Today was a day not unlike a lot of other days around here; get up, strategically try to time my entrance into the kitchen so that I can make my morning coffee (in peace and quiet before the deluge of chatter dominate my day), meet Miss Cathy in the living room to take her daily blood stik (since she has type 2 diabetes) turn on the TV for her (only if it’s a bad day and she’s forgotten how to operate the remote), then back into the kitchen to start breakfast.
But looking at the calendar on the wall across from the stove I could see that it was also a ‘Doctor Day’ so preparations (in addition to her daily routine) had to be made to get Miss Cathy out of the door and to her respective physician on time.
I would have to make sure that she was bathed, dressed and be prepared to answer whatever questions she’d have (usually the same ones she’d already asked but obviously forgotten) depending on who we were seeing and why we were going.
After weeks and months of specialist after specialist we were off to see her “Geriatrician” (think ‘Pediatrician’ for old people) who just ‘happens’ to be her primary care physician, Dr G.
It makes sense; she’s been going to Dr G for more than thirty years so if anybody knows her inside and out (literally and figuratively) it would be him.
I asked Dr G to take on the additional role so there’d be one doctor (and someone she’s comfortable with and can trust) that is sort of the ‘ring master’ of the circus of care.
In addition to being a ‘Doctor Day’ it was(unfortunately) a ‘running late’ day, too. For some reason mom was still in her room watching TV when we should have been getting into the car.
It still amazes me that for someone who asks what day and time her appointments are over and over, when the day arrives it’s a 50/50 chance whether or not she’ll be ready on time, running late, forget all together or sitting on the sofa, purse and cane in hand ready to go hours before we have to leave….guess with all those variables I should use different odds, oh well…back to getting Miss Cathy outta her room.
TyTip: When possible, tell your loved one about appointments outside of the home a day or two (at most) in advance. The less lead time they have, the less time they will have to fret, worry and/or obsess over the upcoming event or appointment AND the less time they will have to ask you question after question (usually the same ones over and over) regarding said event or appointment.
Remember, changes in their routine (no matter how benign we may think) can be very stressful-even scary to a loved one with Alzheimer’s.