It's that time again, where all you can do is think to yourself, “I can only imagine what the doctor is going to say.” What can my mom possibly tell the doctor that I don't already know. “Everything is okay." "Yes, doctor." I listen. "Yes, doctor, I take my meds on time." "Yes, doctor, I am eating." "Yes, doctor, I do the exercises.” When she says that, all I can think is, “Yeah right.” In the real world, we know as caregivers, this is our dream world; where all is well and all the answers are, “Yes doctor, she's doing well.”
What amazes me the most is the performance that my mother can put on for the doctor. If I wasn't sitting right there, I would be sitting there with a shocked expression draped across my face, telling the doctor that I cannot believe all of that was said. But as they say, seeing is believing.
Our caree's have all the right answers, they know exactly what needs to be done and when. They know what they are not supposed to do, but still do it anyway. And, for the final act, your caree turns and looks at you as though you are the one making up the stories. Completely unbelievable, the one thing you can do to stop yourself from pulling your hair out is laugh.
I guess in fairness to our caree, it really must be a stressful time going to the doctor. There's a significant amount of stress knowing that you're ill and the possibility of deteriorating is there and the doctor will be the one to determine that. This can be an extremely heart breaking experience that is difficult to cope with.
You see, the caree is also embarrassed by what may be happening to him/her and would sometimes just laugh it off or act like they don't care. If you really think about it, what else can they do? They may also be like my mom who is just going through the aging process - and what a process that can be. Going from being vibrant, active and making your own decisions to be completely reliant on another person, this can be frustrating and infuriating to the caree.
How can we as caregivers make this experience less stressful? Not only on our caree but on ourselves. Is it possible? With everything that is going on, we as caregivers underestimate our level of observance and attentiveness. We may feel like we are stuck in a daily routine, but in the midst of this cycle, we do subconsciously make mental notes of what is happening to our caree. What we now need to do now is write out observations down.
Also, be sure to have conversations (if you can) with your caree. Ask them how they feel today? How did the food taste? Are you still feeling dizzy? You see, they are more relaxed and open to say exactly how they feel, without having the doctor and you making them feel like they are being interrogated. This will help the process of going to the doctor and you can put it in date and comment format.
EXAMPLE: Date observed. What was observed.
o July 1, 2018: Didn't want to eat food, this was for her birthday. But wanted the ice cream and cake.
o July 5, 2018: Asked for a full sandwich for dinner. Had soup for lunch.
o July 15, 2018: Got dizzy spells. Ate an entire pineapple the day before, that was cut up and left in the fridge.
o July 23, 2018: Didn't have any dinner. Lunch was very heavy.
o July 25, 2018: Slight fever, heavy cough. Baked a bread and then went outside in the rain to get the dog.
o July 26, 2018: Acting very strange. Almost like in a daze. Gave her cough syrup-Robitussin.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy. A copybook or notebook will do. Just write your comments clearly. This can easily be handed to the doctor at the visit for him to go through. Record any concerns or odd behaviour observed and if there was something happening at the time. By doing this, you would have now removed the elephant in the room and the doctor will know the truth in it's entirety about your caree's health.
Let me know when you have tried these little tip. How did the doctor's visit go?
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