Caring For An Elderly Parent: A Truly Shitty Day

Blog - Pic 68“This is supposed to be the time of my like – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

Today was quite an interesting day – actually, it was a shitty day…. literally! I awoke very early to a horrible smell; I’m thinking, what could that possibly be? I opened the bedroom door and there all down the hallway were piles of shit…. dang dog! And what had she been eating??? Eewww! Usually my husband has the lucky task of picking up the dog doo, but I wasn’t going to wake him so early for this mess. So I got that all cleaned up, patted Whitney on the head and told her it was OK (she obviously wasn’t feeling well – poor thing), let her out back and jumped back into bed for what was left of my zzzz’s.

A few hours later I am awakened again – this time to the phone ringing next door at my mom’s (remember, our walls are attached). Of course she didn’t answer it – she never answers her home phone. I knew right away that my phone would be ringing next because the Lifeline people were going to call around 9 AM to let us know when they’d be stopping by to install her equipment. Yup, it was them confirming they’d be here around noon. Yay…. more snooze time! NOT! My mom knew that Lifeline would be there between 9 and 2, but what happened next was completely unexpected. Tap, Tap, Tap on our bedroom wall…. “Are you up?” Ughhh! Really? Ignore. Tap, Tap, Tap. OK, I’m up!

And just so you know, the OK, I’m up was in my head.  My husband and I made one “absolute rule” – if my mom ever knocked on our bedroom wall or called us through the wall, we would ignore her. It’s like training a dog (bad example), it’s like teaching a small child – there have to be rules. Obviously if it were an emergency we’d treat things differently, but this was not.

So I got out of bed, put the coffee on and decided to give Mom a call on her cell to let her know when Lifeline would arrive. Straight to voice mail…. hhmmm, that’s weird, she has her cell with her at all times. OK, I’ll head next door and let her know. After I told her she asked why I didn’t just call her so she could have gone back to bed (geeze!). So I explained that I tried calling her cell but it went straight to voice mail. Then she said to me, “Oh, I think my cell phone is in the toilet.” WHAT? I ran to the bathroom to check it out – no phone in the toilet…. pheww! Then she says, “And don’t flush it because I already did and now the water is coming up to the top.” You’ve got to be kidding…. she flushed it?!!!

After my husband checked things out, sure enough the cell phone had been flushed. Three hundred and fifty dollars later, the plumber had pulled the toilet, dumped the toilet upside down in our courtyard, and “kerplunk”! Out flopped the cell phone. My mom actually wanted to keep it because “it is waterproof” (it was not), but once I told her it was covered in shit…. she declined. Off to Sprint to buy a new phone!

Oh, and the reason she dropped her phone in the toilet? California….. the toilets are lower!

 What I Learned: There has to be rules. (Oh, and the toilets are lower in California!)