Robert had two doctor appointments on Monday. I schedule his GP appointments for Monday mornings so Robert can visit on Sunday and have an overnight visit. I’m carefully counting the overnights since we are only allotted 73 for the entire year. (I did find out that we can pay $182 per night if we go over the limit). It’s great to have a back-up plan but sheesh – for that amount Robert should be staying in a fancy hotel not sleeping on a sofa bed in the middle of my family room!
His second appointment was with the Memory Specialist and
was set for Monday afternoon. Even
though I had to take a full day off work in order to accommodate the appointments
it worked out perfectly.
Except for the rain.
I forget that Robert does not like to get wet (he won’t
argue about his showers but he does want to dry off pretty quickly).
We set out for the first appointment only to have Robert
stop in his tracks once we went out the front door because it was raining.
“Can you open the umbrella, please?”
I’m carrying Robert’s “just in case of an accident” bag, my
purse, my bag with information for the doctor and trying to steer Robert toward
the car. I thought we could make a run
“Robert, the car is just around the corner of the
house. Get moving.”
He won’t budge. I expect
to hear him start screeching, “I’m melting, I’m melting!” any minute now.
Instead he says, “My walker is getting wet.”
Okay, okay. The
umbrella is now open. I’m holding it
over you and your walker (oh, never mind me over here getting soaked – thank goodness
I have a hood!).
We get to the car and he makes his slow climb into it while
I’m still juggling the (open) umbrella, bags, purse and now the walker which he
has let go of.
He gets in the car but I can tell he’s worried about his wet
walker. I assure him I brought a towel
so he can dry it off once we get to the doctor’s office. This seems to satisfy him.
We’re off to see Robert’s new GP since he no longer sees the
New Home doctor. Remember the guy who
didn’t even realize Robert had been in the hospital, didn’t notice his pneumonia
nor had any idea Robert had seizures even though he had been “treating” him for
a year and a half?
Yeah, Robert has a new doctor now. But I’m not bitter.
Robert has his own doctor now and sees her every 60 days
since that is the rule of New Home (presumably following a rule set by the
state). The Most Awesome House Manager attends
these appointments and is tasked with bringing the doctor’s orders prepared by
the New Home nurse so Robert’s doctor can sign off on his medication refills.
Robert has seen this GP three times now and she is really
terrific. She is friendly and
personable. She reads the chart (what a
concept). She listens to what I have to
say. She thinks it is unnecessary to see
him so frequently but does anyway.
The House Manager came to the appointment frustrated and
without doctor’s orders. Apparently, New
Home nurse did not prepare the doctor’s orders this time. Or last time.
Oh, and not the time before that.
(That’s three for three if you’re keeping score).
This is more frustrating for the House Manager than it is
for me (although it’s going to get pretty frustrating very quickly if Robert
runs out of his medications). I’ve been
trading calls with the area director to see how we can resolve this issue. Unfortunately, this type of disorganization
(or just plain incompetence) just creates more work for the House Manager and, frankly,
is quite embarrassing in front of the doctor.
Doctor’s orders or not, by 10:00 a.m., the doctor had given
Robert a clean bill of health and we had his next appointment scheduled within
the 60 day timeframe. The doctor’s office is mere minutes from my
house so we made a quick stop so I could get a coffee and Robert could get a
shake and we were home.
The plan was to have an early lunch and then get to his next
appointment in plenty of time (allowing for last minute bathroom breaks or
paralysis in the rain). Since I never
know how long those appointments will last, I planned on having Robert over for
dinner after the appointment and then taking him home.
At the appointment, Robert did the usual battery of
cognitive and physical tests. There is always
more than one doctor at these appointments (after all, it is a teaching
hospital) and they confirmed he was not walking as well as he was last year. There was a debate whether the loss of his
right field of vision was encroaching on the center field of vision. They obviously had a difference of opinion on
the matter and stepped out of the room to discuss this. When they returned, the vision tests were
redone and the senior doctor’s opinion that the loss did not include the center
field won out.
The right field of vision is still worse than it was last
year which would have been good to know earlier in the day when I held up a
banana in one hand and an apple in the other and asked Robert which he wanted
to eat with his lunch.
He couldn’t even see the apple so he thought I was only
holding a banana (and probably thought I was crazy for giving him a choice of a
banana or . . . nothing). Once I realized
he couldn’t see the apple, I moved it so he could see it and he chose
Robert does like to eat.
The appointment continued with Robert asked to write a sentence. Usually, he writes “God loves you” but this
time he added “if you are a Christian.”
I actually think he made the sentence longer because the doctor asked
him to include a noun and a verb and a subject and Robert looked at him like he
was speaking a foreign language. (Note
to doctor: Let’s pass on the diagram a sentence test next time).
Robert knew he was supposed to write a sentence and knew he
was supposed to do something “extra” but didn’t know what. He just decided to make it longer to appease
Once we were done, we walked out to the car and the rain had
stopped. Robert was convinced it was a
blessing from God. I tried to prepare
him that it was still going to rain later but he wasn’t having any of it. God stopped the rain and he wasn’t going to
let me ruin the moment.
In other words, I couldn’t rain on his parade. Bah da bum.
(I can’t resist a good pun).
I picked up a cheeseburger and fries for his dinner since by
this time I was too tired to cook.
Robert got in the house and started watching the weather report while
eating dinner. After a few minutes, I
realized the weather report was actually a special program because there were possible
tornado sightings in the county where New Home is located.
Great. I get to drive
45 minutes into a rainstorm which may or may not include funnel clouds. (Apparently, I should stop questioning
blessings when Robert declares one.)
After a few texts with the Most Awesome House Manager, I
decided to keep Robert overnight again (shh! It’s a secret!) and take him back
to New Home in time for his morning medications. He was thrilled to stay another night and I
was thrilled I didn’t have to drive into a storm (even though it meant waking
up at 4:00 a.m.).
Two appointments, lots of rain and a few surprises. Not a bad day at all!