Mom has been experiencing atrial fibrillation, or rapid heart rate. We’ve been working with a cardiologist at OHVI. The medication has not been working so the doctor scheduled an ultrasound. The day of the appointment rolled around and I loaded Mom and Dad up in my car and we headed off to the clinic.
We roll up to the front door and find a wheelchair for Mom. If you have been to any medical clinic lately you know the wheelchairs are getting larger and larger. I have to believe that the three of us look a lot like the Keystone Cops, neither Dad nor I are very good at negotiating hallways, elevators, other patients and doors. In the midst of the navigational chaos Mom announces “There is enough room in here for 3 of my friends to ride along!” Dad and I chuckle and agree and scrape the elevator door as we back her in.
There is always a poignant moment during the check-in process as I watch Mom, who suffers from advanced macular degeneration along with her Alzheimers, place her index finger next to mine so she knows where to start her signature. Her shaky, scratchy signature completed mostly from the ingrained instinct of signing that name for almost 59 years.
Back in the exam room the imaging specialist tells us that Mom needs to strip from the waste up, gives us a gown and leaves the room. I go over to help Mom undress as the steps to complete that simple task sometimes escape her. After getting her shirt off I step behind her to unfasten her bra. She is sitting on the exam table and as I look down I can see she has on more than one pair of underwear. Carefully sticking a finger down her drawers I count not one, not two, but three pair of underwear. So I chuckle and say “Mom, did you know you have on three pair of underwear?!?” She perks up and says “Have I?!?” And I say “Yes, a beige pair, a white pair and a black pair. Did you have trouble deciding which color you wanted to wear?” She shrugged her shoulders and replied “Better safe than sorry!”
The even more puzzling aspect of this scenario is the night before had been Wash Mom Wednesday. After her shower I had helped her put on the black pair and sometime between that night and the next morning the black pair was the outer layer of her underwear ensemble. Well, as a wise old woman says “Better safe than sorry!”