Mother was having trouble with her hearing aides, so I took her to have them cleaned and adjusted. Turned out, the problem was hard, impacted ear wax. So I took her to her ear doctor.
“Yep,” he said, “Gotta get that stuff out, but it needs to be softened first. Use alcohol.”
“No, grain alcohol. Moonshine. The cheapest you can find.”
After picking myself up off the floor, I took the print-out he handed me to the liquor store. I must admit, they know me there, and this junk is not what I usually buy.
“Um,” I said, both embarrassed and stifling giggles. “I need some cheap moonshine, smallest bottle you have, and you’re not going to believe what it’s going to be used for.”
Without missing a beat, the guy said “Ear drops?”
Okay folks, you heard it here. Two parts moonshine to one part white vinegar, 5 minutes each side, every other day.
Hey, who am I to argue?! Doctor’s orders!
She is doing well, except for the 20 pounds she’s gained in the last six months so that none of her summer clothes fit. I’ve been letting out slacks and ordering from catalogues—seems elastic waist pants are not the mode de jour in local shops.
I don’t remember if I told you about the scar tissue that has developed on her right retina, her “good” eye. The specialist does not know why this is happening, and in July will try an injection that may or may not dissolve it. The area is not enlarging (last three months) but is right at the optic nerve. It is possible that she will completely lose her sight if the shot doesn’t work. She is upset about it, but there is nothing that can be done other than this upcoming attempt.
I’ve hired two new “substitute” caregivers, both of whom are working out well. That makes a total of five—two main ones, a Sunday lady, and two substitutes. My plan is to finish our taxes (!), clean and organize her room (a major, intimidating project), get a stair lift installed, and move her out of the dining room and back upstairs by mid August. If all goes well, I will have my second knee replacement at the end of August. Problems with both my left knee and right foot (something wasn’t done precisely right during that replacement in 2002) make it painful for me to get around. I’m doing about 3.5 hours of physical therapy a week, which is helping, but won’t fix the problems.
I’ve been “testing” her memory. She remembers our trip to the GA Aquarium in April 2008, the day before she became seriously ill, but the next nine months or so are lost to her. Since about February, she has been lucid and lately has been talking about friends and family.