Good Days / Bad Days

A Happy Day

A Happy Day

Getting an Eye Shot

Getting an Eye Shot

I want to begin this post by saying that my mother has been remarkable. She has cooked, cleaned, and done many things to take care of herself for a long time. This post is about changes that befall all of us as we get older.

It all started trying to get glasses. The eye doctors all said she would need 3 different lenses; one for distance, one for the computer, and one for reading. That was 3 years ago and off we went to the eye glass store to get new glasses. She had been diagnosed with wet macular degeneration in one eye and was getting a shot monthly to slow the eventual blindness down. Over the last 3 years she has gone through many pairs of glasses trying to find the perfect pair.

On our last visit she said she wanted to ‘drink champagne and go dancing’ because finally she could see. This has happened before and within 30 days she was complaining about how they could not make glasses right. The real problem as her doctors say is that her vision is bad and changes hourly. As you age vision and the thinking process that turns what comes into your eyeball into images that you understand don’t work as well as they do when you are younger. If your knees can wear out why can’t the vision part too?

Enough background. She decided that I was not going to try and get the eye store to make another pair of lenses for her at no cost after 90 days and 4 new lenses. This caused her to get my sister-in-law and then my brother to take her directly to the store. My sister-in-law and brother never mentioned her request and when they each separately took her they were met with the same response of no more free lenses. They would make a pair of single vision glasses for the computer for a cost. This agitated my mother. (see for information on what agitation is and other terms mentioned in this post.) The agitation brought on an ‘event’ . The event had her struggling between going to the emergency room, urologist, or getting the CDC to check the bad water coming out of the faucet that was making her sick.

My sister-in-law and brother both thought that I was ‘denying her medical care’ because she was not taken to every doctor alive. She had called the doctor’s and they had said that there was no problem and if she still felt bad in a week to call them. She was having an ‘event’ and it was a bad week for both my mother and me. Thank goodness it ended but it had been the first time that her condition had escalated to this point and was an eye opener. I immediately changed her physician to a geriatric specialist and she is now under care of a doctor who understands the mental decline that we will all eventually go through.

She has been having good days since then and we are talking about making sure that I have all of her information about finances, doctors, and medical directives. I also must get a durable power of attorney so that I can authorize her desires when she cannot. Whoever is the primary caretaker should have a medical directive and durable power of attorney.

More information:

The Alzheimers Organization

10 Common Symptoms of Dementia

Detailed Dementia Information

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