Monthly Archives: October 2014

Weighing In……………

I noticed a weird bruise on my arm last week on Thursday. By Friday it had morphed into something that looked like a bear climbing a tree. It didn’t hurt. I had no recollection of bumping into things, or drinking too much wine on Wednesday (although now that I’ve written that “Wine Wednesday” sounds pretty tempting). So I went to the doctor.

Bruise Comparison Photo
Bruise Comparison Photo

The first thing they do when they take you into the super secret area where patients are seen is tell you to “get on the scale.” I have been trying to decline this for years. If it’s my annual check up or I think I have diabetes or perhaps I have miraculously lost those last damn 10 pounds by eating chocolate cake and the new Yeungling Black and Tan Ice Cream, then and only then will I get on the scale.

I’m sorry, I may be naïve to think that all American women have a psychological battle with weight, but I know all my friends do. That stupid number can send me into a tailspin of self-loathing and regret for days. I will not have it.

This time I may have been a bit intense in my questioning and refusal to be weighed for a bruise. The nurse ratted me out to the doctor.

“We have to weigh you for insurance purposes,” said the doctor.

“I’m sorry, but the insurance company doesn’t get to play mind games with me. Do you have any idea how crazy that scale makes me?”

“I’m starting to….”

“Women the world over hate getting weighed, even on a good day. It is a sign of our possible failure to literally measure up. It makes us feel bad about our next bagel. And it makes no sense when I’m coming in for a bruise. And on top of all that, not one doctor ever comments on my weight and how that may affect my health, so I have to conclude that unless it’s critical to my visit, it’s not important to the medical community on that day either.”

The doctor looked at me like I needed Xanax at that juncture and said, “we just have to check a box on the form that says we weighed you.”

“So what happens if I refuse to be weighed?”

“We check the box marked ‘declined’.”

So there you have it ladies and gents. If you have an irrational aversion to that doctor’s scale, you can just say “no,” or better yet, “declined.”

By the way, perhaps someone should have asked why I was so stressed by something so trivial. And that’s where the caregiver craziness shows up. In the final analysis, when attempting self care……

“You just have to Laugh….”

©2014 Cathy Sikorski

 

Words a Caregiver never wants to repeat….

Some of you may have seen this on Facebook….so have fun watching it again or pass it on to your friends and family. I have no shame, as you all know by now.

Stroke of genius?

I called my 86 year old Mom for help.

“Hey, Mom, I need a picture of your cabin in Canada.”

“Okay,” she said, “come over and get it.”

“No,” I told her, “I want you to get it off your computer, and email it to me.”

“Oh, ummm….where is that?”

“Where is your computer?”

“No, don’t be ridiculous. Where is the picture on my computer?”

“I don’t know. Don’t you?”

Maybe I did have to go over there and get it.

“Okay, let’s start at the computer. Are you on your iPad or your desktop?”

“Let me go to the big computer, the picture has to be on there because your

In folder marked "Canada"
In folder marked “Canada”

brother-in-law made it my screensaver.”

I hear her sneakers tweak around the kitchen floor, her bedroom door makes a little squeak as she opens it, and the whirr of her desktop hums through the phone line as she boots up.

“Okay, now what do I do?” she asks matter-of-factly. She calmly clicks on all the buttons I direct her to. We get all the way to the photos stored on her desk top and we are at an impasse.

“Mom, do you know where the photo is stored? Like, what folder is it in?”

“Well, I guess it’s in the one marked ‘Canada’, does that sound right?”

“Just try it. See if it’s in there.”

For some reason, I don’t hear any computer buttons clicking on the other end of the line. Silence, with a little breathing is the only sound coming through.

“Mom?”

“Yes?”

“What are you doing? I thought you were looking in the file marked ‘Canada’. Did you find it?”

Now she’s exasperated. Technology has won again. She is frustrated and annoyed, and I have no idea why.

“Ugh….I have been waiting and waiting for the keyboard to come up so I can look for the picture.”

“Wait…what? I don’t know what…..Wait….are you on your iPad or your computer”

“I’m on the computer. I told you that’s where the picture probably is.”

I realize that this octogenarian is trying her best to be in the 21st century. She has willingly taken on a desktop and an iPad. She puts up with her children trying to train her like an organ monkey over the phone, and sometimes it’s just too many things to remember. Plus naming every button as a “square thingy that looks like a tv,” or a “the blue e thingy,” usually ends up with a trip to Mom’s house anyway.

” Um….Mom, look down at your fingers, there’s your keyboard. It doesn’t come up on the screen like the iPad. You’re using the actual keyboard.”

“Oh.”

We both burst out laughing. She does indeed send the picture.

Caregivers need to give credit where credit is due and…..

“You just have to Laugh….”

©2014 Cathy Sikorski