Friday, February 12, 2016

Out and About

We've had a break this week from doctor's appointments. I'm not quite sure how we managed that because it seems that every week we have a few doctors' visits for my mother. We're enjoying the break. 

The medical care system in the United States is a mess. The doctors order a million tests and not all of them are covered on my mom's insurance plan. She's being charged astronomical fees for medicine too. She spends more on her health care than she receives for Social Security so she's dipping into her savings to cover her expenses. When I wasn't here she was deliberately cutting back on her medicine to try to stretch them and make them last longer which resulted in her getting blood clots in the arteries in her legs, more surgery, more stents... like a revolving door. She needs to be on the meds to keep going. Without the medicine she risks getting blood clots or having a stroke - or worse.

Mom seriously needs hearing aids. The television is blasting all day long, we are constantly having to repeat ourselves and shout at her. Unfortunately hearing aids aren't covered under Medicare or her additional insurance and they are too costly to pay for out of pocket. So we will just have to cope. 

Today I took my mother to a story telling event at the library. She struggled to get into the library with her walker. When we got to the designated room she sat down tired and out of breath. The story teller began promptly at two o'clock. My mother looked at me and said 'I can't hear anything'. The story lasted about 45 minutes. Mom waited as patently as she could, I had to put my finger to my lips to  remind her not to hum (she likes to hum). She fidgeted a bit and I worried that she would disturb the reader and the audience, but the only person that seemed bothered was me. I guess we can take storytelling off our list of things to do. 

Recently I took my mother and my son Ibrahim to the Museum of Fine Arts, My mother had her walker and could sit and look at the artwork while Ibrahim and I explored the museum's exhibits. My mother is a retired nurses aid - for many years she worked with the elderly and Alzheimer's patients. While she was sitting she noticed an elderly gentleman who was fidgeting - he had 'that look in his eye' that my mother recognized as someone who needs to use the bathroom. Her nurses aid role kicked in and she asked the man 'Would you like to come into the ladies room with me? I can help you there.' The man looked and my mother and said rather indignantly 'I HAVE a wife you know!'. My mother told him 'Ok.' 

Later when Ibrahim and I  finished out tour of the museum we caught up with my mother. She told me about the man. I asked her if he had asked her to use the bathroom and she said 'No, I could tell he needed the bathroom - I know that look'. I started to laugh. 'My goodness Mom! The man thought you were trying to pick him up!' Then we both laughed. Imagine that!

We enjoyed our time at the museum and plan to go back again when new exhibits are put out on display.

We liked the colors on this contemporary landscape titled: Sea of Grass - Sunset by American painter Jimmy Ernst

Ibrahim behind a large glass piece by Joey Kirkpatric and Flora Mace titled: Zanfirico Apple
This gorgeous intricate tapestry caught my eye. I tried to get close up of the details but it proved too difficult as the work was hung too high. It's part of a temporary exhibit. 
Next we plan to visit the Planetarium and Observatory. They have a special show about the winter stars and constellations. Mom might not be able to hear it, but at least she will be able to see the show - and it will get her out of the house for a bit. 


  1. That seemed like fun, I wish Helen gets well soon.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she gets well soon Inshaallah.

  3. I am glad that you got some time for yourself and you spent it well. I was also tired of my regular routine and that’s why I took some time for myself and attended an event at a local event space. It was absolutely great and I feel rejuvenated.


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