I received a call the other day from a doctor - Mom's new doctor. I was surprised! He actually wanted to chat a minute about Mom. Wow!
He had just seen Mom for the first time and wanted to ask about the incident of swollen ankles he had seen in the files. I explained that they swell when she doesn't move around enough which typically happens if she doesn't feel quite up to snuff and she just sits in her chair. One ankle is always more swollen due to a long ago sprain. The swelling doesn't hurt however and if we get her up and moving, the swelling goes down. For a 96 year old, I think that's pretty good and so did he. He commented that she looked great and had good genes. My typical reply to that is, "I'm banking on those genes" although interestingly enough my grandma died very young when Mom was just two months old and my grandpa and Mom's siblings all died in their early 80s. Mom obviously pulled the long straw.
He invited me to stop by and see him if I'm there during his normal visit and we ended the conversation.
A few days later I received a call from the home. Seems the doctor had ordered blood work during his visit and the results had come back. You would think that at 96 there might be a few numbers that just didn't hit the mark. In Mom's case, just one. Her vitamin D level was very low. Given the heat this summer it was difficult to get the residents out in the sun as much as usual and Mom doesn't drink a lot of milk either so it wouldn't contribute enough to compensate. I wasn't surprised by the deficiency.
The fix - a vitamin pill. The only pill that Mom needs at the age of 96. Like I said, I'm banking on those genes!