Monday, March 12, 2012

March 2

The phone rang at 11:30pm on March 2nd. Mom had fallen again and needed me to come over.
I threw on some clothes, drove to her house and found her sitting up against her bed with a brass lamp laying over her lower legs. She said she had missed the bed when she got up to go to the bathroom. Did she turn a light on? Absolutely not!

I knew immediately that I could not get her back to bed. I called 911 again and they sent a crew over. They helped her up after assessing her, put her back to bed and took her blood pressure. Everything seemed ok, so they left.

I tucked Mom in again, said good night and headed home. I know this cannot keep going on. It is time to admit her to a nursing home for her own safety.

I made a few visits over the weekend and ultimately selected a place in Burien, Washington.

The next Tuesday, March 6th I picked up Mom's favorite breakfast of biscuits and gravy and headed over the her apartment. We had a conversation the day before about it being time for her to be in a safe place. Being alone in her apartment was no longer an option. She seemed to agree and even admitted she was tired of trying to take care of everything.

Mom was pretty low key as we through the admission process and got her settled in her room. Since then, she has acted out about the many minorities on the staff. She has also tried to leave the facility, but at least this one has an alarm system. They have placed an alarm activator on the back of her wheelchair where she cannot get at it.

The Physical Therapy staff want me to take her walker away. Her gait is no longer steady enough to be walking on her own with a walker. However, Mom keeps taking it out of her closet and using it. They took it to the gym and she retrieved it again. She is just so stubborn and unwilling to understand her health problems.

She hates being there but I cannot back down this time. She wants me to do her laundry and I refused. I am exhausted with taking care of her as her health has declined. I simply cannot do it anymore.

I gave up her apartment last week. My brother helped me move all the furniture out yesterday. I have odds and ends to take care of there....but slowly things are getting accomplished.

My next task is to fill out the Medicaid paperwork....because Mom clearly does not have enough money to last her.

So..we are the nursing home...Mom's health is deteriorating everyday. She is pissed off and still acting out. Her contrary nature is truly her life force.

Birthday - March 1

Mom has been home from the hospital since February 16th. She has needed a lot more help. She seems unable to make food for herself other than toast and cream of wheat. She still makes and drinks coffee everyday. I have taken over doing the laundry, making her bed, assisting her in the shower...etc.

I wanted to make her birthday fun, so I got her Kentucky Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits and cole slaw. I got enough so that she would have snacks for a couple of days. I also bought her a chocolate bundt cake. I found some candles in her drawer...put four on and lighted them while I sang her "Happy Birthday". I also got her a big box of assorted Russell Stover chocolates. While she didn't make it out of her robe and pajamas on her birthday, she did have a nice dinner, enjoyed the cake and dove into the chocolates.


Mom fell on February 12th, which was a Sunday. I arrived at my usual time, 8:30am, with bags of groceries. When I opened the door I saw that Mom as laying on her right side in the middle of the living room floor.

After quickly putting down all the bags of groceries, I went and tried to figure out what was going on. She did not answer me when I yelled her name. Her face was kind of puffy and over her eyes she had flaps of skin that were filled with fluid. Eventually, she stirred a little bit. I asked her if she hurt anywhere...and she said "everywhere". Not knowing if she had broken anything, I covered her up with a blanket and called 911.

I went down to the lobby to let them in and tell them what was going on as we rode up the elevator. They went into action and examined her. They did not think she had any broken bones, but they were concerned about whether or not she had had a mild heart attack or some kind of mild seizure. Mom told me that she had tripped on the rug...but she if often not the best source of information when she falls. The decision was made to transport her to Swedish Hospital - the Cherry Hill campus.

After they left, I closed up the apartment and went to my house to get her Health Care Directive, which is basically a "Do No Resusitate" order. When I got to the hospital ER Mom's Doctor was looking for me. It turned out that Mom's blood pressure had plummeted and they did not know if she had a DNR. The had to put the paddles on her to restore her blood pressure. Eventually, after a couple of hours, a CAT scan and some other procedures, Mom was sent to the Cardiac ICU.

She stayed there for a couple of days but would not allow them to put in a PIC line. Her doctor wanted to know what was going on in her heart. Technically, this could be considered a violaton of her DNR, but we let it go once she was transferred to another floor. She stayed there for another couple of days and then despite all that her doctor and the social worker were saying about her needing to be in a skilled nursing facility, I took her home. That is what she wanted that is what I did for her. I honestly did not have the energy to find someplace and then fight her to get there.