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Caring for Your Parents

Chapter 14: Lorraine and Charlotte [4:39]

"A spiritual connection."

Lorraine knows her mother so well, but does she understand what she wants? A doctor talks about love.

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Transcript 

Chapter 14: Lorraine & Charlotte “A spiritual connection.”

RECEPTIONIST:  

Hi, can I help you? 

LORRAINE:  

Hi, yes, these are my mom's papers, do I need to sign anything? 

RECEPTIONIST:  

Yes, you do. 

LORRAINE:  

Alrighty.  

NARRATOR:

DESPITE SETBACKS, LORRAINE CONTINUES TO BE HOPEFUL ABOUT BRINGING HER MOM HOME. 

LORRAINE:  

If you want me to sign it I can, but I think you can practice, this is good practice time. 

NARRATOR:

TODAY CHARLOTTE IS BEING FITTED FOR DENTURES, SO SHE'LL BE ABLE TO EAT SOLID FOOD.  

LORRAINE:  

And up...whoops, watch out... 

Watch your feet, watch your feet.  Scooch over just a little further...

TRACY:  

Just hold on just one minute. 

LORRAINE:  

Her butts not totally in there... 

BILL:  

I know... 

TRACY:  

I got her...I won't drop your mama on the floor. 

I never dropped her yet, I'm not starting now. 

DENTIST:  

We're just going to take some impressions today Charlotte, okay? We're going to do some moulding with your mouth and be pulling on your cheeks a little bit, do you understand? Yep?  Can you hear me okay? Sort of?

Open.  Open.

LORRAINE:  

I have always gone with her to doctor's appointments, and I listen for her and I answer, like a lot of times, medical questions and moral support.  And if she's uncomfortable, I can tell.

DENTIST:  

A little pressure here... 

LORRAINE:  

Hurt? 

CHARLOTTE:  

Ohhhhhh! 

DENTIST:  

It's just kind of hard to get out sometimes...There we go. 

CHARLOTTE:  

Ohhh... 

LORRAINE:  

That hurt? 

CHARLOTTE:  

Don't feel good. 

LORRAINE:  

No, it doesn't but it will be all worth it when you eat that steak. 

CHARLOTTE:  

Sure. 

LORRAINE:  

I mean, I read her non-verbals because, you know, I'm with her all the time.  

It's almost like a spiritual connection.  I can almost feel what she's thinking because I've had history with her.

Think of your pets Foxy and Sable.  If you only think of that then that will help ya...

DENTIST:  

Okay.  Lift your tongue up...

I know this is not comfortable.  

DR. MURPHY:

Love is really important. Like many other jobs that people love, they can do things that they could never do if love wasn't involved.  And the amount of work that goes into caring for a parent in the end of their life is a huge amount of work and without that love, I don't think it would happen.  

LORRAINE:  

Spit that stuff out... 

CHARLOTTE:  

Are we through? 

LORRAINE:  

Are we through? 

DENTIST:  

Uh, yes. 

LORRAINE:  

Yes! That's good, almost over. You got through it.  

NARRATOR:

CHARLOTTE HAS NOT BEEN MAKING PROGRESS WALKING.  HER GOAL OF LEAVING THE NURSING HOME IS IN JEOPARDY...

LORRAINE:  

Hey, how ya doing? 

CHARLOTTE:  

Hurt. 

LORRAINE:  

Going to see the doctor today? 

Oh, those bruises are there again. That is not lookin' so good. And these, this swelling... 

I don't know why that's there. We'll have to ask the doctor. 

DR. WACHTEL:

Do your legs bother you at all Charlotte?  Huh?  Do your legs hurt?

CHARLOTTE:  

No.

DR. WACHTEL:

They don't hurt?  Do they feel heavy?

CHARLOTTE:  

Sometimes. 

DR. WACHTEL:

Yeah?  Try and lift this leg.

Something.  Show me what you can do with the other one.

Can you touch my hand?  

NURSE KAREN:  

I'm sure they're hoping for, you know, 100% recovery. 

Right now I really don't think that's going to take place to be honest.  

DR. WACHTEL:  

Ok.  

LORRAINE:  

Ok.  I guess we're done.

NARRATOR:

EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS A SETBACK... 

DR. WACHTEL:

Charlotte, I'll see you in a couple of weeks or so. 

NURSE KAREN:  

Well you never want anybody to give up hope, (Laughter).  You always gotta keep that no matter what.  

NARRATOR:

AFTER SEVEN MONTHS CHARLOTTE HAS NOT PASSED THE TEST OF BEING ABLE TO WALK.  PERMANENTLY LEAVING THE NURSING HOME LOOKS UNLIKELY...

LORRAINE:  

Okay.  Let's go get some air.

NARRATOR:

FOR NOW THE BEST THEY CAN HOPE FOR ARE SHORT WEEKEND VISITS.. 

LORRAINE:

Are you getting used to the teeth at all?