Friday, October 29, 2010

Adventures in Eldersitting--Overnight Travel, Part 1

So, we went to Uncle's funeral. This is the first time we've gone anywhere overnight. Dad really wanted to drive two hours up on Thursday for the visitation (3-8 p.m.), drive two hours back, and then get up Friday morning and drive two hours again and get there in time for the family service at 10 a.m.

I have said it before, and I don't mind admitting it again--I am so not Superwoman.

Dad didn't want to stay overnight because he is on oxygen full time, and between his two portable tanks, he can get about 8 hours of oxygen. We assured him that we could load his oxygen machine into the van and that it would be much better to stay up there overnight.

Ya know, if I'd listened to him, I would have been tired, but I would have avoided two other "adventures" that I could have done without.

First--I have never packed for Mom and Dad before. That was quite an experience in its own right. Get the Depends pads for Mom. Don't forget denture cleaner for Dad. (Dad has full dentures, but only wears the top plate, so the bottom one needed to be left at home in its bowl of water. As I've been cleaning, I keep running across yet another blue plastic denture bowl Dad got from a hospital stay. There were a ton of them, and I've been recycling them rather than allowing them to continue to be collected. Do you suppose I could find an extra one when it was time to go?)

Anyway, next is medications. We were planning to stay at a hotel, and the last thing I wanted was to have their meds packed in a suitcase at the hotel and need some of them while we were at a restaurant. So, I put them in Mom's purse. But, she had just switched to a smaller bag, and objected to having them in there. I put them in my purse.

Mom wanted to take a bag of letters with her, in case she had time to work on them. No, I'm not talking about letters she wanted to write to family or friends. I'm talking about Publisher's Clearing House letters.

As I was walking out the door, I was so concerned that I not forget any of their stuff that I managed to leave without my own purse! Yes, the very same purse that I'd put their meds in!

We didn't have Mom and Dad's meds, but I did have those PCH entries. (She never once looked at them while we were gone.)

When I realized we didn't have the meds, I called the pharmacy. The tech I talked to figured it was pretty important they not miss their meds for a day. I told my husband that I was going to drive back home and get them. He said, "No you're not. I am going to go get them." What a doll. :)

With a 4+ hour trip ahead of him, Hubby couldn't make it back before we'd have to leave the funeral home, so we discussed going to a hotel and getting rooms, and finding someone to bring us there after the visitation was done. When my cousin heard that, she insisted we could stay at their house. Alan thought about stopping there to drop off our stuff on the med run, but my cousin said we could just transfer everything into her SUV, and she'd get us there.

That was a mistake. But, you'll read more about that in Part 2.

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