Open Thread

Wed –  Cutting the Cable Cord (Rhett)

Th – Free College!!  (WCE starter)

Fri – Celebrations (Lark)

Mon – Parenting Standards Then and Now (Louise)

Wed +1 – The American Dream (Finn)

Th +1 –  Kids and the Internet (tcmama)

Fri +1 – Favorite Limericks (WCE)


92 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. For those of you who are dealing, or have dealt with, older folks with memory issues/cognitive decline – what was the first things you noticed?

  2. Rhett, My mom has been hard of hearing forever, possibly since childhood. In the early stages, she would answer questions in a nonsensical manner, which we passed off as due to her hearing loss. Eventually, it has became impossible to rationalize away her issues that way. One thing that was happening was that she no longer had the cognitive ability to read lips and make inference from the sounds that she could hear.

  3. My brilliant dad, my dad who was a product of Caltech and Stanford, began to be unable to understand the letters that the bank was sending him about how he needed a separate account for his family trust. (My lawyer said that was b.s. and he didn’t really need that account, it was just Wells Fargo being stupid, but that’s not important right now.) Fortunately he died not too long afterwards.

    Mom became less bitter. She was the queen of the victims, and she could hold a grudge FOREVER, and she began to forget all the people (including her parents and husband) who had wronged her terribly. I even accidentally brought up a sore incident (and started kicking myself immediately), but to my amazement she didn’t know what I was talking about. This was an incident that would have triggered days of screaming and crying and ranting, and lashing out angrily at whoever was sitting there, but she didn’t remember! That’s when I knew she wasn’t faking it, because she really enjoyed making everyone else suffer from all the “wrongs” she’d endured.

  4. Rhett – Driving issues were one of the first signs for me. Mom, who had always been a safe driver with a totally clean record, got into a fender-bender. Then a couple of months later I was driving with her somewhere and she went through a red light. A few months later there was another fender-bender. At that point I told her she had to stop driving (she did). I also started looking more closely at her household management, and noticed that she had been late paying some bills, and she was off on some arithmetic in her checkbook, neither of which had ever happened before.

    At that time, though, by all outward appearances, she was still fine (was always clean, groomed, and appropriately dressed, made her own meals, carried on coherent conversations, etc), but the items described above made me realize that she was on the decline.

  5. Getting lost while driving. I mean really lost as in driving around for an hour before getting back on track. And being unable to find his car in a parking lot but panicking instead of looking for it or seeking help. In a way these behaviors sneak up on you because getting lost and losing your car in a parking lot happen to many people.

  6. For my parents, it’s repetitive stories or questions. My dad fell off a mental cliff this year (inexplicably) – so for him, the repetitive questions came at the same time as the questions making no sense at all. It was 0 to 60 in about a month.

    My mom is far more with it (as evidenced by the fact she is still living at home whereas he is suddenly in a nursing facility) but she tells me the same story multiple times in a 24-hour visit. Also (and this drives my sister bananas) my mom knows she is forgetful yet refuses (or is unable?) to come up with simple systems like keeping a notebook to write down info she knows she’ll need and knows she’ll forget. I’m more alarmed by this than bothered – why would you not want to put systems in place to help yourself? Or — again — is it lack of capacity and should we be even more concerned?

  7. The matriarchs in my mother’s family started forgetting family relationships. Before the decline they could recite whole family trees. When I visited with baby DS, my grandmother didn’t recognize her grandchild (me) nor did she realize she was seeing her first great grandchild.

  8. So just retelling the same story pr asking the same question four days in a row wouldn’t really qualify? Dr. Google says the telling of the same story over and over is fairly typical of the elderly and doesn’t necessarily indicate an underlying problem.

  9. Rhett, I’m no doc, but asking the same question for four days in a row would seem like a cause for some concern – or at least close monitoring. Particularly if it’s an important question (and assuming the important answer is being forgotten every time).

    Off topic – is anyone (of the lawyers) at the ACC Conf in Austin this week?

  10. I think the biggest thing is in ability to cope in unfamiliar situations. Many elderly people, especially highly intelligent ones, do terrifically well in their routines, even with significant cognitive decline. However, if their is road construction, a store that is closed, a local bank remodeled, things totally fall apart. Also, the smart ones have a lot of coping mechanisms that make them look hard or hearing, scattered or distracted – not impaired. Someone with high baseline answers the question, “who is president?” with “Oh, I think they’re all the same, those politicians. But can I tell you a story about when Ike was running for president?”

  11. Retelling the same story is not uncommon among elderly who can get by on their own. As is asking the same question four days in row or requiring help with names or forgetting that It is susies husband and not Sallys that just passed away. As was said, monitoring is warranted, especially around money or medication. Asking the same question four times in the space of two hours is more typical of the sort of dementia that indicates it is time for close supervision, or not recognizing the long time cleaning lady when she comes each Thursday.

  12. I’m shopping for a new bed. Any experience with Sleep Number, Tuft & Needle, Casper, or Leesa? These are all brands that have been recommended to me. I tried Sleep Number and Casper in the store and they both seem the same to me (and I know one is air and other memory form).

  13. Rhett, that sounds like some normal decline due to aging and probably not anything to worry about.

    Anyone have suggestions for saving money on dental stuff? DS has a missing tooth (It just wasn’t there, DW had the same thing), and recently finished braces with a nice gap. They can’t do an implant until he’s in his 20s, so the options are wearing a retainer 24 hours a day, or getting a bonded bridge. The ortho referred us to a dentist for a consultation (ironically it’s our old dentist who we left about 6-7 years ago because they kept rescheduling our appts), and he gave us a price of $2400 for the bonded bridge, less whatever insurance might cover, if anything.

    We are going to ask our current dentist if she can do it and what she would charge, and she also works at the dental school, so we are going to ask if we might be able to get it done through the school for a lower price, as you can often do with dental work.

    DS and I are going to be in AZ for spring break and DW thought of taking him to my dad’s dentist in Mexico, but it’s a two-visit thing several weeks apart. So I don’t think the savings would be enough to justify a second trip out there.

  14. @Risley — I think some of our people are, but not me, alas.

    I am a little worried about dementia myself, because I am naturally a little spacey/forgetful, and so I am not sure I will be able to tell the difference between normal-me and “oops, it’s dementia.” Ex: I almost always multi-task on the brainless stuff, so Sunday morning I was cleaning up after breakfast, and I did it my normal ADD way, i.e., pick up stuff on the counter and run around to everywhere something belongs, usually see something else on the way and pick it up and add another destination, continue until everything is somewhere. So I emptied the dishwasher and while putting a dish away, thought of something for the grocery list so went to grab my phone. Then a text came in, and I instantly forgot the thing for the list, so after texting back, I went back to the dishwasher while trying to remember that stupid thing before DD went to the store. On the way to put a bowl away, I passed the breakfast detritus, so I grabbed the dishes for the sink and the butter and put it all away, checked the back pantry for the grocery list, circled back to put some cups away, and was back at the dishwasher, still trying to think of the thing I forgot.

    A few minutes later, I wanted some challah and butter, and I couldn’t find the butter — not in the fridge, not on the counter, retraced my steps, checked both pantries, checked the stairs because I had picked up a few things that needed to go upstairs, checked the charging station just because — nothing. Repeated everything, nothing. Finally, I just started opening every single door — did I put it with the wok, did I put it in the crisper, etc. Found it in the microwave. WTF???? I didn’t even remember putting *anything* in the microwave — I was cleaning up, not making food! So I’ve been a little freaked since then. I mean, it’s pretty common for me not to remember where I put my sunglasses or keys (which is why they both have designated spots), and I have even occasionally put A where B goes and B where A goes. But I have never, ever put food in the microwave instead of the fridge and then had no memory whatsoever of doing it. So is that just normal autopilot messing up because I had too many different things and distractions? Or is it A Sign? Scares the crap out of me.

    On the plus side, I have always had a very active and pleasant imaginary life out there on Planet Zuton, so I guess getting caught there permanently isn’t the worst thing that could happen. . . .

  15. LFB: Once in a while, I put the food items in places they don’t belong. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  16. I’m going to see my mom & step dad later this week. She’s 84 & fine, he’s 92 and has the old age symptoms of telling the same story/asking the same question several times within a short time span. Like Ada describes he’s great in familiar places/settings but new/different things throw him. On thing that’s going for him is his 95yo brother lives nearby and they get together for coffee weekly to swap the same stories they’ve been telling for years.

  17. Regarding dementia – Ada can comment more authoritatively, but my experience was listening/watching for things that change. Did the person ALWAYS know who the president was, but now they don’t? And, before you jump to dementia, rule out other issues – my mom had a medication that had a side effect that affected her memory (in her early 70s) and then lack of hearing made her responses to questions off that hearing aids in her early 90s helped.

    Lastly, as she lost more and more sight and hearing, things that many health care providers used to test her orientation show false positives for dementia. For example, if you are almost blind and don’t hear well and are in a facility (hospital, rehab) where you don’t have your normal routine, knowing what day of the week or what the date (month/day/year) is very hard to determine because there are no markers for you to use.

    One last thought…if you have relatives you think are losing their hearing, get it tested. Some hearing can be restored through hearing aids if it is caught “early”, by treating the “faulty” ear. But, if it goes on too long (per our audiologist), the brain forgets how to handle that input and hearing aids cannot fix the problem.

  18. This last weekend I was at DD#1’s college parent weekend. It was good to see her after two months. I think she is doing well – there are adjustments to people, weather, living arrangements, but nothing seemed concerning.

    As we discussed on earlier threads RPI has a “medal” that each participating high school (3900 worldwide) can bestow on one high school junior. If this student attends RPI they are guaranteed $25K toward tuition for up to 5 years (4 but it expands to 5 if you do the co-terminus masters). This year roughly 24% of this freshman class are medalists.

    We attended the honors convocation where these and other awards were given out. The other “recognition” that surprised me was those students (generally juniors) who had completed 90 hours at RPI if they entered as freshman or 60 hours at RPI if they were transfer students and maintained a 4.0 gpa over that entire time. This year the number of students who were able to do that was 4. I know it is a rigorous school, but it is roughly 0.3 percent of the class. I guess I was thinking it would be at least 1 percent.

  19. I know about those medals. The student at our HS who got it ended up at a small liberal arts college…

  20. We didn’t make it to the parents weekend at my kid’s school because I had to be at an open house at my own university, and DS2 had to take the PSAT. I do weekly video chats with my kid, and just finished one a few minutes ago. One thing we are trying to figure out – because of his AP credits and testing out of one required CS course, he needs to register for sophomore classes but has to do registration with the freshmen. We don’t want him to get closed out of the sophomore classes he needs. At the end of this semester, he may have enough completed credits to qualify for sophomore status. I told him to check if they can let him register with the sophomores because of that.

  21. Laura – You and I are, I believe, subject to the same sort of distractibility. In my mid 50s I started to have exactly those sort of senior moments ( relative to my high baseline), and panicked being an adoptee with no medical history (pre medical DNA workups, but they are not all that useful anyway IMO). But what pushed me to have a full workup and waste health care time and insurance dollars was when I went back to a mall I visit infrequently and became completely disoriented, repeatedly, trying to find the exit I came in on. I had the MRI, the complete day of tests, and passed with an off the chart positive score. The neurologist suggested anxiety meds. I went back to the mall soon after in a non panic mode and figured out what had happened. Prior to a reno, they had a big escalator at the Macy’s end, an elevator in the middle, and a stairway at the Sears end. You had to go into Sears to use an escalator between levels. They replaced the stairway with an escalator, and I kept orienting myself away from the new escalator to find the Sears end.

  22. LfB – I have those moments all the time. And they often come while trying to empty the dishwasher! So normal Totebag behavior IMO. :)

  23. What’s funny is that I got this job because of my extraordinary ability to “cover the white space,” i.e. to be aware of a ton of input and pick out what’s important. My focused colleagues are unaware of a lot of the stuff I find problematic. I’ve always been somewhat this way, but having three boys in two years upped it a couple notches. I often wish I were less distractable.

  24. Here is my rant for today. I went to the pharmacy and they changed out one of the green pills and now all but 2 of DH’s morning pills are now white. I just give you the photo so you can imagine what it might be like for a senior without a helper. See how much they look alike, and how small some of them are. The three smaller half pills have to go through the pill cutter. The half pill next to the larger elliptical one is the same medication – he takes 1 1/2. And his two bedtime pills are medium sized white and round, virtually identical in size, and involve a cut because the dose is 1 1/2 each.

  25. Meme – I support you 1000% in that rant. My mom who was almost blind would use a large magnifying glass to read the numbers. She had been a pharmacist and would take a sharpie to the pharmacy with her and ask them to write what was imprinted on the pill on the bottom of her bottle.

    I think this is why some of those mail order services that seal your pills in bags by day/time of day you take them are popular.

  26. Doesn’t work for half pills, and the ever changing coumadin dosage, and even then you have to get the docs to write all the scripts the same way with Breakfast and dinner, or 9am and 6pm , or at Bedtime. Otherwise they can’t package them together. That service is now available from the medicare covered pharmacies, not just the specialized independents. It is required for Asst Living facilities in MA, because the staff can only open the packet and give it with water to the resident (for a medication management fee, of course), they can’t dispense them out of a bottle. Some will dispense them out of a pillbox sorted by the responsible child, but that involves a weekly visit. The Fosamex routine is comical. They set it for a particular day of the week, they wake em all up at 6:00 am, hand them the pill and the big glass of water and then make sure they don’t go back to bed or eat too soon.

  27. Lemon Tree – Sleep number may have improved in the past few years, but when I tried it for a week I found that the setting (I like a very hard bed) didn’t last through the night.

  28. Lemon Tree – We have a sleep number. SO really likes it, but he likes a very soft bed and I do not. It has been the best solution for us as we have very different comfort levels. But, I sleep better on other traditional mattresses.

  29. Even worse than the fosomax are the thyroid meds because they wake all these people up at 5:30 every morning to give it to them. They do it at 530 so the night shift nurse can give it. Fortunately they’ve found you can dose it weekly and it works just as well so we are transitioning patients to that.

  30. Denver, you can take thyroid meds weekly? Is there some caveat where it won’t work for me? (I’m also asking Dr. Google now…)

  31. Hmm, Dr. Google seems to say laziness is not a good enough reason to look into it… guess I’ll stick with daily. :)

  32. Today is a beautiful day in the northeast and I feel deprived of fall. It has already been so cold and windy that two weeks of days like today disappeared to an early cold snap. September and October are two of my favorite months around here since the weather is usually wonderful. I’m waiting for DD, but I’m sitting outside my car because I just want to make this day last as long as possible.

    She is reading The Art of Racing in the Rain. I started to read it, and I’m really enjoying this book.

  33. Meme – The service didn’t work for us because of the pills my mother took for water retention related to CHF. I don’t recall the algorithm right now, but if her daily or three day weight went up by x pounds, then we had to increase the dosage until that number of pounds came off. And, her prednisone would go up at times and then we would ween it back down. I really don’t know how some elderly do it without help.

  34. In other news, we are on Day 2 of a boil water notice that may be in effect for up to 14 days and also on a water restriction. So much fun!

  35. Denver – I always take my thyroid meds when I wake up at night to go to the bathroom, that way I’m not eating right after. Not sure if weekly would be an improvement or not right now, but for sure when I am old!

  36. Lauren, it has been too cold for me for weeks. I prefer July August, and some of September – never been much of an October fan myself. I don’t like dying leaves.

  37. Laura, I am exactly the same as you. I’m forever looking for my coffee cup and finding it in the garage, without realizing that I had actually BEEN in the garage.

    This is the mini mental status exam. It comes with 50 million warnings about how if you are not a TRAINED PROFESSIONAL, you cannot use it or read it or touch it and in fact you should feel bad about yourself just knowing that it exists. But it can be worth asking a few of the questions to the elderly person just to see where they fall down.

  38. Denver, I’m (trying to) get my “full mouth restoration” done at the dental school. It’s time-consuming, but they are cheaper. They can usually get you in pretty quick for an evaluation, and then they decide if the students can cope with whatever the issue is. The students cannot, in my case, so I’m just using the prosthodontics faculty and interns.

  39. They gave up on making DH do early morning for his thyroid meds. He takes them x hours after breakfast and the breakfast pills. He doesn’t usually eat lunch. Then the second dose of two a day pills plus coumadin at dinner. Then the bedtime ones. So four times a day.

  40. Denver, you can take thyroid meds weekly? Is there some caveat where it won’t work for me? (I’m also asking Dr. Google now…)

    I don’t know what Dr. Google said, but the docs I work with recommend it. I haven’t heard of any contraindications for it.

  41. Hm. I wonder why it wouldn’t be any cheaper? Well, whatevs. I partly went over out of interest, to see how the system works. If you do your regular cleanings and basic fillings, etc., at the school, it IS cheaper. They have a basic price comparison for crowns, etc., on their website.

  42. Im seeing my endocrinologist next week and I’m going to ask about the daily vs once a week.

    I take synthroid as soon as I wake up and I sometimes eat or drink something within 20 -30 minutes. My levels have been fine for over 20 years on this dose so it appears to be working for my body.

    I loved my ends and he retired about two years ago. I met this doctor through my former doctor, but I don’t love her. My internist is going to retire too. I started with a bunch of doctors that were affiliated with Mt Sinai when I graduated college. They’re all in their late 60s/early 70s and they’re starting to retire. I’ve been switching to doctors near me, but it’s different. These guys had their own practices and all of my doctors are now part of very large systems. It’s easier for certain things, but these old fashioned relationships are rapidly disappearing in modern medicine

  43. RMS, the thing has to be custom made and I’m sure the school wouldn’t make it themselves, so that’s a big chunk of the price.

  44. The reason they gave DH a pass on proper administration for Thyroid medicine is that he could not be compliant. So if once a week is an option for him, it would be great. Frankly, if the expensive blood thinners were an option it would also be great. We don’t eat exactly the same amount of leafy greens each week, so sometimes he is out of range and they get all worked up. I would love to be authorized to add a half pill when I buy a head of lettuce or subtract one when we go out of town and don’t eat as well, but they would rather just take his blood every two weeks.

  45. Austin Mom – I’m in your town this week. Cold, rainy, and we can’t drink the water. Wondering if I actually left my state at all … ;)

  46. “One last thought…if you have relatives you think are losing their hearing, get it tested.”

    And take a look into their ears. Ear wax accumulation is apparently a common cause of hearing impairment among elderly people.

  47. “DS and I are going to be in AZ for spring break “

    Visiting ASU? If so, please post about it.

  48. I just give you the photo so you can imagine what it might be like for a senior without a helper.

    It’s not great for a teenage boy either.

  49. Meme – such a pain. When I was on coumadin (post-clot) they struggled with my dosage for weeks because I ate so many leafy greens – and that was testing daily!!! I was happy when I could go to weekly.

  50. And take a look into their ears. Ear wax accumulation is apparently a common cause of hearing impairment among elderly people.

    Yup. I’ve removed a staggering amount of wax out of some ears.

    Visiting ASU? If so, please post about it.

    And UA. (Bear down, not roll tide.)

  51. DD, I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on UA (either one) after your visit (or before, FTM). I was just looking at their website; I’m going to encourage DD to visit their booth at the college fair here this week. Broad range of majors, and merit aid offered to non-residents as well as residents.

    Why does ear wax accumulation seem to be worse for older people? Does it tend to become less liquid with age?

  52. I taught at U of AZ (see how many fewer letters that takes?) for a year. I found the students bright and engaged. Of course this was years ago now. It was the beginning of the “facilities arms race” that universities were undertaking, so they had a fabulous gym/pool complex, which I took full advantage of.

  53. Sorry I missed this thread yesterday. On the when did you notice cognitive decline in your parents, I would say it was when we couldn’t deny it any longer. It is really amazing to me, looking back, how many signs we adult kids failed to accept/acknowledge/recognize in my parents. They were unreceptive to any kind of aging in place advice (moving laundry from the basement to the first floor, hiring a driver or calling a cab for night driving, using a grocery delivery service, switching to the branch of the bank that is 1/2 mile from home instead of the one that they always used near dad’s office before he retired 20 years ago). Dad drove LONG beyond when he should have based on his limited range of neck motion and reaction time. We perpetuated the fiction that mom was “sharp as a tack” partly because what she said on the phone was so confident and convincing we didn’t know until later that it was completely untrue, and partly because we were scared to challenge her, as we all had been all of our lives. Everything became much more apparent when dad died because somehow, they had functioned together in a way that helped hide what was going on, and the four of us were all too willing to stick our heads in the sand and hope for the best.

  54. So since it’s an open thread, quick update on the club situation: the short version is drama, drama, a little more drama, and then DD got the team she wanted. I was very impressed with the way she handled it — she was annoyed that I had emailed the teacher, wanted to handle it herself (which was strategically perfect, because it allowed her to say OMG I’m so embarrassed my mom emailed you, I didn’t want her to do that, etc.).

    Slightly longer version: she spent the weekend developing a whole presentation to explain how the 3-team approach did not meet the criteria they had previously laid out whereas the 2-team concept did, and she got buy-in from all of her friends on the club. She met the guy yesterday morning, and she was very frustrated, because it quickly became apparent that they had already made up their mind on three teams (she invoked the “brick wall” metaphor). Meanwhile, I was emailing over the weekend and again Tuesday with the department head, who *totally* got how the advisor’s management of the situation was exacerbating the original problem, so she then came to the afternoon meeting. Resumed discussion that afternoon, more drama, more discussion, DD got shut down on the 2-team idea, but they told her that she could reorganize her team and the other non-queen-bee team however she wanted if she could get buy-in. So she reorganized them to make her ideal team, on the negotiating theory of ask for more than you want so you have something to give — and all the girls agreed to it! So she went from frustrated as all get-out in the morning (and me drafting “sorry, DD will not be participating in your stupid club” emails) to jubilant in the afternoon — not just that she got the result she wanted, but that she managed it all herself (mostly — all I did was trigger the involvement of some outside support when it became clear that this guy isn’t changing and doesn’t even see why he needs to).

  55. I went to a presentation last night about a study that the district is doing in all of schools about the emotional and social well being of our students. Scarsdale and some other districts in the county have already started and the students in my district took the survey last year.

    Many of the questions are about cheating. The definition of cheating included group work on individual projects, help from parents on take home tests, sharing test questions with students in later classes, or actual cheating by talking in a classroom. The results showed that over 90% of the students in our high school cheat or have cheated using this broad definition.

    I am friendly with the principal of our middle school and he was a high school science teacher before he came an administrator. I like to bounce stuff off him because he has a MS and HS student in another district so he really gets it.

    He told me that I should mention it to the teacher even if it is through an anon letter. He said this teacher should change the questions – especially the multiple choice answers because he could still ask the same questions. He said that many of the teachers in the HS don’t like to return exams to take home for this reason. He was surprised that this particular teacher wasn’t changing his exams because he is one of the best teachers in our HS and he said that is just lazy behavior to give identical exams every year.

    I will probably write the anon letter to just give him a heads up that kids are passing it around teams or getting it from older sibs.

  56. LfB, that’s great! There may yet be drama on the horizon, but it’s wonderful that she navigated that all by herself. What’s the deal with the new third team, though? Is it all newbies?

    Lauren, you definitely should write that anonymous letter.

  57. Lauren, cheating is so rampant at every level of education, it is just unbelievable. It is one of the reasons that tech companies do those nasty interviews where they grill the candidates on the ins and outs of every programming language they claim to know – the employers simply do not trust that a kid coming out of school actually knows anything. I just had to deal with a grad student – a grad student for chrissakes – who I am certain changed the answer on his graded exam after I gave them out, and now is claiming I misgraded it. I can’t prove he changed the answer so I have to give him the points. I should consider scanning the exams before handing them back.

  58. I find the practice of not giving every quiz, test and exam to take home and go over your mistakes to be odd. The only exams I never got back were the state exams. Those were the ultimate black boxes and the greatest irony was that so much rested on them. My brother wanted to challenge a grade that marked him failing but they were unable to locate the answer book.

  59. Quick rant/question – former Au Pair was working for the past 2 months in Brooklyn (illegally, as she was traveling on a tourist visa) as a live in child care provider. Things fell apart (as things often do) and she quit/was fired a week ago, given till Friday to vacate the house (though expected to work through Friday morning.) She fled to us (which is fine; she’s like a family member). New York family did not pay her the last two weeks of work – they made excuses as she was leaving, “don’t have cash”, “would PayPal you if only you had an account” (which is impossible for her to get without US bank account, which they know), “we’ll work it out”. Unsurprisingly, they are not responding to texts from her or email from me. I sent of a very smiley email with stated assumption that they were eager to find a way to solve this (they had initially asked me for a reference, so I had email and phone contact). They are good liberals and they tweet incessantly about how Trump is ruining America and hurting all the little people, which somehow makes this worse for me.

    Of course there is another side to this story, but I just think that not paying the under-the-table childcare provider her last two weeks pay is such predictable badness. Maybe I should start a go fund me and ask them to contribute? Just kidding. Kind of.

  60. The results showed that over 90% of the students in our high school cheat or have cheated using this broad definition.

    This is not surprising at all.

  61. Mémé – perhaps this isn’t appropriate for you, but it is possible to home test INR. Among some high-functioning patients (or their high-functioning spouses), they do their own testing and adjustment with minimal oversight.

    More expensive than I expected when I just looked it up now – $550 for the meter, $5 for each test. But it looks like Medicare may cover?–FK95eK9lFhE5MpnJM5mX2Wh37VsqRUpUaAoOwEALw_wcB

  62. Anon – can you call their bluff on the Paypal thing? You set up a paypal for her? It would be in your name, but it would get her the money quick.

  63. Things fell apart (as things often do) and she quit/was fired a week ago,

    Was she fired for stealing or something? If not say unless you have the money in cash in 24 hours you’re call 1-800-DHS-2-ICE are reporting them.

  64. Anon — Maybe nicely offer for Nanny and you (or your DH) to trek to their office to pick up the cash.

    Well, thanks to the totebag I learned how complicated it can be to manage some of these medications. Luckily I don’t have personal experience.

  65. A shout out to Cass on micro managing a teen due to illness. I hate having to check in on my teen’s diet but I have to ask. The result of not being vigilant is not pretty and I don’t want to spend time in the doctors office.

  66. We live across the country – so no trekking to the office. I kindly offered my paypal/google pay account for them to deposit the money into – no response as of yet.

    She wasn’t fired for stealing (or didn’t tell me if she was) – she said there were a lot of arguments regarding her requests for a written schedule, permission to leave the house in the evenings, and requests not to be yelled at in front of the children/other parents.

    I would guess reporting them puts her tourist visa at risk? I think this is why it is a such a classic move – the worker has more to lose than the employer in this situation?

  67. Risley – Sorry you didn’t get a warm welcome! Fall often has periods like this, but this one is a bit longer than usual. I was in Albany visiting DD#1 this past weekend and it was actually sunnier there!

    The last two times I have been to visit DD#1, my whole focus was on her – moving in, is she settled, etc. – and letting her drive the agenda. But, now I have identified more than a weeks worth of fun stuff I want to do.

  68. I would guess reporting them puts her tourist visa at risk?

    A tourist visa is 6 months if’s she’s been working a few months it’s going to expire soon anyway. It’s totally worth it to fuck them over.

  69. Is it in New York city? If so you can also report them for wage theft. Kick off multiple investigations with various penalties and (hopefully) huge legal bills.

  70. RMS – I have watched my mom be given versions of that test. The biggest issue is when you can barely hear and barely see. They NEVER bring it in in large print even when it says patient is legally blind.

    DD – How is it that health care providers, especially those dealing with the elderly, rarely are able to accommodate patients with low vision or are hearing impaired? Example, everyone comes in says my name is ___ one time, writes it on the white board – all the way across the room – and then says I’m writing my extension on the board so you can call me. Patient – can’t hear the person well because they are often speaking while writing, nor can the patient see that far or anything written that small.

  71. “Everything became much more apparent when dad died because somehow, they had functioned together in a way that helped hide what was going on, and the four of us were all too willing to stick our heads in the sand and hope for the best.”

    Also the stress of being widowed, especially if the survivor had been a caregiver, may be a factor in accelerating the process of cognitive decline. In the case of MIL, we didn’t realized until he died how much FIL had been “covering” for his wife.

  72. Ada. I am going to attend his next endo appt to talk about once a week thyroid and also message his primary about a home meter for coumadin testing. saacs dad uses one, i think. I dont know whether our HMO would go for it. I would have to message them after each outlier result and get a response for action. If medicare doesnt cover it, it would be foolishly expensive. He doesnt have a history of clots, just garden variety afib to go with garden variety CHF and garden variety Diabetes Type 2 and garden variety sleep apnea. Plus his psych and gout medicines. I slept in today after getting home very late from the Red Sox game and wasnt available to nag him before he went out to play cards, and lo and behold, his Wed 4 section pillbox was sitting safely on the vanity, all sections still full.

  73. A tourist visa is 6 months if’s she’s been working a few months it’s going to expire soon anyway. It’s totally worth it to fuck them over.

    Au contraire – her visa is a 10-year multiple entry visa. No more than 6 mo at a time, but can re-use many times. I think this is standard for people from countries where there is a complicated process to get a visa (with an interview, fingerprints, etc.).

    I’m fully on board with the f-them over program, just trying to figure out the best way.

    It is NYC, so reporting wage theft seems like a good path – didn’t realize there were offices to do just that.

  74. More expensive than I expected when I just looked it up now – $550 for the meter, $5 for each test. But it looks like Medicare may cover?

    Yes, medicare will cover it. I have some patients who do this. You have to call every result in to a monitoring center, who then pass it on to the provider. You can call it directly to the provider as well. The provider shouldn’t have a problem giving you a warfarin change over the phone, if needed.

    DD – How is it that health care providers, especially those dealing with the elderly, rarely are able to accommodate patients with low vision or are hearing impaired?

    Because they just don’t want to make the effort. In some cases it’s because they are rushed and overworked, like nurses in a hospital, and in some cases they just don’t want to take the time. It’s also a bit of cluelessness that they just don’t think about it.

  75. Anon, if the au pair wasn’t fired for cause, she has a claim for unemployment. Also, the pay she received was her net pay after federal and state income taxes, FICA, disability and other deductions were taken out. Of course all this was listed on the form 941 that her employer filed perhaps weekly, but no later than quarterly.

    If it wasn’t then the IRS and other agencies will want to talk to the dishwasher.

  76. Anon – personally I would also create a twitter account and out their hypocrisy after the next Trump tweet. You could also “out” them or threaten too to their friends.

  77. “I slept in today after getting home very late from the Red Sox game”

    Are you going to all their WS home games?

  78. Anon, my guess is that this isn’t the first under-the-table care provider they’ve hired. So it may be possible to rat them out without involving your former Au Pair.

  79. Not tonight Finn. The family that buys into my season ticket package get those. If there is a game 6 I may offer to sell it at face to another dear friend. If heaven forfend it goes to 7 games I will consider selling the tix on Stub Hub depending on the going rate. My husband is just not well enough to sit out there in the cold. I am spoiled. This is my 4th world series in 15 years.

  80. “I am spoiled. This is my 4th world series in 15 years.”

    I won’t argue with that.

    I’m wondering if your response to the first of those WS was like that of me and my former season ticket buddies in 2010, that it was now possible for us to die happy.

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