This is for those of you who have faithfully followed my Notes from the Eldercare Underground.
A little over a week ago my mother fell, either in her bathroom or next to her bed (it’s hard to get a clear picture of what actually happened). She was wearing her medical alert pendant but for some reason didn’t use it. She did manage, however, to somehow get to her bedside phone and call me at home.
I live 12 miles outside of town and got to her house as soon as possible. The EMTs transported her to the hospital where she was x-rayed for any broken bones (thankfully, none), but a CT scan showed signs of past “mini-strokes” and the blood work indicated that she had heart muscle damage consistent with a heart attack. She didn’t complain of any pain or shortness of breath, but the evidence was there in the blood enzyme levels.
My mother was kept in the hospital for three days, which qualified her for twenty days of rehab at a nursing home in town, to which she was moved last Tuesday. She had suffered from hallucinations in the hospital, probably due to new heart medications, and thought she was going back to California, not into a nursing home.
Consequently, she was not a happy camper. At least to me. She was pleasant and compliant to the great nursing staff and that’s okay by me. I was willing to be the Devil as long as she got along with those wonderful individuals who were there to help her.
Now that she’s been there for several days, she has started to come around to the idea that it’s probably for the best that she continue to reside there. In truth, there is no way she can return home on her own and it actually is better for her to be engaged with people all day like she is now. She was ever the “loner” and loathe to initiate any friendships, but here she gets to indulge in her pastime of keenly observing people and coming up with the possible scenarios of their lives.
Just like she used to do while sitting at her big front window in her home and watching the neighbors.
Only now she has a bigger cast of characters from which to work.
We always knew it would take some kind of disaster to get her to admit that she needed care beyond what she could accomplish for herself, and that disaster has occurred—although it wasn’t accompanied by broken hips or worse.
In a way she was lucky. And, understandably, in a way she wasn’t.
But—the situation is what it is and we all have to make the best of it. I know I feel better that she’s being well taken care of by people who are good at what they do, selflessly, every day.
I think it’s something my Dad would have wanted for her too.
So, thank you for all your comments about our adventures in the Underground.
And, knowing my mother, I’m sure there will more before she’s done. 🙂