Distemper or B-12

Once a month, my mom needs to get a vitamin B-12 shot. Or what I call a distemper/rabies vaccination because she gets so vicious prior to her appointment. My mom has been getting B-12 shots most of her life, off and on, due to poor eating habits and the inability to absorb enough protein.

This time however, she also has an appointment with a nurse practitioner. When she found this out, she hit the roof. The last appointment with her doctor didn’t go well, in fact, he offered me the assistance of a Social Worker. She was so awful to me, he came right out and asked her if she loved me. She said yes, and his response was that he couldn’t tell by the way she treated me.

Oh well, another day. We went and got her shot this morning. Then we went to the doctor’s office. She was mad – not upset, not angry – just plain mad.

When the nurse called us in, she weighed my mom at 117 lbs. Her blood pressure was 130/70 (mine was probably off the charts).

The nurse practitioner then came into the room and asked why we were there. I explained I had a few reasons for the trip. One was a mole on her arm. The practitioner said it was okay, just ugly looking. They wouldn’t remove it unless it bothered her. (I was just afraid if it got bigger, I would have to feed it.)

Second, I needed her to explain to my mom, again, why I do a catheter daily, (my mom thinks I do this to torture her and not for a medical reason). She explained to my mom that her bladder no longer worked and it was necessary to avoid infection. My mom said she understood.

Third, how much Tylenol can she take? How much Tylenol could I take?

Fourth, if Medicare or the Marines could assist me with my mom.

Fifth, her eating habits. She explained the types of foods she should eat daily (all of which my mom will not touch). My mom said she will only eat chicken (one chicken wing is all), and the practitioner said she needed to eat chicken breasts. My mom says she does eat chicken breast. In 55 years, I have never EVER seen my mother eat anything but a wing. Everything the practitioner said, she apparently did.

Sixth, exercise – my mom has muscle atrophy. She walks from her chair to the den, two to three times a day, a total of 120 to 180 feet. But, when talking to the practitioner, she runs in a marathon.

The nurse practitioner understood in that 30 minutes. She basically stated, like her doctor, that my mother will not change. I’m the one needing medical assistance for all the stress. She will not and does not want to understand. At some point, I need to realize my mom should be in a facility that can deal with her better.

Okay, I understand what they are saying, but that’s not how it’s done in our family. We grin and bare it and pray we don’t go first.

On the way home, this is what happened.

“I told you, I don’t need a catheter.”

I then stopped the car, waited for traffic on the other side to break, did a u-turn, and said we’re going back so she could explain it again. My mom then said:

“I know she said I needed it to avoid infection.”
“Mom, I never seen you eat a chicken breast.”
“I did years ago.”
“That doesn’t count.”

So I took her to Denny’s. She ate one half of an egg, a couple of bites of hash browns, two pieces of bacon, one half of a toast, and orange juice.

I told her I was having my nails done and she was going with me. She was mad. She didn’t want to go and I can’t make her. Well, it’s about 95 degrees outside so she can make the choice. Today, she needs to work around my schedule.

So in we go to the nail salon, they’ve heard about my mom but have never met her and they could tell she was angry. I put her into a chair for a pedicure and manicure. Two people were working on her, giving her all the attention. She picked a hot pink for her nails. She was loving it. She looked liked a princess, smiling from ear to ear. She was going over all her surgeries to a new audience. She was happy and content the rest of the day.

What did she eat the rest of the day? Chicken breast, vegetables? No. She had three chocolate chip cookies and a Drumstick ice cream.

That’s all folks.

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1 Response to “Distemper or B-12”


  1. 1 Muriel September 3, 2008 at 9:43 am

    I’m really glad you’re keeping up with your blog. I hope it’s helping your frustrations and long days at The Compound. I wish there was some magic elixir for Grandma, but I think it’s located at a rest home.


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