A Visit to the Doctors

Mum has not had her medication reviewed for a long time. For some time, I have been trying to get her to go and see the Doctor and discuss the pills she takes. But she’s been digging her heels in. ‘I’m 94. I shouldn’t have to go there. He should come and see me.’ Nothing I said could convince her otherwise.

Then, just before Xmas, the pharmacist said they couldn’t repeat her prescription again without a review by the Doctor. I told mum, ‘Whether you like it or not, we have to make an appointment before the medicines run out – which means as soon as possible after the New Year.’

I took the first appointment available, and arranged for a carer to drive us to the surgery, wait with us and drive us back. In the long run, this is not much more expensive than getting two taxis and a lot less hassle as mum gets bored waiting for a cab to arrive.

Mum grumbled and grumbled over and over. The time was inconvenient, she didn’t know the carer who was coming, she didn’t feel well, she was 94 and she didn’t think she should have to go. I just gritted my teeth and concentrated on getting mum to her appointment

The day came. The carer arrived, it was someone mum knew and liked. We went round to the surgery; the doctor was polite and respectful. We discussed her medication – and the possibility of attending a memory clinic (he wasn’t very encouraging.). We came home.

Mum: ‘I should have asked the Doctor about the problem with my face and my problems at night.’

Me: ‘Why didn’t you? You could have made a list.’

Mum: Why didn’t you remind me?

Me: !!! I didn’t know you wanted to ask the Doctor about those problems. You wasted all that time complaining about having to go to the Doctors. You should have realised it was a chance to sort everything out.

This is exactly what happened with the Xmas cards. It wore me out trying to get her to write them, but when cards started arriving from friends and family, she was really pleased she had sent hers already. And, in the same way, it wore me out to get her to the doctors – now she’s frustrated because she lost her chance to sort out things she needed to sort out.

She’s always been a glass half-empty sort of person. But it’s sad when someone is so old and  could enjoy the life that’s left to her so much more, if she just tried to have a more positive attitude. Yet, after all these years she doesn’t seem to have learnt a thing….

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