I have been off-line for a few days with a minor stomach bug and just yesterday felt up to taking mom to her cardiologist and pacemaker check-up appointments at Travis AFB, a 105-minute trip which includes picking her up. Last night I had a friendly neighborhood virus attack my PC which caused a complete “CRASH” and required a full MS Recovery and reload of all programs.
Recently Mom has had some issues with her depression. The medications prescribed were doing nothing so the psychiatrist decided that since it was such a “mega low dose” they would double up on it, which
would, no should, take care of it. Now for the past several weeks (two weeks, one day to be exact), Mom has slept–and I kid you not–18 to 20 hours a day with the remaining time for facilities, food and medications.
It is so bad that my older brother (aka Mark) came up a few weekends ago to visit without mentioning this to Mom. If he had, she would have told him to not come up and if you do, don’t stop by. So he drives up from San Francisco, which took him 2 hours 27 minutes, meets my younger brother (aka Jimmy) at Mom’s. Mom, after sleeping 14-plus hours, woke up, had a cup of tea, said hello and then went right back to bed–only 30 minutes after she woke up. This occurred again this past weekend when the three of us boys got together for a parking lot sale at a local hardware store. Since it is right by Mom’s, we met there and took one car over to the sale. Before we noticed that Mom needed a little extra help with the dishes, sweeping and mopping, not much.
Now I have to admit I don’t have a medical degree, nor have I attended med school and dropped out for some reason, but I do know sleeping that much “Is Not Normal.” I was able to get Mom to promise me that on her weekly visit to her psychologist that she would ask about her anti-depressant and possible side effects. Would cause this amount of tiredness?
From what I’m told, she did in fact go to her appointment but did not ask about the tiredness. She is going to wait for her psychiatrist to call her back, her first call into her was ten days ago and then she called again six days ago. Something’s not right here. What psychiatrist’s office takes that long to call a patient back? That’s like calling 911 and being placed on hold.
On top of the possible medicine side effects and excessive sleeping, there is also an issue of Mom rescheduling doctor’s appointments with varying degrees of urgency . Not just once or twice but three times. She doesn’t tell anyone she had done such until the night or even the day after and after four calls into her voice mail.
Yes, this does sound like a “vent” blog. I will admit in part it is. You see, I care about my mom very much and it is a concern due to her sister’s death about three years ago. Her sister did the same things–cancelling, re-scheduling, not going to appointments, not following doctor’s orders and so on. They had to amputate her sister’s foot and then the lower leg because she didn’t follow directions. I don’t want mom to get anywhere near that point.
When I finally reached her after leaving four messages, I found out she had re-scheduled one particular appointment (second time). She tells me, “Oh, it’s re-scheduled for Friday at 12:30.” I paused and said, “Okay, then I’m picking you up at 11:30 and will have you there in time.” She sort of snapped at me when she replied, “No, No you’re not. Susie is going to take me right after we’re done over at church.” Another pause, “Well, then, once we’re done talking, my next call is to Susie to confirm.” Mom came back with, “Go right ahead.”
And with that, I still was not 100% sure it was happening. You see, the issue is not that I don’t fully trust her. I don’t. We have all heard this in the past where she’s doing or done something with Susi. When we speak with Susie, she knows nothing about it. I did confirm with Susie afterward. Yet at first she stated they were doing church and nothing else. The reason for not mentioning the xyz appointment was she didn’t know how much Mom had told us.
I had to express my concern to Susie that she would hold back information. When this same thing has happened in the past, Mom and Susie both said, “No more. At least you, Richard, need to know.” You think? For one, I have the Power of Attorney (POA). In case something major happens I’m there or at least not floored when she’s already in the hospital (or worse) and Susie drove her and didn’t say anything. Susie agreed to call me once Mom heads to Friday’s appointment.
With regard to the medication interactions, if that’s what it is, I am contacting both her psychologist and psychiatrist to tell them of the excessive sleeping and ask that they at least discuss it at mom’s next appointment or have her come in sooner if it might be a serious issue. These to be handled as soon as possible and hopefully next time they will be faster than this time.
The last item that needed to be discussed with Mom and maybe could have waited, but enclosed car, ninety-minute drive home, why not? It’s Mom eventually moving in with us. We first talk about how well both her appointments went, pat, pat and then I stated, “Okay, Mom. First off you know we all love you and care so very much about you and your health, right?” I did in fact get a quick “Yea!”
Then the next item to discuss is, Over the past several months you know we’ve talked about you moving in with us “when it gets to the point you need help” and you’ve taken it jokingly. You also know we have looked at homes that have four to five bedrooms and office or den. We’ve looked at several with a mother’s quarters (kitchenette, living room, bedroom and its own bath attached to main house).
Mom nods at me.
I continue, Then knowing we care so much, we would prefer that, when you need extra help, you move in with us and not a facility. You will have a room of your own if not even two or a mother’s quarters. Until you move in those rooms will be used for offices or craft rooms, something. Then when it’s that time, they’re yours. No wait, we are calling those rooms, Taffy’s Quarters (Mom’s 8-pound Schist Tzu dog) and if Taffy decides she wants to bring you, then you’re welcome.
At this point she’s about ready to cry and saying how sweet it is and she would like a little time to think about it but is very thankful for the thought.
Now a month ago just the mention of “we’re looking at homes” would have brought a fast, “No, I’m not moving in. I am going into a facility as to not be a burden on anyone.”
I ended this conversation with once again explaining that it would not be until “she needed help, period.”
Maybe involving her in the house hunting, taking her to see a couple houses, will ease her into agreeing to move in. If not, it is her choice. I may not like her last choice but I do realize that I do have to respect it.
From this conversation, I have a feeling that she is starting to realize that eventually the day will come when she will need to make a decision. I think she would like to be the one to make it and not have it need to be made by us boys.
Happy thoughts, Happy hearts!!
- Why Not Leave a Message (with Information)? (caregiving.com)
- Me, Myself and Mom (caregiving.com)
- Visited Mom the Day After (caregiving.com)
- Need a Hand Up? (caregiving.com)
- Oh His Aching Back And My Aching Head (caregiving.com)
- The Trifecta of Caregiving (caregiving.com)