I like the expression "pay it forward"; after all, isn't this what we all should be doing while we are able? In part it is the right thing to do and as an added benefit, perhaps it gives us an insurance policy that when we are in need, there will be someone there who can provide. I certainly hope this will be the case.
Today I am paying it forward. Although I overslept today and had to rush to make it out the door to pick up Dad for his dental appointment, we learned precisely what happened to Dad's teeth (see post entitled Inhaling Teeth). The group of 4 teeth that he aspirated into his right lung were not a part of his partial plate after all; they were a "permanent bridge" on his right upper jaw consisting of two artificial teeth flanked by two real teeth with crowns. The entire group of 4 broke off at some point; Dad now recalls biting down hard on something and having severe pain (I'll bet!) but he can't say when that was or what happened next. This was the moment, however, when the teeth, dislodged, and were aspirated. We learned today that he will need to have the two permanent teeth that got sawed off at the gum line (ouch) extracted and he needs to see an oral surgeon for this. At his age and with his medical issues, this is not a routine dental extraction by any means. We have an appointment for a consultation with the oral surgeon on Friday at 7:50 AM. We will all be up early on that day to make this happen. The surgery will be scheduled on another date, likely sometime next week. Working around my schedule and the surgeon's schedule is the tougher task; Dad's schedule is the easiest of the three.
Later today, Mom goes to Trina's for her weekly wash and set. Dad will be seen by a home health nurse later this afternoon as part of his followup care from the recent hospital stay. He won't like it one bit; he resists and finds the endless questions annoying and unnecessary. I can't blame him; but at least someone is providing him one on one attention which is a good thing. Tomorrow, both Mom and Dad have appointments for foot care with "Betty"; that particular outing typically takes 3 1/2 hours between transportation to and from and the 45 minute appointments for each person. Lastly, Dad will have a visit from an occupational therapist after we return from Betty's; again something he doesn't relish but needs nonetheless. Meanwhile, Mom has had visits this week from her physical therapist and a speech therapist who is helping her with memory issues. Their schedule is full; so full that none of the written reminders fit on the wall calendar anymore. We need a dry erase board the size of a large poster with the date and days of the week in large font to keep everything organized.
I am not complaining. Truly. I am stating the obvious: there is a lot of stuff that people need in their lives and when they can no longer arrange it, remember that they have it, and can no longer get themselves to and from, someone needs to take the reigns and provide the help. I can only hope that when my time comes, there are people that love and care about me who will step up and make it happen.
Thanks to my brother and sister who despite the distance acknowledge how hard this is and jump in to help out at a frequency that truly amazes me. They "get it" big time and they are also paying it forward.