Keeping Up with the “Jones’”
I joined all you folks in seeing a doctor this month! Grandma has had terrible swelling of her legs due to the inefficiency of her kidneys because of high blood pressure and maybe something else???. They haven’t been very bad this summer, which is her worst season but for some reason. . . it just got out of hand, BIG TIME!!! I noticed Grandma had neglected to refill her Thyroid medication and by the time I caught it and the mail got it to us, she had missed about a week and a half. On top of that, she chose not to take her meds for two days out of the week. Because we were having such a nice week, I didn’t sweat it except for mentioning to her about the swelling. Grandma kept putting me off so I didn’t nag.
This last Wednesday, she was in pain and her legs were weeping through her attempts to bandage them. She refused to call the doctor even though I voiced my concern about possible blood clots or infections. On Friday morning, she got out the Yellow Pages while I was eating breakfast. I waited at least 15 minutes then asked her what she was looking for. She said that she was “going to have to be seen for her leg, it was just miserable.” I said that I could call her regular doctor and that I had her number in my phone. She agreed to have me call once I got to work and when the doctor’s office was open. So, I worked for about half an hour, called the doctor’s office and they said I could come in as soon as I could get there. Well, because Grandma can’t get into our truck, I have to borrow NurseySister’s car – so I called Grandma and told her I was coming home to pick her up. then texted my Niece (NurseySister had worked overnight and was sleeping) that I needed the car keys. She tried to bring them next door before I got home but Grandma didn’t answer the door so I went into NurseySister’s back door, grabbed the keys from the hook and got the car out of the garage and into the driveway (next door) to load Grandma.
Whew, I made it to the doctor’s office in less than an hour to travel 15 miles (two freeways, one under construction) and get the whole car thing worked out. The doctor gave Grandma an EKG, new additional water pill, Hydrocortisone Ointment for the itching and a list of “Bad” high potassium foods that should be avoided, also a lecture about salt, keeping her legs up and not taking meds. It all went over her head – she still blames the “spray” on the grass for causing the swelling problems. Grandma had to give blood for the lab work to check her kidney function. She is feeling very miserable with the situation, so bad, that she let me make her scrambled eggs and bring it to her chair to eat! Just walking is painful for her.
My boss understands about Grandma’s possible needs interrupting my work and is fine with whatever I need to do. I have some comp time that I will just apply to my absence.
On Saturday, AH and I were gone all morning and part of the afternoon working as volunteers for AH’s work that sponsors an Adventure Challenge Event. When we got home, Grandma said she didn’t eat anything, no appetite. Later when I asked again, she said she ate some leftovers. I had made up a Stir Fry Chicken and noodle dish and some green beans the night before with enough leftovers so she could have lunch. I put all the salt shakers on a high shelf she can’t reach (she’s very short). I suggested to her that my homemade ice cream is low sodium so she could have that for dinner if she had an appetite.
Her pain level on Saturday, with a high being 10, she says is an 8. She refuses to put her feet up because her muscles cramp in her thighs. I suppose she doesn’t lie down comfortably either because of the hump in her upper back. She still looks miserable. I remind myself that she doesn’t whine about anything and I don’t need to nag her.
Today, Monday, I came home for lunch to find Grandma struggling up the back porch steps with her laundry. She sat in her chair and let me make lunch (hurray!) since her “back was cramping”. During lunch, she said nothing really went right today. She tried to order postage stamps by phone and had to tell the “new” person what page from the catalog she was ordering. She thought she lost her credit card but it was really in the right spot the whole time. She is aware of her confusion today. She will most likely be napping in her chair most of the afternoon. I will be running some errands and then check on her before a meeting I have to attend before dinner time. I will come up with something creative for her dinner tonight. It will have to have ice cream in it to end the day on a sweet note for her!
- Grandma’s Rules (caregiving.com)
- Forgetfulness vs. Grandma-ness (caregiving.com)
- Paranoia Night (caregiving.com)
- Can We Discuss Something? (caregiving.com)
- Here, There and Back (caregiving.com)
- Keeping the Light On (caregiving.com)
- Blowing the Top Off! (caregiving.com)
- And the Award Goes to… (caregiving.com)
- For Grandparents Day (caregiving.com)