Traveling with an 82 year old woman in bad health in and of itself is a challenge but I think I deserve an award for yesterday. When I arrived at moms she had not started packing. I tried to get her to pack Friday night so we could leave in the morning as we had a 7 hour drive ahead of us. (9 if you count her pit stops) She was too tired so we would pack in the morning. She could not get up until nine and then packing was a nightmare, but I finally got her out the door at 11:30 and we were on the road.
I was going to stop at a truck station 11 miles out of town to gas up before we hit the highway. Mom was not feeling well and had to find a bathroom right away. When she says right away I mean she better not walk more than 5 feet or we are home changing her. Now it is not like this every day but she does have problems. So I drove right up to the station door and let her out with her bag hoping I would not come into a disaster after I gassed up. When I went into the station she was coming out of the bathroom with her bag and a smile on her face. No accident but as soon as we got to the station door she had to turn around and go right back to the bathroom. We have all been there right? So I wait and pick out a few snacks and drinks I think we would like and go get the truck and bring it right up to the door. I get out of the truck when I see her with her cane and I ask if it is okay to leave or should we wait for a while. No she is fine now and off we go!
The weather was perfect and we made it over the pass with no problems or snow. The salmon river gorge is beautiful and in about 1.5 hours we were at the North-fork of the Salmon river. We stopped and went to the bathroom. I said mom do not take your purse in. I did not want to deal with her and her purse and a cane etc. So after the bathroom break we went into the little convenience store as the rule is you have to buy one over priced item per person per stop. We bought one soda and a pack of gum. We took off through the Lemhi's the highest Mountain range in Idaho, absolutely gorgeous. When we arrived at Challis which is the halfway point we stopped for a bite to eat. Mom's back had been bothering her for the past 1/2 hour and she needed a pain pill. I pulled my purse out of the back and started to look through the 15 bags she had packed for her purple flowered purse and I could not find it. I took everything out of the truck and no purse.
I just know it is back at our first stop which has a casino attached to it. Yeah a casino shares the bathroom with the gas station. Mom is beside herself as she should be. I know I would be so upset and sick. She is also really hard on herslef because she is aging and doing aging type things and she knows she is losing it but does not want to admit it. I have to diffuse the melt down that is about to take place. I get her inside the restaurant and she is shaking and a mess. Order some food and get her a milkshake. Then I start calling directory assistance for every stop we made. The town pump has not seen the purse. I cannot get the name of the establishment that we stopped at in North fork as it is just a spit in the road. Luckily the bar attached to the restaurant had some old timers and they were able to give me the specific name of the store and I was able to call no they did not have a purse. Now I have to call every credit card company.
I am cold calling 1-800 #'s as I have nothing else to go on. I am getting disconnected because we are in a hole in a gorge in Idaho. When I did finally get to speak to a person and they speak English I I am trying to explain this is an lady and she is upset all of the above. Now we find out the first card has not been used and I am also not allowed to speak to them as I am not my mother. Now begins the three way conversation on a cell phone to get them to understand the problem. They needed her ss# she could not remember it, they needed her 4 digit pin code she could not remember them. Finally we get the first card cancelled. They will send a replacement card out immediately. NO do not send a card until she contacts you. She will be with me for the next two weeks and my brother will get the mail and use the card. I have to go through this with every card. We are at the restaurant for two hours. I have pain pills and I give her one of mine. We finally leave but she is still very upset and I can't blame her. She had 160.00 in cash and a new prescription of pain meds. 90 pills She does not keep her pain meds with her other meds because of my brother.
I felt so responsible,I should have been watching her closer. We traveled to Arco (where the first nuclear bomb tests were done). And then onto craters of the moon which is why the first nuclear bomb tests were done here, lovely country. Her cell phone rang and it was my brother someone had called and had her purse. He was on his way to get it. Mom told him to call her when he picked it up. Of course the call did not coming in until 11:00 that night. I could tell he was high by the way he was talking. Of course mom tried hard not to let me hear the conversation. All her money was there and the cc's we had just cancelled. Bro had given woman who found purse $20.00 for a reward. Mom asked about her pills and told him they were for her diabetes and to put them up. I' m just shaking my head as this is a very smart known drug user and abuser and seller who will know that those are not for diabetes. But good try mom. I am sure that was said for my benefit like look I am trying to control him. At least the CC's are stopped and he cannot use them.
Now she is worried about paying her bills, but there is a US Bank here and we can go down and get copies of her checks as I sign on the account and I had ID with me. I have not spoken to her about the fact that I know bro was high because she was already so upset. I will try to broach the subject today. I know he has stolen her meds before that is why she is so careful with them. He has taken such advantage of her all of his adult life and she lies for him and will not really tell us the truth about what is happening. The problem is she has enough of her faculties and will not allow us to eliminate him from her life. We have tried and tried. SO now tomorrow I will have to get her bills paid and figure out how to replace her pills.
I love my life. My grandson is too cute and in spite of all this I am going to have a good time.
Have a beautiful Palm Sunday.