If It's Tuesday

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by Margo Aparicio

Caring for a Senior Citizen involves juggling time with various doctor's visits. My mother has a variety of things to contend with such as diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, incontinence, extremely limited vision, dementia, and she's in a wheelchair from osteoarthritis, but she's absolutely adorable. She has a great personality.

For me, there is getting her to her primary care physician, her podiatrist, her opthalmologist, her eye surgeon, for a while a urologist, occasional lab tests, and an annual mammogram.

Thankfully, my mother is very cooperative. Hey, it's getting out of the apartment for awhile, and usually there is a treat involved afterwards.

Mom's hearing is atrocious. I could shout at the top of my lungs, "Ma! Where'd you put your keys?" and I would get a response like, "Yeah, I'll have a cup of tea." All the neighbors could hear me, but she couldn't.

After three years of scraping together money and with the financial assistance of Lutheran Care for the Aging in San Francisco, we were able to afford two very badly needed basic behind-the-ear hearing aids. But this involved a hearing test and several appointments for making the molds and adjusting the fit.

I took my poor mom in to have her left hearing aid adjusted for fit for a third time, and they decided to make a whole new ear mold. Mom was wincing and crying out in pain, but I thought she was just putting on a show, so I tried to convince her to be brave while they packed her ear. It was not to be, so they looked deep in her ear and discovered it was bleeding inside. The left hearing aid had fit so tightly, it had rubbed it raw! Poor baby. She had been very brave.

Diabetics don't heal as quickly as those of us fortunate not to have the disorder, so it was another eight weeks before we could make the new ear mold for her and go through yet another fitting.

As for medical appointments, if it's Tuesday, it must be opthalmology ... ?

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