Woman plans, G-d laughs


This is my first week back from vacation and I had planned a blog post about the wonderful people who visited J while I was gone.

Yesterday, our son and I had planned to take J to see Wonder Woman and to one of her favorite neighborhood restaurants.

Instead, we spent yesterday afternoon in the emergency room and I’m writing this.

It all started two afternoons ago when I got a call from J’s continuing care retirement community that she was leaning to her left side while walking.  They ruled out a stroke — always a good outcome — and had a call into her primary care doctor.  A nurse from the CCRC called me again at 7:30 pm that night.  He said they hadn’t heard from the doctor.  (Later, there was a lot of finger-pointing as to whether the doctor’s office or CCRC had dropped the ball.  I tend to believe the nurse at my doctor’s office, especially since the CCRC nurse admitted she didn’t even try to reach the doctor’s office until after noon yesterday.)  I suggested giving her Tylenol, which they did.

What I kept to myself was my anxiety not knowing whether J had a serious problem or not.  But there was nothing for me to do until morning.

I shuttled between calls with the CCRC and the doctor’s office the next morning.  By the time our son, T, and I were at the CCRC for our planned visit, everyone agreed J should go to the emergency room.  It is hard to interpret whether J was feeling pain or not, but when we saw her around 2 pm, she looked like the leaning Tower of Pisa when she tried to walk.


Several hours of waiting ensued at the ER before J was triaged, coaxed into giving a urine sample and x-rayed.  My main concern was whether she had suffered a fracture.

The x-ray was normal, but the urine sample revealed a urinary tract infection.  It doesn’t surprise me that UTIs are common in Alzheimer’s patients.  Hygiene can be an issue.  What did surprise me is that a UTI could affect her gait.  Who knew that poor motor skills, loss of coordination and falling could result from a UTI?

Six hours after arrival at the ER, we were back at J’s CCRC with antibiotics in hand; also a sandwich, since we didn’t want to subject J to dinner in a restaurant, given her restlessness after so long in the ER.  Plus, the kitchen at the CCRC was closed.

So much for our fun evening out.

When I spoke to J this morning, she sounded very cheery.  Surely she remembered nothing about our ER adventure.  That is one advantage of Alzheimer’s disease.

And to those who visited J while I was in Alaska, thank you.  You know who you are.


2 thoughts on “Woman plans, G-d laughs”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s