Parental Journal 38 from Planet Elderly: Prepping/Packing for Next Visit

Monday, January 18, 2016

I’m spending this entire cold day in flannel PJ’s.  Will relax with reading, writing, napping, eating…the usual winter hibernation stuff.  Saturday I return to Illinois to help out with a few things.

On the agenda for the next visit:  a doctor’s appointment with Mom’s female doctor (Jan. 28), a meet and greet appointment with her new female primary care physician (Feb. 1), getting home and car insurance paid for the year, doing taxes.  I think it will all fairly smoothly…especially if Mom has done as I requested and just put mail on the desk upstairs.

Recent phone calls have been fine.  She has had a very bad cold, and then on top of that someone ran into her car when it was parked in the grocery store parking lot.  Neighbor Kevin was with her.

When I spoke with Mom on Friday she said they were taking the car in to be fixed.  However, she called me at 5:15 a.m. today asking if she had car insurance.  I gave her the name and phone number of her agent.  She is supposed to have that information in her wallet and in the glove compartment of the car, but she doesn’t remember that and I didn’t want to mention it.  That would have sent her off into a frantic search and since she told me she had been up all night, it’s best to keep things simple.  I reminded her that it’s a holiday and the insurance agent’s office might be closed.

Neighbor Kevin keeps silent.  No calls or emails from him.  No calls or emails from the staff at Victory Lakes where Mom visits Dad.  Thus, I assume things are going along as usual.  During recent phone calls, Mom sounded cheerful except for the days she was really down with a bad cold.

Will spend the next few days preparing mentally for the next visit and also preparing what to take.  I don’t know how long I’ll be up there.  It kind of depends on whether or not Mom’s new primary care physician wants to move ahead with some assessments and/or referrals and when those will be scheduled.

Meanwhile, Mom is happy to remind me as she did on the phone the other day, “I don’t need a babysitter.”  Of course she doesn’t; none of us senior citizens needs a babysitter…although some of us eventually need a “seniorsitter.”  Maybe.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016  2:45 p.m.

Just spoke with Mom to check in.  Car is being fixed.  She’s worried about the cost.  I told her she could bring her checkbook and they’ll write the check for her to sign.  “I don’t have a checkbook,” she said rather forcefully.

I reminded her of the gray checkbook that has the note “Mom’s Checking” on it.  Then she calmed down a bit.

I’ve started packing for the trip up there Saturday.  Weather will be cold, but at least not snowy.

Trying to get my energy and attitude up.   It’s slow going.


Thursday, January 21, 2016 – evening

Mom called this morning to apologize “for being so crabby on the phone yesterday.”  Told her I didn’t think she was crabby…just concerned about getting the car fixed.

“Is it all fixed now?” I asked.

“Yes.   When are you coming up?”


Friday, January 22, 2016  11 a.m.

My mood is quite low today…has been for a couple days now.  I have a situation here in MO that is difficult and I’m trying to help as much as I can.  It’s heartbreaking.  Meanwhile, I’m gearing up for tomorrow’s trip up to stay with Mom for a while.

Things are mostly packed…but it’s so cumbersome.  My usual trip “baggage”:

A carry-on for basic clothes

Tops/coats/etc. on hangers and laid on the back seat

One satchel of folks’ important papers, etc.

One satchel of my reading/writing materials

One satchel for laptop gear/electronics

Printer – Will bring mine this trip, but will get a small, simple model to keep up there

Container of meds

Bag with toiletries

Bag with hot rollers/make up

Snow boots

Some food items for Mom and/or me (1 – 2 bags)

It all fits in my Ford Fusion.  Will pack a bit of it later today and finish up tomorrow morning.

It’s difficult watching two heartbreaking situations happening 400 miles apart…and I’m in the middle doing what I can bit by bit.  But that’s okay.  Things could be much, much worse.

About jjmummert

This blog was originally titled "Drifting Toward Planet Elderly," and it shared a journey I had with my elderly parents as they both finished their lives battling the complexities of dementia. After both passed on, I changed the title to "Living on Planet Elderly." I am a retiree who is reluctantly adjusting to the reality that she is now elderly. In July of 2021, I relocated to Middleton WI after living in Columbia MO for over 40 years. I decided that I want to experience a new and vibrant location in a cooler climate with lakes...a bucket list item of mine. I have a first cousin who lives in Madison. We have nice childhood memories, and I thought it would be wonderful to spend some time together as elders. It was. AND March 2023, I returned to Columbia. I had a wonderful time experiencing the Madison area of Wisconsin, spending time with my cousin, and making some wonderful friends. No regrets.
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