I’m (no) angel!
My 82-year old mother is battling several health issues and recently fell. She broke her upper and dominant arm and was in a rehabilitation facility. I am both her health advocate and POA agent and as a result spending time with her healthcare, running errands and sometimes even interference. This blog is not about my mom or healthcare for the elderly. That will wait for another entry when I have a cooler head. This is about my mom saying to me “I don’t know what I would do without you, you are an angel.”
I thanked her for the compliment and said “I am no angel, but yesterday I met four angels.” Then I proceeded to tell her about my encounters.
My angels are named Lisa, Pam, Vicki and Nancy. It is coincidental they are all women. In fact I think Nancy was riding shotgun with her husband and I do not know his name.
Lisa is the physician assistant that is assigned to my mother’s palliative care needs. Lisa is an angel that we met through local home healthcare. Over the past year she has been a medical resource for us. Lisa is gentle, kind and patient with my mom. Her advice and advocacy has made a very difficult time easier for us. I reached out to Lisa after my mom’s accident because I was struggling having her medication dispensed properly. Lisa met me at the facility, worked with the staff and checked on my mom. She helped me communicate my mom’s needs to the rehabilitation facility. I am able to help my mom because an angel named Lisa is in my life.
I met the next angel a few hours later that morning. Pam works for the orthopedic surgeon managing my mom’s broken arm (thankfully no surgery was needed). My mom had just visited him the day before and he gave her additional physical therapy instructions and a new type of arm sling to use. That was good news except we did not return to the facility with his notes entered onto a specific document. Without it the facility would not implement (understandable). So back to the office I returned and met Pam. She in turn was told to tell me that the surgeon would not be back in the office for several days and for me to return when he is back in the office. I explained the need and Pam “got it”. Although she met with at least two obstacles in office policy, she was determined to have me leave with the needed information. And she did! I did not have to return a 2nd time and my mom was able to use the sling and therapy that day. I thanked Pam and she said there was no need to do, she had experience with her family’s elder care and knew it was the right thing to do. (What you need to picture is when I arrived at that doctor’s office; there were four admitting service representatives sitting side by side. You try to form a line if there is someone in front of you and wait for an agent to ask “can I help you?”. I had four agents free and only one looked up at me and it was the angel Pam. Somehow she knew I needed special help and came to my rescue.)
My third angel I met that day was Vicki. It was much later in the day. My husband and I took a ride to Hampton Beach NH for its fresh ocean air and a piece of fried dough. (Not sure if that is only a New England treat. It brings up the most wonderful childhood memories of summers at the beach.) I must admit these days I am under stress and dealing with fatigue. I am making mistakes. After Hampton Beach we drove 20 miles north to Kittery Maine to shop at the Kittery Trading Post. There we met Vicki who is a store greeter. She helped us with any questions we had and even suggested a good seafood restaurant for dinner. Now shopping as a couple is not easy for me and I suggested to Ed that we separate and meet at a designated time. That’s when I could not find my cell phone (use it as a watch). Panic started to surface. I went to the car to search on the chance I had dropped it inside. Ed waited at the store’s door where Vicki was located. She overheard our conversation and while I was in my car, suggested to Ed that she use her phone to call my phone. If it was in the car it would help me find it . Cell phone usage is against store policy but Vicki was empowered to help us.
That’s when my fourth angel Nancy answered my phone. The mistake I mentioned. Well that happened back at the beach. I left my phone in a public bathroom and Nancy found it. She tried calling my emergency contact which is Ed and he did not have his phone with him. She tried calling it several times and decided to hold onto the phone on the chance I called it. Vicki called my phone number who then spoke to Nancy and then I was conferenced into the call. We planned for me to pick up the phone at Christy’s Pizza in Salisbury Beach MA (Nancy had left Hampton beach at this time). The young manager of the pizza shop agreed to hold onto my phone until I could drive there. Make it five angels I met that day. I did not tell you earlier that my phone was in a case with a credit card in it. My angels saw to it that my phone was returned with its credit card. I did not need the added stress of managing my mom’s healthcare and the loss of a phone and credit card.
So my mom believes I am an angel. I am only doing what I ought to for the woman who raised me. I watched her take care of her mother, my grandmother, advocating for her healthcare and making sure she was comfortable. I knew then when it was time for me to do likewise I would not hesitate to take care of my mother.
But I needed some help and that day the help arrived from Lisa, Pam, Vicki, Nancy & her husband and the pizza shop manager. They are truly the angels. I relayed this story to my mom just as I have today to my readers. My mom’s angels are numerous and they work through good people. I don’t consider myself an angel and humbled by her believing so and thankful for all the good people in my life.
Hartfelt wishes for the angels in your lives.