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From the top: Trina, Danae & Sabrena

From the top: Trina, Danae & Sabrena – Summer 1990 (I think)

Here is a good picture of three of my favorite girls, who have grown up to be wives and mothers. They are my step-daughter Trina; Danae, the daughter of good friends; and Sabrena, a second cousin of Cindy’s.

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I know you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything about Flo, Cindy’s mom, recently. Face it, you’ve been wondering. Well, other things have been taking place, such as a short visit by mom, and I have things to tell you about that visit. But, since I spent time with Flo yesterday, I need to get that event out before I forget any of it.

Cindy actually spent more time with Flo than I did. Cindy took the afternoon off from work to take Flo to a variety of doctor’s appointments. I there were two or three appointments. She picked Flo up at the nursing home and drove to Lafayette. She drove to one of the appointments only to find out that the doctor had moved his office from one hospital to a newer hospital on the edge of town. The final appointment of the day was with an otolaryngologist on the near north side of town. Flo had started complaining of pains in her ears.

That’s where I met them. Cindy had asked me to meet them there and to then drive Flo back to the nursing home so Cindy could return to work. With some reluctance, I agreed to drive Flo  back to Mulberry. I arrived before Cindy and Flo (they were still making up time from the appointment at the wrong address). The wait for the doctor was a short one. After answering a few questions for a nurse the doctor arrived.

As he was looking in Flo’s ears he asked her to rate her pain on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most painful. Of course, her answer was 10 (she always answers 10). He looked startled and asked her if the pain was constant or if it came and went. I came and went. How long does the pain last…seconds, minutes or hours? Hours! He told her that if the pain was that great for such a long period of time, she would be rolling on the floor in pain. She doesn’t roll on the floor in pain, but it is a 10 and lasts for hours…she should know! Did this just start recently? It started a few years ago. How often does it happen? At least once a week. He looked at Cindy and asked her how long she had known about this pain. Cindy told him, honestly, that she had just heard about it recently. I could have told him that I had never heard about it before, but he didn’t ask me. He asked Flo, “Do you have trouble hearing?” Her response was, “Huh?” He tried again, “Do you have trouble hearing?” She said yes. He asked if Flo has ever had a head scan performed, and we decided that X-rays had been taken at some point, but nothing was found (Hush, Trina!). The doctor decided to test Flo’s hearing while she was there, and moved us to another room while we waited for the audiologist.

The audiologist came in and introduced herself and said she would place a ramp in order to get Flo into the test booth. At that point Cindy had to leave, and I was left with Flo. The audiologist returned and wheeled Flo away to the test booth. While I waited, the otolaryngologist came back and told me that a scan of Flo’s head was necessary, but that he would leave that decision to Flo’s primary care physician. He thought it was strange that we had never seen Flo in 10 level pain. I told him I thought the staff at the nursing home would have mentioned it if they had seen her in that much pain as well. He agreed. My phone rang about then. I say rang, but what it really did was play a clip from The Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s version of the theme from The Flintstones. That surprised me because that was the tune I have assigned to Flo’s calls. I pulled the phone out of my pocket to stop the music. I’m sure he saw the picture that comes up when Flo calls…it’s a picture of a green-faced troll. I was mildly embarrassed. He left me alone to contemplate my lack of seriousness. I listened to the voice mail, and found out that Cindy was calling from Flo’s phone. It had been left in Cindy’s car and she had driven off with it. She said I should ask Flo if she wanted it today, or if she could wait until Saturday, when Cindy was picking her up to take her to breakfast, to get it back.

At that point the audiologist returned with Flo and gave the doctor the results of her hearing test. The doctor showed the results to me and said there appeared to be nerve damage that was affecting her hearing. She asked him why that was, and he told her she had had too many birthdays. He told us both that Flo could use hearing aids in both ears. With that, I wheeled Flo out and got her into my car.

As we were pulling out of the parking lot I asked Flo is she wanted her phone then, or if waiting until Saturday was OK. Flo said she could wait as long as Cindy called Peg to tell her what time she was being picked up. Flo said that Cindy needed to start taking some responsibility. She told me to tell Cindy that she should write it on a calendar so that she wouldn’t forget. I promised that I would do that.

So that I wouldn’t seem a complete dolt, I said to Flo that I enjoyed the sunny day considering that earlier weather forecasts had called for rain. Flo told me that she had prayed that it wouldn’t rain until she was back at the nursing home, and that God had answered her prayer. I thought that she was pretty special that she had so much influence with God, but I didn’t tell her that…she would have agreed.

Then, out of the blue, she said to me, “I heard that Jackson’s daughter tried to commit suicide.” I said, “Who?” She said, “That Jackson’s daughter. I heard that both those kids were adopted, but I thought he had them by a woman. And I still think that.” I have no idea who or what she was talking about, but now I’m wondering about that Jackson.

Then she told me that she never wanted to get Alzheimer’s (she call it Oldtimers), nor have a stroke. If she gets either she wants to die. I’ll keep that in mind.

Well, that’s when we got back to the nursing home. I helped Flo out of the car, and wheeled her to her room where I left her in the capable hands of a nurse aide. I should probably have warned the aide about the pain i Flo’s ears.

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