My mother went to the doctor, and they told her she would be seeing a different resident today. That worked out very badly last time, when the guy was just blindingly stupid in doling out conventional wisdom that makes no sense to an 84 year old woman with diabetes, degenerative joint disease and congestive heart failure.
Rather than stand up and demand to talk to her doctor of record, she just passed. She got an appointment with her old doctor, the one my mother was forced to leave two years ago when the doctor had a cerebral event and we left.
She then didn’t know where she wanted to go, and after a few rounds of “whatever you want” it was decided I would push her through the mall in the new wheelchair they bought in Florida. It’s steel rather than aluminum, heaver bigger — harder to navigate through stores — with smaller front wheels, a stiffer frame, and offset pushing handles. Whatever the reason, every grout line bumped my hands, and there are a huge number of grout lines in the floor of a modern mall. My hands still tingle unpleasantly
I asked her if she wanted to use the loo when we entered, the small one right by the elevator, the one she can easily get through. She demurred. It was about eight minutes until she decided she did need to go, and I was trapped looking for one, and the one we found was a big one, hard for walking.
Leaving the mall, my father ran a red light and a car coming had to stop before slamming into him. He backed up. We made a noise as he ran the second red light, so it was merely a close thing.
And all through this my heart was broken. Today was ESPA Lobby Day at the Capital, and I passed to try and take care of my mother. I even had to break a meeting I had been looking forward to with a smart and kind supporter. And then her medical practice humped her again, and she didn’t fight — “Well if you thought something else why didn’t you speak up? — and she told me that it was my fault I didn’t reschedule her appointment, even my truth was confirmed, that her resident only comes on Tuesday afternoons, when and if she comes.
I was crushed and I had to be nice and mellow and sweet, managing the old people with grace and calmness, whatever happened.
I remember, I remember, I remember, I forget.