Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Setting an appointment for the doctor

I went around the house to see the condition. The front hallway from the door was lined with stuff on both sides, creating a narrow path to move down. Stuff was in bags and boxes. Also full packages of toilet paper lined this path. I made it to the end of the hall and went into my old room.
It looked like a dump site. They had just thrown stuff they bought from compulsive shopping at Costco, and boxes into the room. I figured this was where I would sleep, so I pushed a path through to get to the bed. Fortunately it was a bunk bed, so the top bunk was too high for them to put stuff on. However a thick layer of dust had settled upon that bed.
I went into the kitchen and was overwelmed by stench. Empty food packages sat on top of their stove. Unwashed dishes were in the sink and on the counter. Paper plates with dirty food encrusted piled up. The room where would sit to eat was also consumed with piles. Paper was everywhere. The entire countertop was covered in piles of paper: bills, letters, junk mail, catalogs, coupons, receipts, and on and on. The kitchen table was similarly obscured.
"Let's set an appointment for the doctor," I said to my mother, "give me the phone number for the health cooperative."
"I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?" I questioned, "he's got a doctor, right?"
"Well no. His doctor retired, and the next one lasted 2 months."
"so let's call them and make a new appointment."
My mother retreated, confused and lost. I found a main number for the health cooperative and called. Soon the consulting nurse had verified the information. "Your father hasn't been in to see a doctor since July." 8 months ago! And he was regularly suffering from bouts of dementia.
"That's probably when his doctor retired."
The nurse found another doctor and gave us an appointment for the next day. Done. In a few minutes we were set up again with a doctor.

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