Aging Parents


It’s common knowledge that everyone ages. And unfortunately part of aging is watching your parents get older also. I’ve had a front row seat to my mother’s aging process. Sometimes it’s even a audience participation event. I have to take her to her doctor visits now because driving out of our small town has started to make her nervous.

This is the same woman who could put up with me dragging our pet cats around the house in laundry baskets while I gave them a “tour” of our home. Usually this was done at the top of my lungs because for some reason I thought our cats couldn’t hear me unless I spoke loud enough for them to cringe and fold their ears back.

So like the dutiful child, I take her to the endless stream of doctor visits, tests and prescriptions. I go in and try to keep her prescriptions and ailments straight. My Mom has arthritis that I’m convinced has completely taken over everything on her body except her toenails.

This causes her to no longer walk but shuffle along at slightly slower than the speed of smell. I can’t help but think of the younger version of this woman that now shuffles along behind me. She was able to run me down in the grocery store like a leopard on a gazelle. I was never able to get to the end of the store isle before she had me by the shoulder, dragging me back to the cart and telling me to “wait till we got home”. Which always struck a chord terror with me. Even though my Mother was a screamer, not a hitter. So nothing ever happened when “we got home”, but it always worked with me, every time. I guess a Mother’s best advantage is a child’s short term memory.

At the last doctor’s visit, we were told my Mom has to have a “procedure” to help with the pain in her back. We no longer have a specific type of operation, she’s hit the age where everything’s a “procedure”.

So we get to the hospital at six in the morning. They send my Mom to the back to get prepped and I’m left in the waiting room with stale coffee and a National Geographic from 1978. After a little bit a nurse comes out to get me so that I can see my Mom before they begin. I went through the swinging double doors and I saw my Mom trundling down the hall of the hospital, wearing a hospital gown, holding a urine sample in her hand like it was a cup of punch and she was working the room like a social butterfly.

She was so casual holding her own urine in that Dixie cup, you could tell, this was not our first rodeo. Both she and I have become more familiar with urine samples since she was asked to take one and bring it in to her doctor on our next visit. They gave her a cup with a lid. My Mom is terrible at lids. I found that out when we got to the Dr.’s office and her purse was soaked. The urine sample had not been sealed tight enough and had spilled all over her purse, it even shorted out the little electronic Yahtzee game she keeps in her purse. Thankfully that was the last time they ever asked for a sample from home, and the Yahtzee game recovered after it dried out.

I soon realized the tables were turning. Instead of taking care of me in the diaper, it was her turn to be on the receiving end of the care and sporting the diaper. At least we haven’t hit the full diaper stage yet. We both still try to keep our sense of humor thru it all. If you can’t laugh about things, then you’re in worse shape than you originally thought. I have to get to bed early tonite. Tomorrow’s going to be an early morning start, we have another “procedure” to go to.

Lifelong writer finally turning pro. I write articles, short stories, essays, blogs, you name it. I love research and finding out things I didn’t know before. I’m straight forward, often humorous, always on point.


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