New Days, Old Attitude

Where do I start? I’m so frustrated. Big surprise. Mom still has a pissy attitude. “I’m never getting out of here.” “I’m leaving here in a box.”

In between those comments she’s trying to get up by herself or she doesn’t get up the way that physical therapy has taught her, she’s trying to walk without the walker, tells me she’s gotten up at night and gone to the bathroom herself, is being a brat about eating (she’s lost 5 pounds since she’s been at rehab)… and her mind is still somewhat confused, although better since she doesn’t have the heavy duty pain meds.

Yesterday they called to make a doctor appointment with the orthapedic surgeon as he wanted to see her in a month and didn’t want her to put her full weight on her bad side until then, but since she’s been ignoring that rule and doesn’t seem to be having a great amount of pain from that they want him to see her and sign off on her being able to put her full weight on that leg. She had a fit and was all upset that she was getting worse because she was going to see the doctor next monday. Trying to explain to her that she is going to check her progress was like trying to talk to a chair.

She also has PT (Physical Therapy) – where they work on her lower half. OT (Occupational Therapy) – where they work on her upper body, and ST (Speech Therapy) – where they are going trying to work on her memory. First, they put the daily appointments on a whiteboard and she constantly asks me what they mean. She’s even written them down and still can’t remember or remember to look at where she wrote it down. The ST gal put a big sign up in front of mom that tells her not to get up out of her chair and to use her call light. She keeps telling me to take it down. Because. She’s. Ignoring. It.

Yesterday they had a photocopied sheet of some exercises for her to do in her room that they didn’t have time for at PT. The therapist asked me to help her with them. Fine. Mom looked at the sheets and when I asked her if she wanted to do them, she said no – and threw them in my face.

I’ve been leaving at about 5-ish when they take her outside of her room to supper. She went to the bathroom before supper and she is to sit on the toilet and pull the call cord for the nurse to come back and help her. I’m in her room and hear a banging and it is her at the bathroom door! I ask if she called the nurse – “No”. I said firmly, “You aren’t supposed to be up without the nurse holding onto you!” I get a “SHUT UP”. ARRRRRGGGHHHHH. I just want to walk away and never go back.

Today there is ice so I’m not going down. I warned her yesterday before I left. Since she has called me every day I’ve been a few minutes late to ask me where I am (Usually about 5 minutes away), I figured she call me today. A few minutes ago? Yup. She called. Wanted to know what the weather was doing here. I told her, it was freezing rain. “Well, it isn’t doing anything here.” I happen to know after listening to the news this morning that they had some freezing rain there, too, and she hasn’t been out since she got there so how the hell would she know?!?! I know what she was implying.

They said last week at her staffing that she would probably be in rehab a month. Being with her every day and seeing how she is fighting the process, I could see her bones healing in a month and her mind still being messed up. Then I don’t know what we’ll do. She has an assisted component of her apartment complex where they can move her – it is an assisted living and memory care building. She told me when she moved into her independent living apartment that she never wanted to have to move into that building but what do you do if she can’t take care of herself? I guess maybe her negativity is rubbing off on me. Maybe she’ll be just fine in a month and will be able to go back to her apartment. I hope so. In the mean time I’m just going to go quietly crazy over here in my own world. ACK.

New Digs

In order for Medicare to cover mom’s rehab, she had to be in the hospital for three nights. Because Tuesday when she was taken to the ER went so late, she wasn’t officially admitted until after midnight so she couldn’t be moved to a skilled nursing facility until Saturday. She was fighting it. She was all about going home. (Even though she couldn’t walk – even with a walker, she could barely creep.) When the social worker came in to talk to her about which nursing facility she would like to go to she got furious. I came in and she was telling me if he showed up again she’d kick him out. She just wanted nothing to do with a perceived “nursing home”. I think she, as most elderly people, think if they go to a nursing home they’re never getting out that they’ll die there.

The social worker came back and he was nice as could be. He even recommended a place where she’d have a private room and it was in a really nice facility that we’d toured when we were looking for an apartment for Mom to move into from her house. Well, she finally calmed down and accepted she was going there. On Saturday they took her in a van (thank goodness) and although it is about 15 miles further away it is still on the same side of town and easily accessible for me.

It is a lovely place and she has a very nice room. I’ve seen nothing but nice people working there and I warned them about her attempts to get up on her own and her delusions of the evening two nights previous. I’m sure they’ve seen it all.

Hospital Time

Because my mom is elderly (83) and is technically 5’10” and weighs right about 100 lbs, it is no surprise when she fell she broke something. She has no padding. One of my goals when I moved her into a retirement community was that she be fed. She moved from her house which she was horrible about cooking for herself or eating even if I cooked meals and put them in her frig or freezer – I wanted to be sure she had meals available. At the place she lives she gets a big noon meal, a breakfast bar with rolls, fruit, juice, coffee, cereal. She can also order off a menu for breakfast or supper or if she doesn’t care for the two daily offerings for the noon meal. She says she gets some fruit or cereal or a roll from the breakfast bar, I know she eats lunch (although she tells me she quit eating dessert shortly after she moved) and she is not good about eating supper. Yet she’ll cry because she weighs so little. Unbelievably, she has been living in independent living. You’d never believe it right now.

She would basically have to be forced to eat something in the hospital. She would say she wasn’t hungry and she’d just pick at stuff. She was on pain meds and very strong ones. She called me one night after I’d been gone for two hours crying and in a high level of distress saying she was in the doctor’s office and he wanted to do surgery and she wanted me to come get her and to call 911!!! She was insistent! I asked where the doctor was, thinking a) how did she ever get out of bed on her own, she can’t walk and b) wtf? She tells me the doctor stepped out so she could call. I told her I’d be down, but when I got off the phone my hubs talked me down off the ledge and had me call the nurses station. While I was on the phone with mom her cousin called me – she has the same name and mom had evidently called her first, confusing us in her cell phone. Her cousin has an elderly mother and knows exactly how this goes and lives about 5 minutes from the hospital so offered to go sit with her a bit and hopefully get her a bit centered. We all figured she’d woken from a bad dream and was disoriented and especially with the strong pain meds she’s on she probably was really messed up.

The nurse told me she was in her room, in bed, and the last time she checked she was eating her supper…

Mom’s cousin sent me a text. Mom was in bed, fine. Seemed to not really know her at first, but after awhile calmed more and they visited for a bit and she seemed okay.

I figured the next day mom wouldn’t remember a thing. She remembered! She said she was in “that other place” all night long and although she didn’t really know her cousin she visited with her (just a note – her cousin has been around my whole life and has lived close by and I used to babysit their kids).

I had been at the hospital all day long for two days and was thinking I could maybe take a day off, but after that incident I decided I would have to be there with her every single day – if for nothing else, to give her that sense of stability. She did still know who I was.

Man (Woman) Plans, God Laughs

I had every good intention of getting right with my blogging and, well, you can see how well that went! I got wrapped up in the sugar detox and did very well through January and most of February… right up until the point where my life all went to hell in a hand basket.

In the evening of February 17 the security guard at Mom’s retirement complex called me to tell me she’d fallen and been taken to the hospital. I rushed down there (I live about 40 miles away – luckily the hospital she goes to is about a mile from her apartment) and found her still in the ER. This was about 8:30. They had taken her for an x-ray and were concerned perhaps she’d broken her hip. As I got the story out of her, she was getting up to answer the door for the pharmacy delivery man and tripped on the carpet. Yup. Tripped. On. The. Carpet. Old people. Gotta love ’em.

After much pain medication and a lot of time, they did a CT-scan and found out she didn’t actually break her hip (thank goodness) but she did fracture her pelvis in two places and broke her tailbone. By the time they got done figuring out if she was going to have surgery or what was going to happen, it was just about midnight and they don’t do surgery on those kinds of breaks but they had to admit her to the hospital.

I got home about 3 a.m.

That was the beginning of the adventure.