The nurse on duty calls at 6:45 a.m. to let me know that my mom refused to allow the lab technician to take blood this morning. When I call to see how my mom is doing, she says she is doing fine. I ask her how she’s walking today — on my last visit she refused to join us for lunch because she felt too unsteady on her feet. She tells me her foot still bothers her a little, but taking off her shoe helps. She doesn’t remember that the day before she was so dizzy she stayed in bed most of the day.
When I ask about the blood test at first she doesn’t understand my question. I let her know that I believe if some of the numbers have gone up, she won’t have to take as many pills — which she hates. After a few minutes she admits that she doesn’t like the idea of having her blood taken in their apartment. “If something goes wrong, they have no equipment for any emergency procedures!”
When we were moving my parents from Independent to Assisted Living, the Executive Director shared some ways to phrase things to illustrate the benefit. I have used this suggestion many times and today I respond by telling my mom how lucky she is to have “concierge healthcare”. I share with her the last time I gave blood I had to drive to the clinic and it took over an hour just to have them draw two vials of blood. How lucky she is to have them come to her home and get it done in a few minutes.
I am surprised and humored by my mom’s response. This would be at least the third time they have taken blood from my mom in her apartment. I’m quickly reminded how her Dementia can bring on other types of mental illness which today presents itself as anxiety. Schooled.