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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Yesterday and Today

Yesterday, I had five minutes of absolute terror and there was nothing I could do about it. I'd just stepped off the subway in Park Slope, on my way to my therapist, when jonbaker called. His father was missing. Dad is 89 years old, in reasonable physical health, except that he's very deaf. He also has no short-term memory anymore. It's not dementia. It's a result of untreated congestive heart failure (Dad never complains, you see) which left some brain damage and a series of mini-strokes. Both are under control, but the damage has been done.

Yesterday, Dad decided the day was Tuesday, not Wednesday and so he had a class at their synagogue. Mom was out, so he just left. Without a coat (it was very cold in New York City) or his belt pouch. He made it to the shul, where they all immediately recognized him, and someone walked him back home. Dad assured them he had a key to the apartment. Even so, someone called the apartment to check on him.

He didn't answer.

Yeah.

Mom refuses to turn her cellphone on when she's not using it, so she was unreachable. So they called jonbaker. He called me. Neither of us are sure why. And then he called the real estate office who manages the co-op, so he could get the number to reach the doormen, who could check on Dad. Scared the guy at that office, too. Doormen said Mom had just walked in.

Jonathan called the apartment. Mom answered. Dad was there, safe and sound - he hadn't heard the phone. Jonathan called me back, of course. The whole thing took five minutes, but it felt like far longer. And, of course it became a focus of the session.

They're going to have to figure something out so Mom can have the active life she needs without worrying. I think she should enlist the doormen to help out. Also, she should keep her cellphone on, darn it. An attendant would be a last resort before a rehab because, unfortunately, attendants tend to make kosher homes not kosher anymore (while I do my very best, the kashrut where I work is questionable at best.)

In other news, they gave me an extra responsibility today. While I'm glad to be trusted, three hours isn't enough anymore - I have to keep Mendy stocked up, and now I have to keep things prepared for Mischa in a way that gives him a choice, as well as just cooking dinner. Also, please to not be giving me extra stuff to do TODAY at 11:30 on Thursday when I don't even know where to put Mischa's food or have containers for it that look different than Mendy's because Mischa just needs his food pureéd. He doesn't need it measured or prepared in special ways. And on Friday I have a third house, they want me to make an extra salad AND keep the boys stocked and...

I still love my job, but surprise extra responsibilities are HARD for me. Change in routine is traumatic enough for me.

Comments

Oy that was stressful.

I'm sure you've thought of this but why not explain to your MIL that it's not just a question of her using the phone but of her being reachable. Also explain to her that it doesn't cost anything to have the phone ON.