Mary and other news…

It’s time for an update on Mary. Paula and Mary are off to Rose’s Beauty Salon to get Mary’s hair done before Thanksgiving. So I have a couple of hours of blissful piece and quiet.

Here’s the protocol. I walk Mary down to the elevator and then down to the garage while Paula gets the car and picks her up. Get her into the front seat and buckle her up. Her walking is getting more troublesome. Paula and I call it the “old lady shuffle”. As much as she tries to keep up a normal gait, she tends to shuffle along with her cane. Her neurologist says it is likely due to her hydro-encephalitis (ie. water on her brain). He once told us that he could install a shunt to ease the build up of fluid, but surgery at her age is very risky. So she took a pass. He said that we should expect incontinence to happen. Looks like we will buying stock in Depends.

She has pretty much recovered from the hip surgery back in June. She went through a couple of months of PT. She had another fall in October. Luckily, no damage done. It’s hard to predict when it will happen. She didn’t trip over anything. She just got dizzy and down she went.

We haven’t been doing much travelling lately. We feel comfortable leaving her alone for a couple of hours, but not so much for several days. So that being the case, we didn’t go to any OES receptions this Summer. We did go to Visalia with Mary for the OES Grand Installation in October. Usually the trips are an occasion for Paula and I to relax, but when we bring Mary along we have to stay vigilant. Of course, that means there is more money left in the bank at the end of the month.

We are not quite sure how we will deal with travel next year. We really don’t want to miss MA OES Grand Chapter in May. After the holidays, we will look into respite care to get someone to stay with her while we are gone.

Back in January, we visited her primary bank office and got Mary to add us as signers on her checking and savings account. Since that time, I have been managing her finances, paying bills etc. We have also been visiting other banks to do the same. At some point we will need to revisit her will and make sure everything all of her final plans are in order. My goal is to avoid probate as much as possible.

Mary’s short term memory continues to deteriorate. She usually has to struggle to figure out what day it is. But she seems to remember that Tuesday is the day the Mike and his family come for dinner. She is always happy to Jonathan and Sarah.

The daily grind of doctor visits and PT sessions has eased somewhat. We generally offer to take her to OES meetings. Sometimes she comes, sometimes not. Game time decision. We don’t offer to take her on grocery shopping trips, too much walking for her. Besides, that is one of the times that Paula and I can get away. So much so that the grocery clerk notices when Paula isn’t with me. Of course, the grocery store has a Starbuck’s and they know what I usually order.

Well tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We are planning to have dinner with Theresa’s family in Rancho Palos Verdes. Eric has the largest house and is best able to handle a large crowd. I expect a crowd of 25 or so. There is usually three tables. One for the seniors, kids, and little kids. I will bring my iPad and play Eric’s baby grand.

That’s all for now. Time to start working on my Christmas letter.

Joe

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