Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hiring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Yesterday I attempted to hire the Mormon Tabernacle choir to sing the Halleluiah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. It seems they don't hire out.

Oh well, this will have to do.

The angels are singing because after her doctor's appointment on Tuesday the Other Mother said she wanted to have a family pow-wow because she had an announcement to make. What was the announcement? Well, after some rambling around through unrelated and unconnected topics she announced that she's "decided" to give up driving.

Woo hoo!

Why, you might ask, is the word decided in quotation marks? Because her "decision" has been a long and protracted battle where we literally guided and prodded her into a place where she could believe it was her idea.

This has been a very sore point with me for many years. I've been in mortal fear that she'd either hurt herself or someone else. Believe me, it was a distinct possibility. The one and only time I ever rode in a car with her as the driver was over 14 years and I still get flashbacks of the terror I experienced. When I got home that day I told The Farmer that neither I, nor anyone I cared about would ever ride in a passenger in her car.

Every year I was in disbelief when the examiners would pass her and issue the license for another year. The Farmer and his brother would not step in and take the keys away.

When she was hospitalized last fall we had a talk with her doctor and the siege began. It's what my sister-with-the-psychology-degree calls the Long Stall. The Other Mother was pretty much bedridden upon releaase from the hospital. Can't drive when you can't even walk. As she gained strength her doctor launched into the stall.

"Well, I think you should hold off on the driving until you gain some strength back. See you in a month."

She followed that up with a flanking move.

"You have an irregular heartbeat so we're going to hold off driving for now. You might experience some fainting. See you in two months."

My sister claims this technique is used all the time with dementia patients. You gotta wear them down until they simply give up.

When the Other Mother pressed for the OK to drive, her doctor switched up the tactics and said, "Oh, I'm going to refer you to a neurologist and we'll see what he has to say. Make an appointment with him in two months."


She met with the neurologist on Tuesday and he started the process from the beginning again.

"Well, let's hold off until we figure out what's going on with you."

Magically the Other Mother came to her decision. No more driving. Car to be sold. Insurance to be cancelled.

Phew. I am so relieved.

Now, if I could only get her to stop running the washing machine with only 1 shirt in it.


Connie (aka LOU) said...

Losing the independence of driving was such a struggle with my own mother. It was a painful process that I just relived through your post. Good luck with a "great decision".

Pamela said...

It is so hard for our parents to give up the ability to drive. I'm impressed that your doctors worked with you. My dad maintained a driver's license far longer than he should have been allowed to have one. But the DMV continued to issue it. Luckily, he didn't drive, he just held onto the license. I say, "congratulations" to the other mother for making this decision! Congrats to you too!

Vee said...

I hope that when it's "our turn" that we'll be more sensible. The whole process is painful for all those involved. Still, we must accept social responsibility. So glad that the other mother made a wise choice...with a little help from her friends.

Tess said...

Going through something very similar with aunt. Having to make myself very available to "Drive Ms. Daisy".


Thirkellgirl said...

Oh, my, I'm so happy about that! My mom "decided" not to drive after she made a bad decision about distance and had a crash. The second one, I mean. We took the keys away from my father in law twice, and someone *I'm not a sibling of gave them back, twice.
I was hoping your announcement was that she'd decided to move to a retirement community...

Anonymous said...

Just turn the spigot off behind the machine!!! Or trip the breaker!! Praise the Lord for her decision not to drive. The choir was beautiful. Sandy

Anonymous said...

I was so happy to see you back! My husband's 96 yr old grandfather still drives, it was scary riding with him over 20 yrs ago, and it was my first and last time to do so. I so wish they would quick renewing him, maybe this yr?
Glad the drs will work with you. take care and again so happy to see you back!

Kat said...

One nice thing about living in a small town is that I can still take my Grandma to the licensing department to "get her license renewed" every few years, even though she no longer can drive. They know she isn't driving, but they also know how much that license means to her.
My aunt borrowed grandma's mini-van several years ago, and lo and behold the thing blew up (no, really, it did! huge electrical fire on the interstate!)and that was our out for not having her drive anymore. She got a few dollars from the repair shop as a trade-in, and that just wouldn't buy another car she was willing to be seen in. She's still "looking," and she's got her license, so she feels very in control of the situation. Meanwhile, I get to do her driving!

Terri said...

Hallalulia! We had the same trouble with my FIL. He would fall asleep at the wheel. I guess he thought he'd be the only one hurt if he had an accident. There are whole families in cars on the other side of the road... I for one would feel like a criminal if any of them suffered because I fell asleep while driving. He just couldn't see the problem.
Thanks for all your troubles on behalf of your neighbors, and visitors.

Terri said...

P.S. If the car still works, save it for when yours isn't. Lots easier to have 2 cars...

Leslie T said...

Good deal. I'm so glad that at least this one issue has been resolved. It's great that the doctors worked it out this way.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you. We disabled Grandpa's truck, but he figured of how to reconnect things and sadly caused an accident where people were hurt. So, then we had to remove his truck from the premises. He didn't remember the accident, and he called the police to report his truck had been stolen! Nightmare. So, we started telling him over and over his truck was "in the shop". That stalled him for awhile. His dementia has progressed enough he no longer asks about the truck. But, its a sad tradeoff. This is a difficult issue with aging. I dread dealing with my own parents in a few years. In the meantime, happy to sing Hallelujia with you!! :) - MoSop

bv said...

i seem to be very late to the monday morning happy to see you got there! all is right in my world now....your pressure there!

Anonymous said...

It is tough. I do understand your relief.

PamKittyMorning said...

I can perfectly imagine your relief as I felt it myself when my mother gave up driving. xo

Chris said...

My 90 yr old Father is still a pretty good driver... he has a lady friend he likes to see twice a week! Glad the Dr's worked with you so nicely... I'll keep that in mind when the time comes.