Mary

So here we are in the month of August already. It has been two months since Mary’s fall that fractured her hip up in Utah. We arrived back in LA on June 29.

Physically, she is making good progress. We are taking her for outpatient PT twice a week. She is seeing Amanda  who is the same therapist who was helping her after her shoulder surgery. We take her to church on Sunday and our Bible study meeting on Wednesday morning. We take her to some various lodge activities (mostly where there is food involved, like pot luck suppers, etc). Everyone is happy to see her. They give her hugs. I think she enjoys seeing everyone.

Getting ready to go somewhere with her takes twice as long. Paula has to make sure that she gets dressed. Someone :(either Paula or I) have to help her with her socks and shoes. And off we go to the elevator. Woe unto us if the elevator is out of service. She really can’t handle stairs anymore. Luckily, there are two elevators in the building, but the other elevator is twice as far to walk to. Then load her into the car and fold up the walker and throw it in the back seat. Off we go.

We just received her HP placard for her from the California DMV. That will help in some places. We submitted the paper work to her doctor as soon as we got back to San Pedro. But sometimes the HP spaces aren’t very close or already taken.

So Paula asks her last night before she went to bed. Did you do your exercises? The answer, NO! I’m tired, I’m not going to do them. She was sounding like a child telling her mother “I will NOT take my medicine!”  We tell her, “If you don’t do your exercises, healing will take longer.” Also this morning, she was complaining about arthritis pain. Did you take your meds last night (which includes pain med for arthritis)? Of course not. Paula needs to make sure she takes her meds. She won’t do it on her own. The older she gets, the more child like she becomes.

It is always a struggle to understand what she likes to eat. She has told us that she doesn’t like pasta or pizza. Okay. But then she sees an article in the Sunday newspaper about homemade pizza with fresh tomatoes and anchovies. She decides that she would like to try that. But you don’t like pizza, I tell her. Never mind just do what I ask.

While we’re on the subject of food. We try real hard to set portion sizes such that she finishes everything on her plate. Otherwise we end up having half a dozen left-over plates in refrigerator. We also end up with half glasses of wine (her wine of choice is white zinfandel) and buttermilk. How someone can drink wine and buttermilk at the same time is beyond me. But whatever, if Mary wants buttermilk and wine, then she gets buttermilk and wine. I just wish she would finish it.

So what does Mary like to drink? In no particular order, she likes Dr Pepper (not diet Dr P). We usually get the two liter bottle for her. Buttermilk, White Zinfandel (she usually has a glass at dinner time. The cheap stuff is fine ($7.50 for 2 liter). I doubt that there is such a thing as expensive White Zin) and finally she likes to drink some kind of juice (usually, Cranberry-Apple or something similar.)

She is scheduled next week for a follow up visit to her neurologist. She has hydro encephalitis or water on the brain. Neurologist sees her about every six months. MRI about once a year. She complained to us about why she had to see him, he can’t do anything for me. Which is true. The only solution is surgery and that is not a particularly good option for someone her age. The most noticeable outward symptom is what is called “Old lady shuffle”. Mary has been trying diligently to walk with a normal stride, heel toe, heel toe, heel toe. Here’s and article about the disease. The doctor tells us what to expect as the condition worsens. Problems are motor skills, incontinence, eventually death.

So Paula and I are doing the best we can. Wednesday night was date night. We went out to see a movie without Mary. The movie we saw was “Boyhood“. It was a long slog of 2 hrs 45 minutes. My ass was real sore after sitting through that opus. It was the story of a boy growing up. It was filmed over a 10 year period from age 8 to 18. Good film but way too long.

Next week we have tickets to see a local production of “Guys and Dolls” at the Warner Grand theater in San Pedro. The Warner Grand is a beautifully restored Art Deco theater. Once again, no Mary. She really has a hard time with theaters and uneven floor surfaces. Besides, we need the down time.

Later.

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