be any trouble and she doesn't eat much.

Thank you for your assistance.
Sadly, her doctor seems not to have a sense of humor.  Maybe it's because they don't joke like that in Bangladesh, which is where she's from.  She thinks my mother is feigning pain to get my attention...but I was watching her in pain when she didn't know I was there and she's definitely in pain.

But I'm done.  No more will I rush to take her to the doctor again.


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