Mom greeted my eldest as someone she hadn’t seen in a long, long time, but quickly, conversationally, made us realize she thought my eldest was my youngest when she asked about my grandson. My daughter both took this in stride, and answered the question as best she could.
Mom was extremely repetitive in both asking questions and, mostly pleasant, story telling. She also talked about returning to the Island, that her doctor had given her the ‘all clear,’ buying a car, and said her license was ‘just fine.’ At lunch she said she didn’t understand why the lettuce wasn’t chilled, and further said the lettuce was left out in the kitchen, as opposed to being refrigerated, for three days.
After I said we needed to get going, mom insisted on talking about ‘this dental work.’ She said the extraction site was swollen and she’d been told to call the dentist if this happened. I encouraged her to call. This was met with, ‘We’re going to have to return earlier than next time (the follow-up appointment).’ I asked if she was experiencing pain, fever, if she was able to eat ok etc. She answered each question appropriately, while reiterating that she needed to call the dentist, and would have to be seen. I told her she’d have to talk to staff about a ride if the dentist needed to see her as my week was booked. She then riffed on the crown, thinking she could cancel it, the dentist himself, her excellent dental history, and how she didn’t understand why all of this was happening. My patience was eroding. While my mother’s dental history isn’t horrible, as the person who has done her taxes for the last 10 years (I’ve seen every medical bill), I can attest that the amount of dental care she has had is below sub-parr, at least for the last decade.
We signed out, said good-bye, and headed down the stairs where we ran into Saint Jack, who drives residents here, there, and everywhere. I let him know what was going on, as I’d previously let him know I’d always take mom to appointments, unless I let someone know… He thanked me for telling him what was afoot, just as mom entered the stairwell. In trying to avoid mom, I all but dragged my child down the next flight of stairs. She looked at me and said with a laugh, “Mom, your face turned red when Grandma entered the stairwell! You’ve committed no crime!” I replied, “I just can’t have the dental conversation with her again. I can’t do it.”
I think we were big triggers for mom today, who showed lots of signs of suffering from anxiety. It is what it is. At least Elvis was approachable, and warmed right up to both of us!