Sunday, June 19, 2016

Aging parents: changes and challenges (6/19/16, part 10)

Sunday, June 19th: I haven't written anything in several days about this journey but lately I'm learning a lot of things. Last Wednesday was an appointment with the family doctor that mom hasn't seen in two years but when we arrived I was told it had been cancelled and the doctor wasn't in the office that day. Trying hard to be polite through gritted teeth, I asked them to please work us in with another doctor since I'd driven four hours for the appointment.

They did get us in to see a different one, but unfortunately were unable to retrieve any of the records from the hospital visit the week before. We were told another appointment would need to be set up and that we should plan to return. Guess this is the first of many challenges in a series of what seems to be versions of frustration. After five days of mom telling me how no one would fill her prescriptions, when in reality she refused to give them to anyone who offered to run errands for her, I went and had them filled. The co-pays were ridiculously small, one $.98, another $1.15; totalling $5.14 for three. And this is what she tells people she can barely afford to pay....I've never seen or heard of co-pays that low but as with everything, she says to anyone who will listen that she has no money, can barely afford to live, etc. I resent hearing it because I know of people with real hardships, struggling to make ends meet, and this certainly isn't one of those situations. And yet there's a list of people who she frequently complains about, that are overcharging her and ripping her off, and thus they never want to return. The work which was done on the house which mom tells me is a couple of hundred dollars is in fact, a $5000 bill which she hasn't wanted to pay. I write out the check, get her to sign it, go down the street to pay the contractor and by the time I return she's wondering who wrote such a large amount out of her checkbook. We review the prescriptions, talk a little more and I leave for the four hour drive home.

On Friday the visiting nurse/physical therapist agency calls to say that unbeknown to me, mom had another appointment with a different doctor scheduled for last week. She cancelled it so now we need authorization for the home visits by obtaining a new primary care doctor. Still confused how that all happened but I get on the phone and make another appointment for this week. Not sure if the records will be transferred by then but they have been requested. The supervisor of the home health visits also mentioned that mom says she lives all alone, no acknowledgement of my other half who stays there Monday through Friday whatsoever, that she had no recollection of us even going to an appointment and apparently doesn't remember that I was even there.

Once again, I'm realizing how very little I understand about the medical process, aging, comprehension and memory loss, and the scope of what I can't grasp is overwhelming....

"Life on Delmarva" • #delmarvausa