Monday, February 15, 2010

Mom's latest dilemmas - three illnesses at once and lost teeth

Talk about bad days, Mom's had a whopper yesterday .  She sounded bad on the phone and bravely said, "I feel a bit better than I sound, and I'm on the mend."   Long story short, she has a urinary track infection, a cold and diarrhea.  To top things off, she's lost her bottom denture.   These infections leave her weak so she requires assistance to get in and out of bed and to and from the toilet. She hates being so dependent on someone else.  Though she's weak, her spirit sound strong.  I'm relieved about that anyway.

Lost dentures are pretty common in nursing homes.  Residents take them from each other. If someone's tired they just take them out and put them down, leaving them in weird places.  In Mom's case, she was trying to be polite. Her lower gum hurt so she took them out, politely put them in a tissue and handed them to an aide.  She asked the aide to "put these away for me..." - they most likely ended up in the trash.  She didn't want to hand some ugly teeth full of spit so she put them in a tissue.  I called the nursing desk today, a Monday, and they were unware of the missing teeth. It's been 7 hours and they still can't find them.  So now the question - who pays for the replacement teeth?   Honestly, I don't care - it's really a minor thing to fuss over when I'm more worried about these infections.  She needed a new bottom plate anyway so this just means it happens sooner than later.

I'll work with them to ensure she gets "soft" foods until she's able to get to a dentist for replacements.  I'll also try to talk with Mom even more to make her feel better, to understand that we'll deal with the new denture as soon as possible and let her know she's loved.   It's about all we can do for now.