Emily calls today with a report on Mom and questions about her accommodative AFOs (ankle-foot orthotics).
"Are the orthotics fitted for the right and left foot? Because they don't seem to be identified as left or right, but her ankle contracture is greater on her right foot than her left."
"The orthotics guy said either one could go on either foot," I answer.
"Well, her feet are different so they should be marked left and right," Emily explains. She is a registered physical therapist. "Also I brought some extensions for the leg rests on her wheelchair, but they don't fit. They're from someone who no longer needs them."
"You don't want to go down to Wishing Well Medical Equipment and order ones that fit?" I ask.
"I'm just trying to recycle--to save the expense by getting them used," Emily explains.
"Okay, fine," I agree.
"She's pretty out of it today. The caregiver had trouble getting her out of bed."
"You mean she's having a sleepy day?"
"No, she's not sleepy, just weak. She has pain in her leg from her hip. Didn't eat much lunch--said she couldn't eat because of the pain."
"So she's not going to walk today?" I ask.
"There's no way they could walk her today. She can't even transfer properly. Her right foot is not flat, so when she stands she puts all the weight on her left foot. Of course it hurts."
"Oh dear," I murmur.
"To transfer her properly, she should do some of the work, take some of her own weight. But to make her do it right is harder on the back of the person doing the transferring. I gave up because it was hurting my back, and I'm sure the caregivers aren't going to hurt their backs either. They'll just pick her up and lift her. To do it right takes two or three people today."
"Well, Racquel will be coming today, and I'm sure she won't do anything that might hurt her back," I reflect.
"I'm going to go out now and get some more Depends," Emily continues. "Shall I use her ATM card as a credit or debit purchase?"
"Either way, it ends up as debit. Connie made a list--she probably needs more plastic gloves too."
"Yeah, Mom's saying something about she wants to hire me," Emily adds.
"Oh, right! She came up with that yesterday. I guess she figures that while I'm out of commission, she'll hire you to come more often."
"It wouldn't be right... she needs all her funds."
"She doesn't realize you drive an hour and a half minimum to get here, in the best of traffic," I note. "But it's just five minutes for me."
"I'll try to come next week, maybe bring Scott or Andrew to talk with Marie while I visit Mom," Emily plans.
"Sounds good," I say. "Thanks for coming today."