Rings on Her Fingers
We tried unsuccessfully to take Mom’s rings off today. In addition to her wedding and engagement ring, Mom wears four other rings, each one tightly hugging her fingers, so much so that even with liberal amounts of lubrication, the rings do not come off. She’s been wearing them for so long that her fingers have shaped themselves around the rings.
Mom does not have pain in her fingers from her rings. They are not (yet) cutting off circulation. But they look like they might.
The problem is, Mom won’t let either my dad or myself try to remove them. If we are to avoid cutting them, we have to be able to work them off each finger a little at a time, which may hurt if not irritate the fingers. I have visions of us putting Mom under local anesthesia in order to avoid a big scene.
Do the rings really need to come off? If the answer is yes, then we can’t let our fear of Mom’s Alzheimer’s stop us from doing the job. We’ve experienced Mom’s reaction to “invasive” medical procedures like a mammogram or taking blood samples, collecting urine or getting a flu shot. Each time we go back to the clinic, I weigh the significance of the test or procedure not only in terms of its importance to mapping Mom’s health but also to my ability to cajole, persuade, wheedle, charm or even bully Mom into doing something she is disinclined and incapable of doing. If Mom won’t pee into a cup on the first try, she may do it on the fourth or fifth. She may be willing to let me help her, or miraculously, do it independently. Perhaps bribing her with chocolate will do the trick.
Mom is on occasion aware of her weight gain. “I’m getting so fat,” she’s said as she’s dressing. The good thing is that a comment like that is soon forgotten. I’m sure most women would love to be blissfully oblivious about their appearance, or at least unselfconscious of their bodies.
Mom certainly has a higher caloric intake than she needs. And the amount of exercise she engages in—usually in the form of walking—is insufficient. That’s a bad combination for an older person whose metabolism is decreasing.
I’m reminded of a nursery rhyme from my childhood: “Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross to see a fine lady upon a white horse. With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she will have music wherever she goes.” Let’s keep the music, but the rings might have to go.
A jeweler may be more kind to the rings (and fingers) than a surgeon, if we can find one who will saw them off. Imagine needing to own a saw to cut rings. The small circular saw a jeweler uses for emergency ring removal can actually be purchased for minimal cost on Amazon, though I can’t see us doing this ourselves. Apparently, once they’ve been cut, assuming it’s on the joint of the ring, rings can be soldered back together and resized. At that point, I’d just put them away. Mom would likely miss wearing her rings, but if we do have to go through it, we’ll only be doing it once.
If eating a good dessert gets Mom out of a funk, I might even prescribe a second slice. One of our favorite winter desserts is banana cake. If I find myself with overripe bananas, I’ll put them in the freezer until I’ve collected enough to make this moist flavor-full recipe.
Desserts that are "diet" can also be tasty. Here's a way to cut down on the calories without compromising on the taste. Don't just have one, though, eat three!
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 banana, sliced
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Beat eggs and oil then add sugar, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Add dry ingredients and mix to form a consistent batter. Place one heaping tablespoon of batter into each paper cupcake holder (size #3). Place a slice of banana on top. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.