I want to start with the fact that I love my mother. Now everything else below will be a rant on how ill-prepared I am to take care of anyone.
Don’t worry about elder abuse here. I’m fine. I felt the same way when I was handed over each of my children. How in the world does anyone feel that I am competent enough to be responsible for another life? I’m even stressed about my chickens and dog. Add a few humans to the mix, and I’m on a WebMD Googling tunnel straight to hell.
Besides a bevy of care workers, my mother has the support of an extended family network. With family stretching from “sea to shining sea,” it is never difficult to find someone she knows who matches her symptoms, real or imaginary. I thought forcing an iPad on her was such a great idea. “It can be used to video chat with grandchildren,” I said. “It can be used to help you feel connected,” I said. Now we are receiving medical advice from such a wide range of sources my mantra currently includes, “That sounds inventive. Let’s ask your doctor.”
When COVID vaccination spots opened up, my mother cleared the requirements with 30 years to spare. Family members’ good intentions weren’t taking into consideration her fractured spine and transport issues. An extended drive is out of the question. For some reason, the words “working on it” do not instill confidence. It does not stop people from emailing, texting and phoning their advice. Again, with so much advice, it makes me wonder why I’m the one taking care of her. Surely there is someone else more qualified. Anyone?
Getting her an appointment feels like entering an online contest, but with insurance. Each local vaccine center fills up as soon as an announcement is made. Getting the coveted appointment is akin to winning the lottery, but we pay and she gets a shot.
It finally happened. We won! We won! A location opened up close to home. I’m looking forward to wheeling her chair through the pharmacy gauntlet. I’ve asked her not to touch anything, but being homebound in the winter is difficult. This is the first outing since her accident. She is eager to see a different view, even if it’s a different amazing health care worker in a mask. I want to make sure she only brings home a new vaccination card, not a different disease. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Keep trying for those appointments, if you are eligible. Read the paperwork carefully. It will be worth it when we can all gather together again.
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