Trading in the Cadillac for a Ferrari

Notes from the Eldercare Underground:  Thanksgiving Edition

I joined my mother at the nursing home today for their Thanksgiving dinner. 

I tell ya, they really put out quite a spread.  All the food was very good (including the coffee) and I was a member of the Clean Plate Club by the time the meal was over.

Today my mother had a little something extra to be thankful for:  she has graduated from the wheelchair to a candy-apple red walker, complete with padded seat and handbrakes. 

Yesterday I watched as her physical therapist, Joe, took her outside for a spin with her new wheels.  He was really proud that she had made so much progress, and I was amazed at how fast she could move in that thing.  I told Joe that this was the fastest I’d seen her walk in years.

Joe has a great sense of humor and had told her yesterday that he was recommending to the powers that be at the nursing home that she be allowed to jettison the wheelchair in favor of the jazzier mode of transportation.

He said he wanted her to “trade in the Cadillac for the shiny red Ferrari.”  And that’s what she did.

On another, “I can’t believe my mother said that,” note—Tammy, the director of nurses, flagged me down on my way out.  She had a couple of anecdotes about my mother she wanted to tell me.

The first one involved her getting ready for her doctor’s appointment last week.  The LVN who was helping my mother told Tammy that when she commented on how nice my mother looked, with her pretty sweater and lipstick, my mother said:  

“You never know when the doctor might be a stud.” 

OMG.  My mother said that?

And the second anecdote was when the occupational therapist was observing my mother using the bathroom to be sure she could do it safely on her own.  She didn’t quite get her pants pulled up all the way over her behind and the therapist had to point that out to her.  My mother said:

“Now you know what kind of girl I am.”

Oh boy.  I think that Ferrari has started something.

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10 thoughts on “Trading in the Cadillac for a Ferrari

  1. Of all the things I could be thankful for in this season, I never would have guessed that one of them would be that your mother didn’t get her pants pulled up all the way.

    I am so hugely pleased for you that this experience is going as well as it is. You needed it to and so did Mom. May you continue to sleep better at night.

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    • Thanks, Nance! On a separate note, I’ve tried commenting on your blog several times and blogspot kept giving me error messages. Just wanted you to know that I haven’t become antisocial all of a sudden.

      And yes, I am sleeping better at night. Or about as well as I can with two cats and an ancient toy fox terrier hemming me in. 🙂

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  2. Hey Sweetie, I hope by now that you and Mom have figured out that this move was a VERY good thing for the both of you. You aren’t in charge of day to day care and Mom good food, personal care, a social life, and a new red farrari.

    Have you had the safe sex talk with her lately? Seriously, after my dad died, I had to have that talk with Mom. As far as I know it was time well spent and not wasted. I did what I could and I certainly did not leave a box of condoms at the other bedside table. She was prepared but TMI, really. Nothing lasting but she did find a great new Bridge player.

    What you are beginning to experience will be very funny sometimes, very sad at other times, and pay attention to how much the staff will grow to love your Mom as time goes on. It will cost you that you are not her only family but it will also allow you to be in the place of being “not the only one”. My Grandma called every single nurse/caregiver “Chickie” and gave them all wedgies every chance she could. She had alzheimers and was extremely strong, a wedgie from her hurt! Each and every one of her care providers was at her memorial service.

    I’m really happy that your Mom is in a safer living situation and that it’s not all on you to provide that. Steel yourself to the fact that while you love her and want the best for her, the staff there are also becoming family for your Mom and they want the same outcome. I’m sure you know that but it’s a hard shift of thinking to live with. Sending hugs from here.

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  3. Thanks, Laurie. I have no problem with my mother becoming closer to the staff where she’s living. She has always shown more respect and affection for people who are not family than she has with me.

    Yesterday she was mad at me because she said I hadn’t told her ahead of time that she had a doctor’s appointment (I did) and when we were walking into the doctor’s building she snapped at me to “get your hand off my walker” like she used to say about her cart when I would take her grocery shopping. As long as she’s pleasant to the people who are helping her everyday, I’m good with it.

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