Mom’s Knee, Part Two

I got to the community early in order to connect with the nursing staff before we had to leave for Dr. O’s. Knowing the exact the path of mom’s knee problem was important. I also wanted their observations of how mom was doing since the medication change.

Nursing reported that mom’s agitation, anxiety and paranoia was improved. They were, however, concerned about her hygiene and her ability to take care of the cat. I asked some very pointed questions for them to take to their morning stand-up meeting, and went to pick-up mom.

The apartment wreaked of cat. Elvis was king of the end of mom’s bed, but has clearly been using other places than his box to potty. The odor is detectable from outside mom’s apartment door. His box had almost no liter in it.

I herded mom, slowly, out the door to her appointment.

The lack of mom’s own historical medical information is always alarming and distressing. You also don’t simply contradict her in front of her doctors. The iPhone helps… As mom said, asserted, exclaimed, and insisted, she didn’t have any arthritis, I was able to hand my phone to Dr. O’s medical student to share that she has mad arthritis in her neck. He got brave and mentioned to her that she has arthritis in her right ankle (chart notes)… This was all in the effort of trying to find out why her knee hurt. It was swollen and tender. After lots of conversation and gentle examination, we were sent to x-ray. I knew mom was really hurting when she took me up on the offer to wait while I fetched the car from what amounted to less than 100 feet away.

We repeated the ‘drive and drop’ over to imaging. She was called quickly and it took a long time. Many patients came and went in the time I waited for mom. So, I took advantage of the time and looked through her purse!

78% of the contents of mom’s purse is Kleenex. It’s kind of like it’s in there to give shape to the purse. There was nothing that alarmed me or that I felt I needed to remove, not even the Kleenex.

After filling a prescription for beefy naproxen we returned to the AL community. Mom asked for the 17th time if I could stay for lunch, and I answered again that I was hoping to get to the rest of my lectures but we’d see her Tuesday evening. I walked her to the dining room, gave her a hug and kiss, and then bolted to the wellness office with her prescription.

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