Sunday Chat with Mom

Mom left voicemail late this afternoon, and again at 7PM. In between her calls, the nurse at her community called to let me know flu was in the building, and ask permission to start mom on Tamiflu as a preventative. I asked the nurse if mom’s description of residents being ‘under quarentine’ was accurate. The nurse said they are encouraging residents to remain in their apartments, and that if they really needed to move about the community, to wear a mask for protection.

I took a deep breath and called mom back. She said ‘strange things are going on:’

  • “I have no electricity.” Before I could respond to her claim, she said that she had over head lights but,
  • The TV wasn’t working and,
  • She hasn’t had heat for 3 days.
  • The person who was supposed to come up to work on the heat today didn’t show up.
First I worked with her on the TV, asking if the remote’s batteries could be dead. She claimed she barely ever used the remote, so dead batteries didn’t make sense. I stopped myself from explaining battery shelf life. We then moved onto finding the small buttons that every remote driven TV has on its side or bottom. Mom said there weren’t any. I replied that I’d need glasses to find them because the buttons are so tiny. Mom didn’t bite. 
We managed to avoid discussing the heat, but didn’t avoid the usual dialog:
  • Dr. O has cleared me to return home.
  • I don’t know what I’m waiting for (regarding returning home).
  • I need a car.
  • My license is OK.
I dutifully acknowledged what she said without agreeing or disagreeing, and then ‘reminded’ her about the follow-up optometrist appointment she has. This took explaining, which, in the moment, she understood. 
Mom told me all about Elvis, and asked if I’d met him. Then twice, in quick succession, she said I should meet him. Bottom line is they’re doing well together. As we talked, Elvis was looking out the window over the tennis court (parking area for the pre-school next door). 
It was pretty easy to get mom laughing, and engaged with what’s been happening with us. I told her about a cat related childhood memory, and about the bird that flew into our second story window at full bird-speed this morning, while I was reading the paper by said window. She was delighted to know the bird, who then fell two stories, was observed to recover with her mate at her side, and fly away. Overall a pretty good conversation..

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