Notes from the Eldercare Underground: Paranoia Edition
Well, the shit has hit the proverbial fan.
Last Friday I accompanied my mother to a doctor’s appointment. She had to see a neurologist as part of the follow-up to her hospital stay.
Basically, it was a CYA visit. (Also known as “Cover Your Ass.”)
This is where the primary care doctor has to refer the patient to a few specialists to make sure that every possible reason for hospitalization would be looked into, thus releasing her doctor from any blame further on down the line for not doing “enough” for her 92 year-old patient.
Having been in the medical/dental field myself, I can fully understand the reasoning behind this.
It’s spelled l-a-w-y-e-r-s.
Anyway, we were gone only about an hour, or an hour and a half. Upon our return, we found my mother’s room at the nursing facility transformed.
She now had—-a roommate.
Complete with new, tacky (in my mother’s eyes) room decor that encroached on her own spartan living space, since the alcove that holds the two matching closet/dresser wall units is mostly on my mother’s side of the room.
She had been using her side plus the other (up to now) unused side for displaying the cards that family and friends had sent her. She’d been resistant to photos or other tchotchkes from home and only reluctantly allowed my daughter to bring her some new photos of the great-grandkids and also a lucite display case with some butterflies encased inside.
Didn’t want anything else.
However, Annie’s family, the new roommate, had decked out her side of the unit with all kinds of photos and gewgaws, to the horror of my mother. They’d even moved (how dare they?) my mother’s cards to the top of the unit and onto her own side now.
Personally, I thought it was nice of them to take the time to display them the way they had been and not just pile them in a heap. But that’s me.
Anyway, I knew this new situation did not bode well and I left soon after.
In the meantime, I came down with a whopper of a cold and didn’t make it back to the nursing home until Wednesday of the following week. My daughter had been there on Sunday and reported that my mother was all fussed up about Annie, who, God bless her, pretty much just lies there in her bed and says “Wha?…”
When I finally recovered enough to go see my mother yesterday, she was not a happy camper.
She’s built this whole scenario in her mind about Annie being the one who moved her stuff, even though Annie probably couldn’t move two feet from her bed on her own.
She also has concocted possible future scenarios about what Annie “might” do—like come over to her side during the night and yell at her.
Or peek around the curtain and tell her to turn out her light or the TV.
So, I’ve started the ball rolling to get my mother transferred to the assisted living center next door, where she can have a private room (with shared bath). The nursing/rehab center where she is now only has semi-private rooms—which to me is an oxymoron because either a room is private or it’s not. Come on, people!
My mother’s doctor has to agree to this move, so I personally went to her office and spoke with her nurse and told her that my mother is ambulatory now (remember the candy apple red walker?) and doesn’t need skilled nursing, just assistance with the basics like bathing and medication management.
So…we’ll see what transpires.