The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

See...I knew something like this was gonna happen... was my mom's first day of outpatient physical therapy. The way it's supposed to work is that the ALF where she lives calls the transportation service to pick her up and take her to PT and then bring her back home. The ALF has to call the day before therapy to arrange for transportation, and they did, telling them the appointment was at 3 and that she would be there for an hour - they should pick her up at the house between 1:30 and 2 p.m.

Well, they arrived late to pick her up so she technically arrived to her appointment late but the Rehab people were nice enough to take her anyway. About 15 minutes before she was done the Rehab people called the transport service and told them to be there by 4:15 - not because they had to, but just to make sure everything went well.

At around 4:00 or so, hubby and I drove by the Rehab place on our way home. I said to my husband, oh, they should be picking Mami up around now, she should be done (I didn't know she had started late). Then I said "God, I hope the transport doesn't forget her and leave her there".

Fast forward to 5:30 p.m., I'm sitting in my comfy chair watching what appeared to be the first-ever episode of "Beverly Hills 90210". I get a call from the Rehab place telling me that MY MOTHER WAS STILL THERE! The transport hadn't come by to get her!


The girl said she seemed OK, but they felt sorry for her because she had been there so long.

At this point my back, which has been bothering me for over two weeks, went into an immediate spasm. But I didn't have time to deal with that because the Rehab place was going to close at 7 p.m. and we either had to find out if transportation was on the way or if we had to go get her.

After several calls to several places they told me they would be there in 15 minutes - that would be 6 p.m. At 6 p.m. they still weren't there. I called some more people and finally got the number for the transport company dispatcher. OK - are you ready for this? Do you know what the dispatcher's name is? Wait for it...


Yes, the horrible man who had abandoned my 84 year old, broken-hipped, Alzheimer's confused mother is named Fidel! I swear I am not making this up. If you're not a Cuban-American from Miami you may not appreciate the black irony of this.

So I called Fidel. My husband who understands Spanish relatively well realized that I had gone as he calls it into "Little Havana mode". See, Fidel started yelling at me ! when I asked him - way more calmly than the situation merited - what was happening. So when Fidel yelled at me, I of course yelled at him. I'm talking arms flapping, eyes popping, pacing back and forth yelling.

Then he put Maximiliano on the phone, because I guess Fidel had lived through enough abuse in his life because of his name and couldn't deal with me. Maximiliano wanted to tell me this long drawn out story about why they hadn't picked up my 84 year old, broken-hipped, Alzheimer's confused mother. I told Maximiliano, OK maybe a little bit animatedly, that I didn't have time to hear his story because I needed to know whether or not Hubby had to finish putting on his pants so we could go get my 84 year old, broken-hipped, Alzheimer's confused mother before the rehab people who had been working all day and wanted to go home parked her in her wheelchair in the handicapped space in the parking lot!

So then Maximiliano started yelling at me and telling me that his wife was getting her and that she was *right there*, she was getting her *right now*! Meanwhile half-panted Hubby is on the phone with the Rehab people, and Maximiliano's wife was NOT *right there*. THEN Maximiliano asks me what the suite number was.

Me (in loud Spanish): What do you mean what suite number? Maximiliano you just told me your wife was *right there*. How can she be *right there* when you don't know the suite number for *right there*?

Maximiliano (also in loud Spanish): She IS right there, she IS right there! So, uh, what's the suite number?

So I give him the suite number and Ana - Maximiliano's wife - actually arrived. My husband then hands me the cell phone because Ana wants to talk to me. So now I have Ana on the cell in one ear and her husband Maximiliano on the land line in the other ear. Ana asks me "So, can you mother walk?"


So I start yelling at both of them that they should already know this seeing as to how this is THEIR JOB, and yes, she can walk with some assistance for short distances - meanwhile my husband still with his pants half way up his legs is sitting on the bed looking at me somewhat bemusedly.

Ana, who apparently has more patience than either Fidel or Maximiliano - perhaps because she has a regular name - calmly told me that everything was OK and she would be taking my mother home and everything would be fine.

I called the ALF and she arrived just fine, had her dinner and went to bed.

Thank God, in this case, her dementia actually seems to have helped because she didn't realize how long she had been waiting or that anything was wrong. As for the therapy, in one of the million phone calls I spoke to the Physical Therapist and he said she did very well. She took instructions perfectly and the only issue was that she was afraid to stand up with the walker, but once she did she was fine and did everything she had to do.

Clearly, she's doing better than I am.

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Blogger Rositta said...

I cried reading your post. My late Mother went to therapy twice weekly with a service called Wheels-Tran here in Toronto. They have a half hour window for pick up and delivery. They consistently abandoned my mother at the clinic. Since she lived with us I could keep track, I got her a cellphone and she would have to phone me the minute she was in the bus. I spent every Tuesday and Thursday in a state of panic. Fortunately she didn't have serious dementia yet and knew her address and always had 20 bucks for a cab ride in her purse. It's a bitch getting old and being helpless isn't it? ...ciao

8:11 PM  
Blogger Mahala said...

Bless your heart.. I'd need a glass of wine.. maybe a valium after a day like that. I'm glad your mom made it home in one piece.

8:54 PM  
Blogger purplepassion said...

He had to be named Fidel! I'm so sorry that this happened. I know exactly how you feel. The first time my grandmother went to therapy she was forgotten too. She couldn't get in and out of my car and I ended up calling another friend to use her car. It was an ordeal. I presume you now have Ana's # and will harass her as appropriate for the next therapy day.
You need to go get a massage. You need a glass (or bottle) of wine with a girlfriend. Come on over and hide at myhouse for a while if you want.

1:16 PM  
Blogger TroyBoy said...

My god, that's funny. I'm sorry to have been laughing while reading this, but damn that's a not so funny sorta way.

I really hope there was no trauma for Bebe and I am glad you've recovered from yours.

Damn, I think I wet myself.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Muffy St. Bernard said...

I think it's interesting that your 84 year old, broken-hipped, Alzheimer's confused mother seems far more with it than the folks at the transportation company.

What a nightmare! But gosh, you've got a gift for turning "tragic" into "darkly humorous."

9:35 AM  

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