Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fashion Queen at the Doctor's

Hooray! Mom got through two months without seeing a doctor or making a trip to the emergency room--for the first time in years.
Her doctor visit today was just a check-up, optimistically scheduled two months ago in the hope that she could last that long without any intervening trips. And she made it.
All her meds seem to be adjusted just right, from Coumadin to keep her blood thin and prevent blood clots to Exelon and Remeron, to keep her mood stabilized.
However, the doctor she's been seeing for a year and a half is now on medical leave until January for a pregnancy, so we had to see another doctor from the same practice.
I figured this doctor, who is at a different location, would have Mom's chart and all her information.
Wrong. The most recent visit available by computer was last January, so the doctor had no idea what current issues she was supposed to be checking on.
After reviewing Mom's vitals taken today, she was basically leaving the agenda up to me:
"What concerns do you have?'
I was unprepared. Except for information about Mom's visit to the orthotics specialist and his concerns about the contractures of her feet (both equino and varus), I didn't have much to say. I didn't bring the notes from our last doctor visit.
"Since last November, Dr. Charette has had her meds pretty well calibrated... her health is fairly stabilized."
I mentioned Lewy Body, the broken hip two years ago, and the angioedema of the tongue and throat a year ago this month. Forgot to mention the pacemaker put in last September.
Mom tried to tell a dramatic story about a delivery in which one more baby was found amid the afterbirth.
Actually, the whole visit was kind of pointless, except that we met Dr. Rosen.
John tried to get me to cancel the appointment because I realized just yesterday that I'm not really up to pushing the wheelchair from Ocean View to the doctor's office and back. I didn't want to cancel, so he kindly ended up pushing the wheelchair over and returning in an hour for us.
Afterward seeing Dr. Rosen, she and I went to the lab to have her blood drawn and check her prothrombin time.
"Whoa, here's the fashion queen!" the phlebotomist greeted her.
And yes, her outfit today was a bit dramatic, as usual: a long-sleeved white shell with a pink seersucker sleeveless blouse over it (why, I'm not sure), pink slacks, her best pearls, a matching pearl bracelet, and her pressed-orchid see-through handbag made from real flowers, all in pink. With of course, her rabbit-fur trimmed sweater around her shoulders, rose lipstick, and a touch of pink make-up on her cheekbones.
"What a tight sweater!" the lady continued. "Is your daughter trying to get you a doctor for a husband?"
Afterward: "Bye, Miss Evelyn! See you next month."
I thought I was pushing around the star of Hello, Dolly!


Deb Peterson said...

Anne--I have just discovered your blog and still have a lot to read, but I wanted to leave a quick comment from someone on a similar journey (alongside a Mom with dementia due to Alzheimer's). Your posts are wonderful--full of love and humor and life. I know how hard it can be, but I hope keeping the journal helps you. It certainly helps folks like me, who can tune in and possibly share stories among ourselves. I've subscribed to your feed so I can keep track of how your journey is progressing. Even though the particulars of our journeys differ, I can see a lot of my Mom in this entry (and the earlier ones I've read).

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