Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Thermometer

Hospice came this week and brought a bunch of drugs to counter any anxiety or pain Mom may have in her last days. One thing she has been struggling with has been an erratic temperature, and suddenly i realize I need a thermometer if I'm to know when to give her something!

I go through all mom's drawers and find two ancient models and pop them both in my mouth simultaneously. One informs that I am dead - no temp at all. The other says I have a temp of about 102.

I figure I'd better run to the drugstore for something more reliable and I buy a new digital thermometer. When I get it back home and check, this thermometer says I have a temp of about 96, which is low even for me. So I pass it to my uncle who checks his and before I know it 4 of us have taken our temps with this thing. No one gets a reading of even 97. We agree we got a lemon and decide to return it.

Back at the little drug store, I explain that the thermometer is defective and that we know this because we are having a death watch and for fun we are sitting around taking our temperatures.

I notice that the people are looking at us like we are kinda odd.

The problem is that this is their last thermometer so I think "well, I'll just get those little sleeves that go over the end of a thermometer because, honestly I DO have a thermometer - it's just that it belongs to Arayo and the only times it has been used, the temps taken have been from the south side of a Newf!"

I mention to the little gal at the cash register that I'll just use my dog's thermometer because I know that I get the same readings that the vet does, and these sleeves will make it okay for human consumption.

She stutters, suggests that, because it is a COVER for the thermometer, doesn't mean that it is going to provide sterile protection from something I'd previously had up my dog's rear.

People sitting around waiting for their prescriptions are now starting to pay VERY close attention to this conversation. Someone in the store is obviously whacko!

My cousin is with me and I notice she has backed off a bit, but then comments loudly "I'm never going to have her for MY nurse!"

The lady to my left nearly falls off her chair laughing.

"Well, when you are terminal anyway, what damage can it do?" I proclaim, and pass over two bucks for the sleeves.

The pharmacist leaves his post at the rear of the store and runs over to the thermometer wall to double check there are no hidden thermometers. He knows my mom and likes her. He doesn't want her temperature being taken with a dog's butt thermometer.

The blond at the cash register looks as though she believes she will be hauled off to prison and charged with being an accomplice to this crime and she's trying really hard not to accept my cash.

The woman on the chair and her husband are both in stitches.

My cousin finally says she will loan me one of hers and bring it to town tomorrow, though as we walk to the car she suggests that if mom has a suspected temp tonight, I should just pop Arayo's thermometer in a plastic bag and have her suck on it anyway.

As we get in my Subaru, I realize we are parked next to a car with 4 small barking dogs in it. I'll bet it belongs to the woman who got such a kick out of the interaction inside.

Honestly, I suspect she's used her dog thermometer on her husband more than once - just never fessed up where it was last utilized!

Photo: Mom and Karyn - Karyn's the funny lookin' one....


  1. "Thank you Karyn for keeping us informed and laughing. I can see you mom giggling about this one. I don't know if that would be before or after she realizes you used the dog thermometer on her. Hugs to you all."

  2. "It's wonderful that you, Karyn, can write so wonderfully about the thermometer incident. The anger and frustration would get me first, but suggesting that you can use Arayo's thermometer and receiving the reaction you did, was just great. I think that kind of ability to insert some levity--intentional or not--into a situation as sad as your mother dying, is healthy."