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.

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

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