Monday, October 17, 2016

Cherry Ames, I Am Not

I'm back from eight days in California with my recovering mother and am more clear than ever that nursing is not the field for me (not that this was ever a question). The good news is that Mom is recovering well; by the time I left, she'd been cleared to drive and was already dressing, showering, and otherwise taking care of herself (even finally applying her own bedsore cream — don't ask).

But she is ridiculously bad about remembering to take all her medicines at the right times. She does okay with the early morning and late evening doses, but she is such a scatterbrain right now, remembering her 11 a.m., lunchtime, 3 p.m., and dinnertime meds — if she's doing anything else, that thought goes right out the window. I used to have a co-worker who consistently forgot to turn in her timesheet (and thus didn't get paid that week), and I felt the same kind of incredulous exasperation. How do you not get this???

Watching my vibrant, active, confident mom transition into a little old lady (or, as she would say, LOL — what she sincerely believes the acronym stands for) is not easy, and I am not handling it outstandingly well. Her short-term memory (see pill schedule) is poor, which I found especially frustrating.

One example (of many): We visited her primary care doctor and were shown in by Nurse Candy, who took Mom's vital signs and asked her lots of questions about the surgery and rehab. Then the doc came in and Candy went out, and the doc asked Mom if she wanted a flu shot. She said yes, so he said he'd send the nurse back in.

Mom: After Pat gives me the flu shot, we can go.
Me: Is Pat the flu shot nurse?
Mom: No, she's the nurse who was in here before.
Me: You mean Candy?
Mom: Yes.
Me: Candy is Pat?
Mom: Yes! Wait . . .

Things like this happened over and over (though we always laughed about it, which is something).

Anyway. I'm back on the Right Coast now. And it is a great joy to be home, I've already taken 75 baths, though once again my editing work is on fire and I don't see a lull in sight. I also have a head cold and feel clogged and dull. I really, really, really need a true vacation!!

Ah, well. I'm home with my boys, I have paying work, Mom's doing okay — things could be worse.

(I must say: As life philosophies go, "Things could be worse" is a tad lacking in joy. I'll work on that.)

— Lady C

p.s. Here's what I read on my family "oblication" (Sexy Em):


 Who's read the latest Maisie book? I was very disappointed — how about you?


  1. Glad you're home and very glad your mom is doing better. I found it so hard to adjust to changes in my parents as they grew older. I have an older friend who is also going through this and I'm trying to marshal my experience with my parents to help me deal with it, but it is not much easier. I hope you can find comfort in knowing how much you helped during the worst of this recent surgery and recovery. That's one thing I had to try and learn -- even though I was FAR from the ideal caregiver, I was It, and that counted for a lot. Sending hugs and vibes and love. And I love "oblication"! Brilliant! -- SDF

    1. As I get some more distance and perspective, I feel somewhat less wretched about the whole experience — but only somewhat!! Thank you for your wise counsel, my friend.

  2. Too funny! Last week I was telling my dad how my son teased me for using the shorthand "k" for "OK" --- I think I am a hip, happening mom; my son does not, apparently --- and Dad randomly mentioned that he thinks LOL means "little old lady" and not "laugh out loud"! Must be a 1950s thing?

    Can I read the latest Maisie without having read all the books in the middle of the series?

    I started Truly Madly Guilty but it's just the same format of all her other books: "We should never have attended the barbecue because then our lives would still be so happy...but we did and now it's going to take another 300 pages to get to the big secret you know is coming!" Ugh.

    And your Candy/Pat story harks back to Dad and I having the "Jones" conversation, aka "How a discussion of my watching Young Frankenstein turned into a discussion of Shirley Jones' husband".


    1. My dad thought LOL stood for Lots of Love and would sign his emails that way. :-) -- SDF

    2. Young Frankenstein —> Shirley Jones — yep, sounds like a conversation with either of our parents. Yesterday Husband told me that Florence Henderson had died, and I said, "She was just here!!!" The Arlington papers were giddy about her visit. He said, "You mean, when we saw her in 'Carousel'?" I said, "Um, ELEVEN years ago? And that was Shirley Jones, not Florence Henderson." He said, "OK, so no?"