The Samurai Caregiver

Posts Tagged ‘mom

(originally posted 6-4-2009)

Most of you all know that I have been taking care of my MOM now for almost 14 years. Due to her medication regimen, alcohol has been a ‘no-no’. However, to not be so totally heartless and cruel to this once famously ‘tee-totaler’, non-alcoholic beverages like Sharps and O’Doul’s and Sparkling Ciders for New Years Eve celebrations and the like have kept her quite happy!

As my Fabulous @ Fifty year continues this year, I’ve been blessed with genes, obviously from my Mom’s side, to not really look my age…whatever 50 is supposed to look like…or whatever any age is SUPPOSED to look like…(but I digress)

….but a recent jaunt to the local …uh..BIG-MARTY, with Mom in tow left me/us empty handed as it pertains to me getting her one of her favorite adult libations.

She’s listening to her favorite talk show host out in the car, not interested in having me push her around to day so that she can see the people in the store during our weekly activity to ….uh…BIG-MARTY….and I’m flip-flopping around as fast as I can to get what’s on the list so I can get back out to her as fast as I can. She has , on three occasions tried to follow me into the store after promising me that she stay out for five minutes; fortunately – or unfortunately ( depending on how you look at it) – she hasn’t cognitively put two-and-two together when it comes to pushing the button on the seat belt to unlatch herself. One day while I did a quick trip into the Dollar Store, upon returning to the car found my lovely Louise Mommy with the passenger side door open, legs dangling out, and her hanging onto the upper strap waiting for me to come and untangle her. I’ve learned not to fuss cuz is not a fussing matter; to just be calm, get her fixed back up and ask her , gently – but very sarcastically – “…and just where were you trying to go?” It’s always one place or another, usually she says she was going to walk home – to Chicago – but that’s another story for another time.

BIG-MARTY begins to check me out, eggs, toothpaste, Tylenol, mouth wash – and then comes to a dead stop when they get to the O’Doul’s. The ‘child’ and the register says she can’t sell it to me because “you don’t look over forty”. I blushed (you can’t see it) and tell her thank you, I am so let’s just ring it up. “No, I can’t. You have to look over forty. Do you have any ID.?” I usually leave it with Louise in the car because she likes to hold my purse; it’s her security blanket. I explained, politely, to the ‘child’ that it was in the car, but I wasn’t going to go and get it right now – and that she just sold me mouth wash that had 21.6% alcohol in it without my ID as well as 10% alcohol being in the Tylenol with out ID. O’Doul’s has .5% alcohol in it.

Duh!

(Oh , why in the he!! did I say that!)

The ‘child’ called over her manager, talked her for a bit, who began to look me up and down (in the immortal words of Bernie Mac (like she was getting ready to do something to me) (smile!)) and grunted that in no way was I over forty and for her not to sell it to me until I could prove it.

…do I deal with an irrate, near convulsive Louise later when I promised her a green bottle before nitey nite that night? Hmmmmmmm…..I think not.

Flattery or no? What do you think? I didn’t have time too…just needed to get down the street to get to a store to sell me the green bottle so that I wouldn’t have a green monster on my hands later!

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Right now, my mother and I are sitting in our screened in back porch at home eating pancakes, strawberries and grits. We’ve been talking about the different birds chirping and hopping from tree to tree and watching the squirrels run back and forth across the grass.

13 years ago this week, I almost lost her to one of those “incompatible with life” diagnoses by the ‘Almighty Whitecoats’ ( of which I am one) in our traditional health care system. She had a massive brain hemorrhage and was given 96 hours to live…

I did loose my mother, the personality that was Louise up until that time, but have been blessed to get to know my mother, Louise, the personality that emerged and has evolved over these thirteen years.

As her primary caregiver, I take care of this “new” Louise and encourage her to do whatever she can for as much as she can endure each and every day. The daughter in me misses the “old” Louise, my mother, running buddy and friend, but the new and albeit, improved model [smile] does just fine too! It’s been rough [an understatement] but , fortunately, the bad times have been punctuated with long periods of very good times which continues to spur us both on and forward, each and everyday.

This afternoon, we’re going over to Stone Mountain to check out the annual Pumpkin Festival over there. We’ll probably come back pretty messy, but that all a part of it. Yesterday we went to the Great Georgia Air Show. She complained a little bit about the F-18 after burners noise, but after giving her a Coke and a smile, all the complaints subsided.

13 years and counting…

…my lucky number 13….

I cherish each and every moment, day… and ‘number’ I have with her!


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The Samurai Caregiver

Sybil L. Ingram, MBA, Ph.D.

Dr. Sybil Ingram is a respected and experienced professional in the areas of healthcare information systems and regulatory compliance issues with significant knowledge on INFOSEC, NIST, FISA, FISMA, CFR 210,211 & 820 as well as Lifespan Respite Care Act regulations. With over twenty years of healthcare experience, she has been one of the nation's foremost speakers and active consultants for the HIPAA implementation challenges, addressing all major aspects of the Administrative Simplification Subtitle and affected entities/stakeholders. Dr. Ingram has served as a clinician, clinical researcher and instructor, emergency preparedness and readiness specialist as well as serving as an independent validation and verification compliance manager for multiple national providers of healthcare services. She has held key positions for healthcare industry leaders such as HBOC/McKesson, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs, the Georgia Technology Authority and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). In addition, Dr. Ingram is nationally board certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, a former associate with the American College of Healthcare Executives, founder of Ingram And Associates, a certified INFOSEC professional by the Information Security And Audit Control Association and the US National Security Agency. As a volunteer, she is an active senior Georgia state representative for the National Family Caregivers Association and has an inventor's patent (pending) registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Organization. Dr. Ingram speaks nationally and internationally on topics that address information privacy and security as well as family care giving issues.

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