As most of my readers know, I have been away for awhile. Even though I returned home several weeks ago, I am still catching up. Dad was glad to see me and I was glad to be there. However over the past few weeks, I have found some problems that needed immediate attention.
This past week when I visited dad, he showed me that his eyeglass frame was cracked and the lens kept falling out. He (or someone) had put scotch tape on it, and I added some more. I suggested that before we go out to lunch, we stop at the optician and see if we could get the glasses fixed.
No, said dad. He was hungry. “Let’s eat first. And then get the glasses fixed.” OK, that was the plan as we started to get ready to leave. Uh oh. I found another problem. One of the screws was loose on dad’s walker and the matching nut was gone. It was a long screw that held 3 metal pieces together, and went askew when I folded the walker. Now I had another thing to try to fix!
We got in the car and drove to the local restaurant where we have been many times before. As we were walking in, dad let out an exclamation. He was having a problem with “bowel leakage”. We headed straight for the men’s room where dad went in and I called through the door.
Finally I told the lady at the front desk that I had to run to my car and would be right back in. After a very long wait, dad finally responded to my calls in to him and opened the door a crack so I could hand him a clean Depends. It was another long wait before he came out.
I asked if everything was OK or if he needed to change his trousers. No, he was sure everything was OK. I wasn’t so sure, but said it was all right and we would sit down and order. We had a nice lunch with dad ordering the same thing he usually does.
I kept sniffing for telltale signs of a problem but it seemed to be OK. I said we would skip the optician and go another day as I wanted to get him back to his room and his bathroom. We finished out lunch and left with a doggy bag as usual. (I ditched it later because I had to spend over an hour at the grocery store on the way home.)
When we got back to dad’s Assisted Living Facility, I took dad to his room and told him I would come back the next day to take him to the optician. I spoke with the nurse about the bowel accident and she said she would give him something for it.
I also told her about the walker problem, which had first happened months before I left on my winter vacation. The maintenance man had used a nut before that was too large and didn’t hold onto the screw. The nurse said she would put this problem on the maintenance list.
The next day I finally got my hair cut. It had been months since I had taken the time to do that and I felt like it was an emergency! Finally I felt presentable. Then after lunch I picked up dad and brought him to the optician. The optical store closes for lunch, so we arrived soon after they reopened.
The optician was a wonderful caring friendly man. He looked at dad’s glasses and commented on the vintage. I bet they were 20 or 30 years old! They were large plastic frames of a type they don’t make any more. The optician said he kept a few old pairs in the back because one customer sometimes brought in his wife’s old glasses.
He took dad’s glasses in the back and began to putter around. He had some frames with large openings but the openings were a different shape than dad’s lenses. He heated the frame and finally got round lenses into a square frame in a way that looked natural. It was a success and dad had glasses again.
The optician commented on how dad’s lenses were all scratched up (because dad always puts them glass side down when he takes them off!). I said dad has an appointment next month, and at that time I will order new glasses for him.
In the meantime we were all set. “No Charge!” said the optician. I took dad back to his ALF and said I would be back on Sunday. In the meantime I asked again about the walker and it was still on the maintenance list. I had brought my supply of screw nuts but none fit, so I would have to wait or come up with an alternative plan.
On the way home, I stopped at the clubhouse to see the people I usually play cards with. The game was ¾ over so I just gossiped with the group. I mentioned the walker and one friend offered me his jar of various sized nuts. I picked that up afterwards and will try them later today.
Wow, I feel like I have been running all week. Was my vacation really over just 2 weeks ago? I am certainly back to “normal” around here!