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Cheaper Than Therapy, Part II

Continuing the saga from yesterday's post:

Thursday, May 9, 2008:
Mom is visiting me in NC and has her second (at least) stroke. She spends a couple of days in UNC and then I drive her home to FL on Monday. Everyone wants to be home when they don't feel good. Not to mention she says she wants to go home every 1/2 hour. If I had a pair of ruby slippers, I would throw them at her.
My sister comes out from Oregon on Thursday, I come back up here on Sunday. I am exhausted.

Mom has to check her sugar levels four times a day and cannot remember how the glucose meter works from one time to the next. (She used one every day for 20+ years) Her food needs to be cut for her because she can't make a fist or close her hand enough to hold a utensil. We have to make sure she's not having trouble swallowing. She has physical therapy for her lost mobility. She's still smoking. (grrrrrrrr!)
She's over paid one credit card $1500 and is only making minimum payments on others. She's been late on her mortgage and utility bills several times. I set up auto payments on her mortgage and a couple of other bills. We get Kay added on her bank account in case she needs to sign some checks. This is a woman who handled the family's finances and now she can't understand a bill. It literally took her two hours to write a check. To say she does not like us messing in her business is an understatement. She gets furious with us when we throw away 8 year old food from the freezer. "Stop going through my stuff!" OMG.

At one point, my mom [thinks she] locks my sister out of the house and "steals" her own car to meet the stupid boyfriend at Huddle House. This incident was actually pretty funny; my sister is as mad as a feral cat being given a bath, and is roaring over the phone: "Mom locked me out of the house - that bitch!" "Mom STOLE the car!" "I'm calling the police! Wait, do you think I should call the police? That bitch!!" "She just looked right at me and kept backing down the driveway. That bitch! I AM calling the police!" I have to admit I was howling with laughter.
Kay calls the police and of course they can do nothing, because, 1.) it's her car and 2.) she has a valid license. Mom doesn't remember (or says she doesn't) talking to the police in Huddle House. Kay took her keys after that episode though, we were afraid she would hurt herself and/or someone else.
(FYI - Huddle House is a smaller, cheaper, greasier Denny's - if that's possible)

During this month Kay is taking Mom to the doctor, medical supply stores, helping her with her physical therapy, getting a Life Alert bracelet. We're also doing James Bond secret agent stuff - with the help of Aunt Trish, who gets Mom out of the house on several occasions, so Kay can look for the will, which we never find. We're worried about that, so we get a new one drawn up, and get it down there to Kay just in the nick of time. We also move money out of Mom's account, in cause the evil boyfriend has some access that we don't know about. Thank goodness for Amy at the Credit Union, she was a huge help.

I go back down Memorial Day weekend and things have not improved very much at all. The glucose meter and insulin sliding scale are beyond her, one of us needs to oversee the process every single time.

My sister is convinced that Mom can't live by herself, but my brother is not totally on board yet. There was a fair bit of denial going on with me too, but my sister, who spent 4 weeks with her, is adamant about her not being capable.

At any rate, my sister needs to go home and we need to do something - fast. Thanks to my friend Barbara D., who knows the good places around here and went with me to Emerald Pond, an independent living facility. They happen to have an opening, so we grab it.
Now all we have to do is tell her, move her three states and we're good! More on that tomorrow...

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