Thursday, March 20, 2014


Today I took Mom to a couple of doctor appointments.  Nothing really new other than some urinary retention issue ( mom doesn't empty her bladder completly) they are going to run a couple of simple test next week.

Not the funny part.  Mom's doctor gave her a list of foods high in potassium that she should eat more of.  - waste of paper if you ask me - but while reading through she reads " cow's milk?  What's that?"  The nurse and I were milk that comes out of a cow!  And that's how my day went.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Book Worms

Finally Sonny Boy has gotten to the age where reading a good book is entertainment.  Last night we sat happily in the living room with our nose in books for several hours.  Sonny Boy comes by it naturally.  My grandmother always had her nose in a book and the family joke was that you couldn't let her go into the bookstore on a shopping trip or she'd never come back out.  Mom was always stealing my library books in high school (there wasn't a library in our little town) and currently reads a lot of fluff, but reads.  Hubby reports he was quite a book worm in elementary school and he still reads a bit when he has time.  FIL read a lot as well, evidenced by boxes and boxes of Louis Lamour we removed from his house.  We come from a long line of book worms.

Igor still isn't a strong enough reader to move onto chapter books.  He's exactly on target for his reading skills, but still not quite advanced enough for it not to be hard work.  One of the miseries joys of being a first grade parent is reading homework and practice.  I was graced with Sonny Boy who was actually reading some before kindergarten.  By the time he reached actual reading instruction he was a fluent reader and really needed little help progressing.  Igor on the other hand needs some help and it's a torture like no other to listen to beginner books stumbled through on a regular basis.  I know I should be more proactive in this sphere as I think being a strong reader sets one up academically to succeed long into life.  Honestly though I'd just rather shove an ice pick into my ear drum.  Generally we pass the torch around so we are not all tortured daily with even Sonny Boy getting in on the act.  I hope Igor gets the Book Worm gene as his reading skills improve, because in a family of readers (and a librarian mother) life will be a little difficult.

My job at the library basically entails processing the new books and DVD's that are received.  I do all the stamping, stickering and enter them into the catalog for circulation.   Lots of piddley details but not the most taxing job.  What amazes me are the popularity of some writers over others.  James Patterson books inevitably have hold list of 50 or 60 people, as well as several other popular writers.  The most popular books - the ones we purchase 7 or more copies of - are by writers I find so formulaic that if you've read two of their books you can pretty much figure out the plot in their other books.  I get that sometimes one just read fluff for entertainment, but the books that hit me as modern literature have pretty low circulation.  I also wonder if people realize that these overly prolific writers are not really writing their own books.  James Patterson seems to release a new book every month with a co-writer no one has ever heard of.  ( I pick on him because he is very obvious - there are other writers just as guilty)  I think I have an ethical problem with this.   To put one's name on a book you obviously could not have written - because you have written 22 other books this year - just seems so wrong and smells of plagiarism.  The authors that "co-write" must get a lot out this, money or at least publishing deals under their own pen to make it worth it.  I'd be damned it I wrote a novel and then let James Patterson or any other author put his/her name on it. 

Off of my soapbox now.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I'm Not a Doctor, But I Play One in Real Life

It happened again today.  I was on the phone with a case manager from Mom's insurance company discussing Mom's many maladies, and the lady on the other end of the phone asked if I was a health care professional.  This isn't the first time, the second time, or even the fifth time I have been asked this by nurses, doctors, and others in the medical field.  I don't think I am particularly knowledgeable about things, I do educate myself where I feel it necessary but it makes me wonder just how stupid  ignorant the general public is about basic healthcare.  I'm really good at Google so when I'm given information I Google it.  I read up on reputable sites, sometimes I( gasp ) READ A BOOK and educate myself on the ins and outs of diagnosis and treatments of XY or Z.  I don't think I do an excessive amount of digging around for things, and after scarring the hell out of myself a few times I don't Google things the doctor may have said on a hunch.  I would like to be a fly on the wall in the average doctor's office for a day - or maybe I wouldn't, I might strangle a person who doesn't know the basic function of their organs or why one shouldn't eat bacon three times a day.
Today I decided I'm just going to take over Mom's stuff.  I don't really care if she likes it or not.  She is not making good decisions, isn't trying to take care of herself, and generally a nightmare to deal with.  Last week she moved back over to her house and hasn't done a damn thing except sit and smoke.  Today was the first day I've seen her in clothes.  She made some sort of cinnamon stick thing out of a can on Sunday, the leftovers are still sitting on her stove Wednesday - uncovered and stale.  I've gone over and done a few loads of laundry for her and she hasn't bothered to put the clean clothes away and her bedroom is honestly worse than both of the boy's room combined.  After harping at her all week I took the bull by the horns and called a home health agency and they are going to send a housekeeper / sitter out four hours a week.  I was surprised it wasn't more expensive and I told Mom this is what's going to happen.  She agreed, and she's going to pay for it,  shocker.  I have also made an appointment with her shrink, I plan on attending and making sure the she's not glossing over lack of ambition for anything and seeing if we should do some sort of dementia screening.  The crazy things she fights me on I just don't get.  Today her power bill came in, it was neglected while she was in the hospital and had become somewhat in arrears.  I suggested let's get you on budget billing and set up your checking account to auto pay the bill.  OMG, it was like I suggested we sell her car, move into a nursing home and we'll never come see you again.  I can't understand the reaction she had to that.  I frankly told her that it makes things easier for her, for me and the damn bill is paid on time and that's all that really matters.  I set it up and walked her through making it an auto pay on her checking account.  It took about 10 minutes on the phone and about 4 on the computer.  The only thing I can think of is that she liked having the control of paying that bill, but really with her memory problems and my burdens it's more likely the power would be turned off than the bill getting consistently paid on time.
Tomorrow is busy with medical appointments ( no wonder I know so much jargon)  I have a dentist appointment to repair a couple of fillings that I had to put off when Sonny Boy broke his leg.  The home health agency is coming by to meet Mom and sign some paperwork - I hope I don't drool on myself from the Novocain - and Sonny Boy has PT after school. 
I should get to bed.