Mom had her annual appointment with the lovely, gracious, and kind Dr. B, the optometrist, today. The highlights of our time together were:

  • I knocked at mom’s apartment door three times, with each knock consisting of 6-taps, this morning, and waited a couple of minutes for her to answer. Nada. I returned to the concierge who radioed for care staff asking where the last place was they’d seen mom. Turns out mom was in her apartment reading on her bed with Elvis, but simply didn’t hear me. One of the sweet care gals let me in, and I greeted mom.
  • Mom asked her usual round of questions, twice, regarding the appointment, the weather, and the location of her keys, which I watched her put in her purse only seconds before! Then, for the first time ever she,
  • Went to the loo before we left, but did not close the bathroom door. This struck me as odd. Had we been at a dark campground making a potty run before bed, or on a job site with limited facilities, sure, but mom, while not a potty-prude, has always observed bathroom decorum if not for herself, at least for others.
  • The AL community has a new electronic sign-in/out system for the residents. Mom had a hard time navigating this. Part of the challenge is she’s not used to typing on a touch screen. However, I noticed that she was having trouble with the QWERTY keyboard on the screen. She spent her entire professional life typing, going from a manual typewriter, to an IBM Selectric II, to a (kicking and screaming) computer.
  • On our way out I filled in where we were going, and who she was with. The return info required was much simpler. She, without rancor, commented that it was much easier when they used paper. Knowing all the great reasons for the electronic system, I agreed with her.
  • As we pulled out from the community, my husband’s car scolded us that mom’s seatbelt wasn’t engaged. I reminded her. She, without sliding into a monologue about needing to buy a new car, said, “Oh, these newer cars are so comfortable, that you simply don’t know your belt isn’t buckled.” She buckled up and away we went.
  • Once at the eye clinic, a tech took us in for the pre Doc tests. She asked mom if there had been any medication changes. Mom said, “No.” I wrote down the changes on a piece of paper and handed the note to the tech as we left the room saying, “I found this on the floor.” The tech took the note from me with casual thanks, and then she got it.
  • Mom’s vision has changed only slightly. Not enough for the doctor to suggest new glasses, but she did put in the new Rx in case the current pair of glasses get lost or damaged.
  • On our way back to the community I told mom about upcoming plans for her birthday (she was surprised to know it was next week), and that I’m waiting on a referral to go through for a specialist for her knee, which continues to bother her. I tossed in a couple more bits and pieces of family trivia as well. Today my information avalanche didn’t cause mom to ask or reconfirm dates/stats . This is another shift. In the recent past she’d ask multiple times about ‘future dates.’ It’s ok.

This is the third time in a row spending time with mom where she hasn’t leapt onto the return-to-the-Island bandwagon. She was sweet, gracious, and appreciative. I can’t depend on this as a trend, which causes me a certain amount of anxiety, but this is a gentler anxiety than what came before.

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