Yes indeed, that is the sound of my mother hitting her fire-engine-red “Panic Button”. And how timely it should occur the day after I posted my “Not-So-Easy Button” entry. However, this particular panic attack was not due to her concern regarding the location of an object. But rather a routine dental appointment scheduled for next week, and what she perceived to be another snowstorm heading our way. Which, in her mind, meant she had to cancel the appointment because of bad weather. But she wasn’t sure how to go about doing that. So she called me. Hey, no problem, right?

The odd duck thing is, I didn’t even know she had a dental appointment until a few weeks ago. I first heard about it during a casual chatty-cathy conversation with the head nurse at my mother’s assisted living facility. Which was quite the surprise, since I schedule all of my mother’s appointments and have an arrangement with her medical professionals as the point person for my mother’s care. And not because I am a control freak. But because my mother is almost 94 years old and suffers from dementia. And we never know how mentally capable she will be on the day of any appointment. Or if she will even remember she has an appointment. We do know she will need assistance and I am the provider of that assistance.

And I would not have scheduled a routine dental cleaning appointment at the end of February, when the weather in my part of the world can be a bit dicey. I would have scheduled this appointment for sometime in April, when I know it would be safer for her to travel.

Apparently, there was a glitch in my carefully-planned strategy to manage my mother’s routine healthcare. More to the point…a glitch with the administrative staff at the dental office. For some wack-a-doo reason, they completely ignored the instructions they have been following for the past two years. They called my mother instead of me and told her she needed to come in for a cleaning, and scheduled the appointment with her. Ooops.

So…in the middle of my work day, while I was putting out three different fires with three different clients for three different and amazingly tight deadlines…I had to stop what I was doing and field my mother’s calls. One after another, after another, after another as she kept hitting her fire-engine-red “Panic Button”.

So…I called the dentist office. And guess what? The dentist office was closed for the day. On a Friday. As I reached for my “Can You Believe It Button”, the phone rang. Yup…you guessed right…it was my mother. Again.

So…I found myself having a disjointed and frustrating conversation with my mother, while the call-waiting feature on my phone was constantly beeping in my ear because my clients were trying to get a hold of me. Gotta love some Fridays, right?

At the end of the day, my clients were happy campers and all deadlines were met. My mother finally accepted the fact her appointment would be rescheduled in a timely manner, because the matter was now in my capable hands.

My evening came to a close with an after-dinner cuppa tea in hand, and my always-supportive husband and our two sweet-hearted canine companions snuggled nearby. I breathed in the scent of the tea and exhaled a long sigh. Then reached over and tapped my deep-azure-blue “All Is Well With The World Button”.


2 thoughts on “Thwack!

  1. I hear ya. This happened to me a few times, too, only with my mother’s doctor’s office. They would call her to tell her she needed to schedule a lab appointment when I had firmly specified that I was the one to be phoned, not her. It really took awhile for this to get through to them. Keep your fireman’s hat handy because these things tend to flare up again unexpectedly. 🙂

  2. You are so right. I am learning that it is best to be prepared for the unexpected. Fortunately, I have a great relationship with our family doctor and the admin staff at his office. The one nurse even suggested the phone number in my mother’s profile should be listed as mine…so there could be no possibility of anyone from their office calling my mother directly. Smart gal, that nurse. And a real hoot to boot. Love your fireman’s hat reference. Shared it with my husband and he got a real kick out of it too. Just had a random thought: betcha one day he is gonna come home with a plastic fireman’s hat in his hand and plop it on my head as he gives me a hug-n-a-kiss hello. Hey, as long as he does not wrap it up for a birthday present, I am all for it!

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