Caring for both Boo and my Mother has proven to be quite a task...a task I love and for which I'm grateful, but a task nonetheless. Recently, Mother and I had to have a few discussions on wants vs. needs.
One day I received an urgent phone call from Mom. “I need you right now!” So, I dropped everything and ran across our backyards, unlocked her door and rushed to her side. “I need a piece of Key Lime Pie.” Ummm...Key Lime Pie does not constitute an emergency.
The following day I received another phone call. “I need you right now.” Slightly wiser now, I questioned her. She'd been shopping with a friend and had some nonperishables that needed to be put away. I told her I'd help her put them away when I prepared supper.
Two hours later I received another phone call. “ I need you right now.” No explanation, but it was almost supper time. I should mention here that the words: “I'm stuck in the recliner and can't get up.” never, never came out of her mouth. So, I walked over admiring the flowers and a bird nest on the way...only to discover that she really did need me this time.
Mom had lost the control to her recliner and was half in and half out of it. She was scared to moved. And rightfully so. I had to brace the recliner with my body and slowly lower it so that it wouldn't tip over on her. We had the first of several discussions on wants vs. needs and the importance of adequate communication so that I can appropriately respond.
Has any of this made a difference? Temporarily. And for now, that's good enough.
A conversation overheard between Boo and Mother after supper one evening:
“I'm going to Chesterfield tomorrow. Do you want to go with me while Kari goes off with Phyllis for a little while?”
“You're going all the way to SC? They let you do that?
(It's only 15 miles away and, yes, she's currently allowed to drive that far under certain conditions.)
“Yes, I'm going and yes, they let me. Are you going or not?”
“I rode with you today. You get kind of shaky.”
“Can we get ice cream?”
“If you want ice cream.”
“Don't tell Kari. She won't let me date other women.”
I had to back out of the room and run to the living room to laugh. Does going off with your mother in law actually count as a date? (Just so you know, I ended up going with Mom and Boo because Mom was tired.)
Mom's now taking insulin (hopefully temporarily) to manage her diabetes. After years of eating what she wanted and exercising by racing through her favorite department stores (and one recent steroid shot), she now has to toe the line. At the moment she's scared enough to do it. Thank heavens!
Just before she had the steroid shot, she was supposed to keep a record of her blood sugar levels. I've fussed at her on and off for a couple of months about not checking her blood sugar. Finally, because she simply had to do so, I sat down with her and tried to get her to check it herself.
And discovered...Mom has evidently forgotten how to take her blood sugar. I'd been fussing about something she didn't remember. Talk about feeling lower than a snake's belly! I also realized that with essential tremors, she's just too shaky to stick herself. Now, I understand her refusal.
What else is she refusing to do because she doesn't remember how or can't. Mom is just stubborn enough not to tell me. So, I have to stealthily guess.
By the way, Mom is now very compliant about her diet, about letting me check her blood sugar levels and giving her insulin. Exercise, not so much. Well, OK, not at all.
Boo has determined that our home is the second floor in Mom's house. I guess that's good inasmuch as we'll be here for several more days until we know how Mom reacts to insulin and until she understands the importance of an appropriate diet and knows the symptoms of both high and low blood sugar.
Last night Boo told Mother that he and Boudreaux were going home to bed. I held my breath because home was definitely not in the picture right then. He and the cat marched right upstairs. Boo went to bed. Boudreaux caught two more mice and left them for me beside his food upstairs. (Why are there mice upstairs?)
Mom has named the upstairs bedrooms. One is the Sunshine Bedroom. It is bright and sunny. The other is the Antique Bedroom. It contains a rope bed that Mother and Daddy bought and restored years ago, an antique dresser (maybe a family heirloom?) and a tongue and groove chest. Who names the rooms in their house? Evidently my Mother does.
Boudreaux has claimed the tongue and groove chest as his own. It's in a dormer window with a cushion. He's convinced that this is his spot. If we lose him or he gets too quiet. He's generally on his chest watching the birds and washing his beautiful red fur coat or napping.
Boo and Mother are planning shrimp for dinner tonight. Mother heard that the truck stop just outside of town sells the best shrimp in town. OK, let's see, there's only one other place to eat in this town. So, it's possible that it is the best. There's not a lot of competition for the Best Shrimp in Town title.
Last Friday I baked shrimp with lemon slices, lemon butter and Italian seasoning and served it with cheese grits. I told Boo it was polenta with cheese. He was fooled about three minutes. That man hates grits. I thought all Southerners had an inborn love for grits. It appears that not all Cajuns do.
Because of Mom's increasing health issues, I've begun a home health notebook for her. I'm amazed at all that I don't know about her health. I'm also amazed at all the forms that I'm using for her regularly. Well, we are just learning about what helps control her diabetes and what makes it more difficult to control. I'm keeping a chart with her blood sugar levels and units of insulin given. This will be an ongoing chart. Right now, I'm keeping a very accurate intake sheet for Mom also. I imagine I'll only use this while we're stabilizing her blood sugar levels. She has a blood pressure and pulse chart and another chart for daily notes and exercise log (if she'll actually exercise.)
I've got to make a detailed medical history for her, a current list of medical providers, update her medication list and, oh, never mind, I'm tired just thinking about all that I need to do there. Pretty soon, I'll be updating my Home Health Notebook post with links to forms that I've found useful.
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