Difficult Shoe Days

Shoes 2017-08-24 07.30.40.jpg

Every morning at 7:05 am (I have my phone alarm set so I don’t forget, either), I wake Mom from dozing on the couch so she can get dressed before her ride to the ADC arrives. Also every morning, I find her saved socks from the day before, show them to her, and tell her, “GET CLEAN SOCKS!” before I put them in her hamper.

Yesterday morning, she grabbed them as I did and wrestled with me a moment over the socks. She was playing by the end of our tussle, but I’m not sure she was playing at the beginning. Just before her ride arrived, I noticed that the tongue on her left shoe was partially shoved to the side, so I took the shoe off to find her sock only partway on, with half of it hanging off the end of her foot. When I pointed it out, she tried for a second or two to right it, but then gave up and said, “I can’t get it on.”

Sometimes she forgets to bring clean socks with her from the bedroom, and asks me to get them for her. This morning,  I noticed that she had fallen asleep without putting on her shoes, usually a sign that she has forgotten her socks. Before waking her, I got a pair from her drawer, but she already had a pair–she had just fallen asleep. I woke her up to put her shoes and socks on, took the extra pair back to her room, and got back to the living room to find her trying to put a shoe on her bare foot. I took the shoe, set it to one side, and handed her the socks, saying, “PUT YOUR SOCKS ON FIRST!”

She smiled and shook her head at her own forgetfulness, and started putting her socks on. I guess I set her shoe aside to the wrong side, because when I checked back, she had her socks and shoes on, but on the wrong feet, and couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t close properly.

Increased confusion can sometimes indicate a UTI (urinary tract infection) is brewing. Guess I’ll be making a call to her doctor in a few minutes.



Mom used to wear slip-on loafers, but now, with her congestive heart failure, her feet swell during the course of the day, and if the loafers fit well enough to not slide off, then they get too tight later. Before our Thanksgiving trip, I got her two pairs of velcro sneakers, one white (above) and one black (currently on her feet). I was afraid that she wouldn’t like them, but she thinks they look nice and appreciates the fact that they are more comfy than her other shoes had become.

This morning, I stood behind her as she struggled to put on her socks and then her shoes. The diuretic she takes each morning for her CHF helps, but leaning over to reach her feet gets her winded and wheezy. The driver had arrived a little early, and was patiently waiting outside as Mom fumbled around trying to find the black-on-black velcro strap on her 2nd shoe. I helped her find the strap and resisted the urge to move to the front of the couch and put her shoes on for her, to hurry the process along.

During our above-mentioned Thanksgiving road trip, I helped her get dressed every morning and helped her in all the bathrooms on the way. We were gone from home for about 12 days, and the first morning back, she sat on her bed, waiting for me to come help her get dressed. I pointed out to her that since we were home, she knew where her clothes were and could dress herself. She was happy to take up that task again, but I realized that she would also be just as happy to allow me to do everything for her. And so I don’t end up doing just that, I have to give her the time and space she needs to still do those things she is able to do. Even when the bus driver is waiting.