Friday, May 23, 2008
Puppies help the medicine go down
The last few months have been a trial on the family, particularly parent, front. Both my parents are getting on in age, and their physical bodies break down a lot more often than they'd like. Good thing that they don't get sick at the same time, otherwise my siblings and I'd be up the creek!
Recently, it was my mother's turn, and she had a long hospital stay which showed just how difficult a patient she is. Ornery my mom, especially when the doctor tells her to stay and she doesn't want to. After being released from the cold, institutional arms of her flower filled hospital suite, it's been like pulling teeth to get her to go for her blood tests every other week followed by a doctor's visit. Mini-tantrums, lots of phone calls, loads of drama just to get her there and back. Even my dad, who has had his fair share of hospital visits and doctors' consultations, can't understand why she has to go through this process each time. Last night, he told me in an aside "Your mama, so tigas ulo (hardheaded)!" pointing to his head like he was trying to crack a hammer on it.
This week's issue was that she didn't like the tone of my dad's caretaker who has been helping my mom with her test schedules and doctor visits. My mom cancelled her doctor's appointment and test, decided to go off with the grandkids on a shopping spree. My sister and I texted one another in frustration, wondering if she was just making it difficult for a reason or was it some kind of dementia or maybe fear of what the follow up had to say. Probably a bit of everything.
Backtrack a bit to a week ago, I had chosen to get a new pet, a puppy of ten weeks, to join me and my feline taskmaster at home. Me, my cat, my dog, full house! A furry, cinnamony brown puppy with soulful eyes and sweet disposition, whose main occupation is to find a warm spot on my lap and sleep like a cinnamon roll. I began to hatch a plan. I would bring the puppy to my mom, see if the furry bundle of joy could make her a bit more reasonable then attack with a logical (if not insightful dialogue to make her see reason). Good friend M was also facing a similar situation that same night with her aunt, who depends on her for support during medical crisis. So with M's "good luck with the dog plan" ringing on my cellphone, I brought dog, and two tasty gifts (a pan of raisin bread and jumbo pastillas de leche) to court my mother.
I first gave her the food, since it's not just a man's heart that needs feeding. Once she was looking peppier from the sight of the pastillas de leche, I brought in the main act. Bingo. In less than 10 minutes, my mom had succumbed to not just the dog but to my request for the test and doctor's visit. Where grandkids and pleas that fell on deaf ears failed, the dog won the day. Completely worth all the puppy potty training and vaccine shots and swarovski studded dog collar!