I'm sorry to all my blogging friends who read this one! Going to get that out of the way right now, first and up front!!
My dad is 83 and has quite a few physical/medical issues. I live with him 24/7 so he doesn't have to go into a facility. I have three younger brothers, two of whom do nothing to help me with dad. The third does what he can which I appreciate though I wish for more help. Now....having said all that, it was my decision to take care of dad in his senior years. He doesn't want to go to a home, nor do my brothers or I want him to go to one. Again....I remind myself, this was my decision to do this for dad. No one pushed me or held a gun to my head. Still, there are some days I question the sanity of that decision and today happens to be one of those days.
Now, I also want to say, I don't write much about dad and my life with him because frankly, it's personal and not always a pretty picture. I don't believe he would want me telling stories about his private life that would be embarrassing. Old age has a way of demoralizing one's confidence and abilities enough as it is. He doesn't need me sharing it with perfect strangers.
Somehow though after this little incident I can't seem to stop myself. I just need to tell someone, anyone. That or....cry!!
You see, dad has needed new dentures for at least the last three or four years. He has the money to get them but he refuses, getting downright mad at me for even suggesting it. He doesn't like to spend a dime. I don't even like taking him to the grocery, one because it's hard for him to walk, but two, he is always shocked at how expensive things are. I end up buying just a few things on the list and go back latter for the rest when he is napping. So obviously, dentures are out of the question as far as he is concerned.
However, the last few years have been wearing roughly on me with his old dentures. The top one falls out when he is eating or talking to people which embarrasses me greatly. The noise he makes when eating is unbearable, food falls out of his mouth and he can't chew anything...there I've said it. When you sit across the supper table from him sometimes it's all I can do to get through the meal. Believe me I've tried to alleviate this pain! I turn the television up really loudly but sometimes even that doesn't help. I try to not look, I try to not get upset when he can't chew what I have fixed even though I can cut it with a fork. GRRRRR!
So, I went behind his back and made an appointment for new ones and didn't tell him until right before it was time to go. I know that was a bad thing to do but it made my discomfort so much easier. And besides, even if I had told him well in advance he would have forgotten by the next day anyway and I would have to go through the whole experience the next time I told him!
We made it through all the impressions and finally the day came for the new teeth. Mr. Fix-it had to take him to the dentist for me as I had a physical therapy appointment and of course there were no brothers around that could help. When I got home I was so excited to see his pretty new teeth. Not once did they come out during supper, and even though he was eating soft foods, nor were there any horrible noises. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!
At least until the next morning. I was going about my business getting dad's breakfast, coffee and meds when he came storming out of his room. Not really storming, he can't move that fast, however, out he came proclaiming angrily, "Well we've got to find that dentist"! What!! Why??? Apparently, he'd had to sleep in his uppers all night because he couldn't get them out. Personally I don't see that as much of a problem. I'm thrilled they are fitting tightly.
He then proceeds to slam a small capped plastic bottle filled with water and his lower denture on the kitchen table stating that it doesn't fit because he can't get them in. With all the patience I can muster I remind him he wore them all day yesterday and how can they not fit today? In fact, I assured him I had seen him take the lowers out and put them back in last night after supper to which he was sure he hadn't.
When his shower aide arrived, he immediately tells her he spent two hours the night before trying to unsuccessfully get his upper plate out and that we had to leave right now to go to the dentist to get them fixed!! (Of course, two hours was actually more like fifteen minutes!) I explained to him that I would have to call first that we couldn't just walk in because they had other patients and he became indignant and couldn't understand why not. Oh my gosh, I don't want to get old and lose my sense of logic.
Finally we go to the dentist and as I am carrying the little plastic jar with his denture into the office, the cute little receptionist says, "What's that your bringing me?" Now...I thought that was an odd comment, she knew what we were coming in for and surely she would recognize the little container the Dr. must send home with all denture customers, right? I proudly held it up displaying the non-conforming plate in the little container saying sardonically in a low voice, "See, he's not wearing them!"
Cute little receptionist lets out a giggle and says, "Well I thought it looked like a urine sample!" A urine sample?!?!? Who would bring a urine sample to a dentist!! Why would she think that, wouldn't she see these little bottles go in and out of the office all the time?
And that's when it hit me!
It IS a urine sample container!! Omg I am mortified!!! Since Mr. Fix-it was the one to take him to get his new dentures, I had wrongly assumed the container was sent home with him from the Dentist. Well we all know what happens when we 'assume' something, right! I had totally forgotten that a month ago dad was at the Dr.'s and a urine sample was needed but he couldn't do it and the nurse sent the bottle home with him. To make matters worse, (so sorry for this information!!) he had tried at home but......couldn't hit the bottle! Getting the sample was promptly forgotten....until this incident!
When we left the office with his new dentures in his mouth but the old denture in the little container I told him this was his urine sample bottle to which he replied as seriously as he possibly could, "Well about time we found a use for the thing."
OMG, I wanted to cry! Now that a few days have passed I am able to laugh about it with Mr. Fix-it............barely.