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Going to the doctor’s is rarely fun. For our elderly parents, it can actually be quite stressful! If it’s due to illness, my senior mom and I generally head straight home after the appointment. If McDonald’s is on the way, I might be able to talk her into going through their drive-thru to get her favorite Bacon Club Sandwich and a hot fudge Sundae, if she feels up to it. If it’s a simple and routine appointment or even less routine but not involving a cold, flu, etc., we try to add something fun, like eating out, into the mix as a bit of “sweet sugar” to ease the “medicine” of the doctor appointment.
The last few times, her energy level hasn’t been great and she hasn’t really wanted to stay and eat. (Summer heat can definitely take a toll, among other things). For those occasions, I often pick one of her favorite restaurants, call in an order, park, then run in and pick it up while she waits in the car. After that, it’s off to home we head.
It’s a little bit of extra work and sometimes, like last week, when we stopped at Mimi’s Cafe in Roseville, we get home and she heads straight to bed. That’s when I may be left wondering, “is it better to skip those extra stops? Are they more frustrating for her than encouraging?
After she got up from her nap, though, she felt much better. She headed straight for the kitchen, heated up her Mimi’s Cafe tomato basil soup, and the look on her face as she ate assured me that it is, indeed, well worth it! And I was so grateful to God for having given me the idea in the first place.
Caring for our elderly parents is definitely challenging! There’s constant second guessing ourselves, trial and error-ing things, looking for ways to encourage them (including buying them flowers at Trader Joe’s 🙂 ), and even some mistakes. But there are also plenty of sweet rewards. And those cheery smiles and thank you’s from our beloved elderly are always a delight we will treasure for years to come!