Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Caring for Mom

I’m at Mom’s today. Came over for a follow-up doctor appointment. She had been having abdominal pain for months, and every visit the doctor would poke around and say he didn’t feel anything. Finally last visit he agreed to a CT scan to rule out any number of possible culprits. I know Mom was worried about it being something serious, so I drove over today to be with her—just in case.

The good news is that that CT was clear. No problems. So what’s causing the pain? The doctor thinks it’s probably adhesions from surgeries many, many years ago. The bad news is that there is nothing that can be done for those, so she will continue to live in pain.

I’m realizing that as she ages, there will be more and more that medicine can’t fix. Aches and pains that she will have to live with. She has terrible problems with her feet, and although she’s seeing a good podiatrist, there’s little he can do. She’s suffering from peripheral neuropathy, but again, what can be done?

I confess, I expect medicine to be able to fix and cure and make life better. The reality is that the older we become, the less likely it is to make a measurable difference.

I also think that with Mom there is a bit of the victim mentality. Although she says she doesn’t need me to come all the time, I think she is enough of a drama queen to make sure I have reasons to come back fairly regularly. She wants to be independent, but she also wants to know that someone cares.

I try to get her to exercise, which I think is perhaps the most effective thing she can do. Just keep moving. But she hates exercise—I knew I came by that dislike honestly! It’s so easy for her to procrastinate until it’s too late. Her mobile home park has a pool, so she should be able to get some good water aerobic exercise this summer—if she’s willing to change her clothes and drive to the pool… When I’m here we always go to the pool and she always admits it feels good. But if no on is here to push, she’s too tired… I still haven’t learned to motivate her.

I spent the evening filling out forms for insurance, change of beneficiaries, change of title, and all the other legal mumbo jumbo that we have to do. The good news is that I think we got it all done. At least the pile she had saved for me. Tomorrow we’ll meet with the attorney again and do more paperwork, and then it’s home for a busy weekend.

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1 comment(s):

There IS something that can be done about adhesions, even in the elderly. Click this link:

Another woman, 81 years young also had adhesions surgery in Germany and is doing well. The truth is that adhesions sufferers cannot be helped in the US as there is no adequate barrier to keep the adhesions from forming again. Also, most surgeons are not privy to the techniques that are used in Europe.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:40 PM  

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