Today, the girls held down the fort while I headed out early to take my mother for a doctor’s appointment – her first since things were just starting to shut down. Most appointments were being cancelled – thankfully, not hers – and they were only doing phone appointments. The clinic is still doing “walk ins” by phone, but are now doing in person appointments again.
The doctor had wanted my mom to be able to do fasting blood tests, so the appointment was shortly after the clinic opened. That way, she wouldn’t be without food for too long. The doctor also wrote her up for an EKG and chest Xrays. Without the results of those tests, he didn’t want to do a physical or address her prescriptions, etc. quite yet. So he did memory test with her, and talked about some of her concerns to address next time.
Which will be this Friday. He wanted to get her back as soon as possible after he got the test results. She also formally gave him permission to talk to me about anything regarding her health, at the same level as he can with my brother that has Power of Attorney. This will reduce the burden on my brother, as well as make things easier for the doctor, since I am more available to both the doctor and my mother.
Right after her appointment, we went across the hall to lab and Xray with her requisitions, only to be told that their Xray machine was broken and wouldn’t be fixed for 6 months. We could go to the hospital near my mother’s place, though, so we got that paperwork back while she got blood taken, then her EKG. The staff in the lab were the only ones we saw wearing masks and gloves, besides the odd patient.
We wanted to stop for lunch – breakfast, for my mother! – in the town the clinic is in, but the places we normally would have gone to were all closed. We ended up going back to her town before we found someplace open. By then, she’d gone 12 hours without food! Then we got her Xrays done. Thankfully, we didn’t have long to wait. At this hospital, there was one person near the door who was wearing masks and gloves and asking the usual “have you traveled, do you have any symptoms” questions. The only other people I saw with masks was a couple of patients. I found myself in the waiting room with a couple of people, with chairs physical distanced apart. The woman nearest me was wearing a cloth mask, and I could hear the poor woman struggling to breath through it. 😦 At both hospital clinics and lab areas, they had the same sign saying who should be wearing masks. Few would have been required to wear them, based on their list. It seemed very reasonable; cautious, without being excessive.
I was going to help my mother with grocery shopping after she was done with the Xrays, but she was – understandably – too tired and just wanted to get home. I’m glad I persuaded her to bring her walker. She was ready to just cane it, but I told her it was better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Plus, I have plenty of space in the van to bring it along, and don’t even have to fold it up. The only time she chose not to use it was when we went into the restaurant.
After dropping her off at home, I then had to head to the pharmacy – which made town number 3 I drove to! 😉 – to pick up the rest of my husband’s medications for the month. I let the pharmacist know about potential updates or changes in his prescriptions over the next while. As we were talking, she mentioned that my husband is the only person they have taking the painkillers he’s on; the ones with all the restrictions and regulations. He’s at the maximum dose already, and all they really do is take the edge off the pain. I really hope the folks at the pain clinic can help with that!
I took advantage of being in town to run a few errands. That included stopping at the garage to see when my mother’s car would be worked on. I was told they’d be able to work on it at the end of the week, or next week. I mentioned my mother having a doctor’s appointment on Friday, and that I hoped to be able to use her car, since it’s easier for her to get in and out of. He couldn’t say for sure, but they would try. We’ll see how that goes.
A stop to pick up our mail on the way home found a letter from the heart clinic for my husband. They made an appointment for him next week, to discuss implanting a defibrillator. His ejection fraction has improved, but not much – and they still don’t know why it’s become a problem in the first place. All the tests they’ve done have come back normal and healthy.
So we now have a phone appointment for my husband tomorrow, with home care. The day after, he and I have appointments for physicals with the same doctor as my mother. Then on Friday, I’m back at the clinic with my mom. Next week is the new appointment at the cardiac clinic in the city, and the week after is his first appointment with the pain clinic, also in the city.
I have to admit, I’ve become spoiled by our current situation. This is now a lot of driving for us. When we lived in the city, I did a lot more driving. Not drives of an hour or more, to be sure, but our mileage of less than half what it used to me. A few extra trips now feels like a big deal! 😀
It’s going to be tiring – especially for my husband – but I’m just grateful we’re finally “allowed” to get health care again.