Friday, February 26, 2010


Maybe, as Marly says, I was deluded about it being spring for everyone, not just the freakishly fair weathered folks in Southern California. But I was also deluded about my plans for yesterday afternoon and evening, unfortunately.
Yesterday I worked until 1 at the Center, and had a good day. There was a little time to grade a paper here and there and the rest was filled up by students, a few of whom were grateful for papers I had helped them with in the past weeks, which had gone very successfully. There was time to nosh on the goodies from the reading lab, which was staging its monthly reader's circle, to get the students interested in reading books that had been donated to the lab, and time to joke around with the rest of the staff, including Lou. But then the difficulties began.
I left at 1 to take my mother to a doctor's appointment. I had been told her walking had somewhat improved, as had her neck pain. She was keeping her eyes open more often, but some things had not improved. She was still falling every day several times a day, and she was having constant hallucinations. This, I knew, would make taking her to the doctor a challenge.
I decided to get her to use dad's extra walker, so she wouldn't fall. But I didn't reckon on the fact that she was entirely incapable of guiding the walker, and I had to walk backwards and pull her along on it, which wasn't easy because it had only two small wheels at the back, altogether inadequate for the purpose. I ended up leaving it in the back of the car, useless. But the valet parking at the hospital did come in handy. And it was only a few steps from the Senior Health Center at the hospital.
The nurse practitioner said that mom had protein in her urine. Some changes had definitely taken place. But she was not able to tell me immediately what they signified. Just in case, she prescribed some antibiotics, thinking that perhaps mom had a bladder infection that might account for the abrupt changes in her mental and physical state. In elderly people, such infections can have drastic effects, which I have seen in my dad as well.
All the way up and back from the doctor's, my mother kept up a constant conversation with unseen people. I have said that when I was much younger, a teenager, she used to talk nonstop, though not to invisible people, as far as I know... mostly to herself. Lately, she has been mostly silent. But the most recent changes sent her back into her former vociferous mode. Only this time, she has been bumped entirely into another world of unseen individuals. She has conversations, constantly, and the world that we view as real is only an interference for her, from this other, more vibrant place, inhabited by bizarre old men, their beards full of sticks, unidentified children, wandering alone in darkened halls, and animals. This is perhaps why she keeps her eyes closed, the better to see the more compelling world of her hallucinations. I tried to lure her back into our world by pointing out interesting and bizarre sights, like the green clad statue of liberty, waving a "We're number 1!" sign outside a tax place, or a shaggy spaniel hanging halfway out of a truck window, but she barely blinked at this. I'm sure it can't compete with what she sees that I can't.
Though the doctor's appointment didn't take long, I had to stop to feed my animals at home, and then went to the pharmacy to fill her prescription. I had foolishly imagined that I would be able to go to dinner with Liz and her husband and then even get to the monthly 50% off sale at the consignment store, but this wasn't happening.
By the time I got my mother home, it was already about 6:30. I was starving and stressed to the max. I had called Liz and canceled dinner, and all I was capable of doing was going home, picking up some takeout Chinese, and wolfing it down straight out of the container (it wasn't very good, either).
I thought about taking my parents to the Farmer's Market this afternoon, but I have a doctor's appointment, so that's out. I think it's going to rain anyhow. Maybe that's a blessing.


marly said...

Go have a nice lie-down. Then if you go see them, go out in the garden with them! That's my advice. Stare at green things that bloom and don't talk. Maybe lie down on the grass.

Hope your mother's meds are straightened out soon. Sticks in their beards. I like that.

We still have snow-guests. Interesting.

Robbi said...

When you say "them," do you mean the people my mother sees??? Only kidding. Actually, I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow morning, and then I'll take my dad to the farmer's market to eat samples and buy fresh fruit and flowers.
My mom actually said that about the man with the sticks.
I hope your snow guests are real people. I think it's funny though... I don't have guests (though I will next week when my uncle visits), but you, with feet of snow, do!

Lou said...

I am sorry to hear that you didn't get to go to the sale at the consignment store. This weekend I AM the guest. :-)

Robbi said...

Enjoy, Lou, and I hope Elsie is home soon, and on the mend.