Friday, April 11, 2014

April is Here....

I know I lament this from time to time, but I don't know where the time is going.  I've totally lost the first three months of the year, just trying to keep my head above water. I received a note from Paula saying that it is almost a year since Allan left Saudi for Spain, and it only seems like yesterday.  In May my mother will have been in Bloom for a year - a year that has lightened my load a bit, but I'm still swirling around for one thing to the next.  That's life!

April brings tax time and I got wolloped this year by withdrawing three times as much as usual from my savings for my mother's care.  I knew I would be hit hard but didn't expect as much as I got!

As though I don't have enough going on, I received a call from my credit card company saying that my credit card had been compromised. At first I thought it might be a scam, but she did have access to recent purchases....and, even though there had been no fardulant charges,  they closed my credit card then and there and sent a new one.  The lady who called was very nice and helpful, but that still meant that I had to provide my new card info to everyone who had automatic monthly payments charged to my old card.......not fun!

All is not doom and gloom, though.  We were finally approved for the increase in Aid and Attendance Benefits for my mother AND it was retroactive to the time I first applied for aid. So, that is a real plus and I'm delighted to be able to check it off the "follow up" list.  It also should not impact my taxes as much next year.....Inshallah!

Our weather is improving and we're all liking that.  I've walked, but very randomly.  That is my problem.....I'm a concrete, sequential kind of person.  If I can maintain a schedule, I'll enjoy it and do it forever......but if it's interrupted, it's gone....over!!  I'm trying to change that, but you know what they say about old dogs!

Cheryl and Nancy rendezvoused with me at our usual spot as they traveled to Cheryl's sister in Camden and then on to a road trip to Ohio.  As usual, the time went much too fast, but we had a great time with lot of laughs...just what I needed!  Cheryl has become quite the gadget guru.....it was she who turned me on to the joys of the iPad!  So, we had a show-and-tell...she shared her new external iPad charger (which I really need!) and her Fitbit zip, which is a high tech pedometer.  I shared my online discoveries, most of which involve streaming current events.  Nancy looked at us in amazement....but it was fun! 

I've also been able to catch up with friends, including my friend Chris, whom I hadn't seen in a while due to my not being able to attend Drinking Liberally and she having lots of company. So, we had a long leisurely lunch, with both of us coming away totally over stimulated.  I told her about Livestream and all it contains.  She told me about Coursera and EdX, sites that offer fabulous, free online college courses out of major universities.  I came home and immediately signed up for Buddhism and Modern Psychology (out of Princeton U).....and other courses through January 2015......how's that for optimism!!  Anyway, it's a great course and I'm really enjoying it. The lectures are online videos and there are social media threads for questions, discussions, etc.  Once a week the instructor has "office hours" when he answers questions, comments on discussions, etc.  It's really informative, interesting and enjoyable......we may have discovered why I'm overwhelmed and under-accomplished!!

In that same vein, last week I attended, via iPad, the Women in the World Conference in NYC.
  This week I saw the Civil Rights Summit from the LBJ Library in Austin.  Seeing these things as they happen is absolutely fascinating, informative, and so inspiring. The women's conference reinforced my feeling that this world will remain a mess until women get our act together and do what needs to be done.  But, in the meantime, there are already women out there doing wonderful, unbelievable things, often with few resources and requiring much courage . The Civil Rights Summit gave me a whole new perspective on Lyndon Johnson, what he sacrificed and what he accomplished.  Like the March on Washington, this was a 50 year look-back and often things look very different with the perspective of age.  There is just so much out there to know and learn.....not enough time in the day to do it all.

A special thank you to all those who commented about Gabby. The house is certainly quiet without him.  Quiet isn't the right word because he wasnt a noisy kitty, but he definitely had a presence that filled the house. Sue very rightly pointed out that he was a poser.  While I have to take many photos to get a good shot of the other kitties, Gabby just seemed to look right into the lens and wait for me to get my act together.  Many years ago when the Cameron girls were here, they commented that in the kitty world Gabby would be a model.  Eileen recounted a running fit Gabby had when they were here, sending rugs flying and delighting her in the process..  This may be more than you want to know, but some of these wild runs were "poop runs"!!  When I was still working, Gabby would be the first thing I saw when I got home.  We would do our welcoming routine and then he would disappear....going to the litter box to do his business.  On his return, he would fly through the house - careening off furniture, sliding around corners, jumping on anything in his path - a kitty happy to be alive!!  It always tickled us and I told him he could poop anytime, but it seemed to bring such pleasure once his Mama was home.....it delighted his Mama, too!

I had Gabby cremated and got his ashes back this week.  I had not done this before and didn't know what to expect.  I went online and found a lovely ceramic urn with cats on it; but, sensibly for once, I didn't do anything until his ashes were returned.  As it turns out, they were enclosed in a nice, wooden box.  It also came with a notarized certificate and a lovely card.  The vet and his staff also sent a card, which was nice.   I'd much rather have Gabby doing poop runs through the house, but this is a good closure.....not that I will ever forget that kitty.


Friday, March 28, 2014

A Tribute

Things have been improving with my mother, which is a major relief.  With the CNA working with her every day, she is getting the attention she needs.


Wednesday of this week I had a colonoscopy, so you know how Tuesday and Wednesday were spent.  They used Michael Jackson's drug of choice and I was knocked out instantly and seemed to awaken just as suddenly, feeling alert and fine. Those of you who have had this know that the procedure is the easy part.  Drinking all of the horrible tasting stuff and all that follows is the hard part. I am very happy to have it behind me.  I also recently read an article stating that after the age of 75 the colonoscopy was no longer needed, so I'm considering this my last one!


On Thursday I had to take Gabby to the vet again.  The prednisone seemed to stimulate his appetite for about a week, but then over the weekend he stopped eating again.  He was also spending a lot of time in a bedroom by himself or in my closet.  This time they did x-rays and discovered that he had a huge mass in his stomach and a spot of his spleen.  The mass was the source of the problem and made it difficult for him to eat.  The vet said there was nothing he could do, so I went up to be with Gabby while he was put to sleep.  It was heartbreaking to lose him.  I thought of bringing him home for a day or two, but I knew that was selfish and would be difficult for him and for me, as much as I would like to have had him home for a little while.


Gabby was my first pet as an adult and I never even considered adopting until I felt I could devote the time needed. I told Allan, a cat aficionado, that I didn't know what to look for or how to select a cat, and he said, "Oh, the cat will adopt you."  That's pretty much what happened.  Most of the kitties were adorable and sweet, but Gabby was actively trying to unlock the door to the crate.  I asked if I could take him out and he immediately snuggle up to my neck and just seemed to love me from the beginning.  I asked about adopting him only to learn that another family had completed the application and were to pick him up the next day.  I asked if I could put in an application also, in case they didn't show.  Two days later the call came that Gabby was mine......the people hadn't shown, so it was meant to be.


I don't know about other cat owners, but ours always have an official name (Gabby) and a variety of endearing names....Yellow Kitty, Precious One, Golden Boy and so on.  In emails, Allan referred to him as TMPKWWW - The Most Precious Kitty in the Whole Wide World.....that is until he got his cats and mistakenly thought they held the title!  When Gabby was a kitten we called him Devil Spider Monkey, because he was everywhere and could not stand to be held.  The minute he was picked up he began wiggling and squirming.  My plan was just to stroke him gently whenever he was close, not to constrain him for too long.  It worked like a charm and he soon began to like the attention, or maybe he just outgrew devil spider monkey stage!  Those
who have visited know that he was the most social of the kitties.  Though he loved the adulation of people, at the end of the day he was a Mama's boy.  He may be where he wants to be, but when it is serous sleeping time he will come up and sleep on my arm.  He would put his front paws over my arm and fall asleep, or a paw and his head in my hand......which also meant that I could move any way I wanted as long as my arm didn't move.  Of course, once I was asleep he would do what kitties do at night; but, the first time I moved in the morning, he was there.  He was the first thing I saw when coming home and, were he here now, he would be lying beside me as I type or on the table by the sofa, within arms reach...as you see him here. Pet owners know how quickly and completely pets win your heart and provide that unconditional love that you find no place else.  I think my other kitties see me as a source of food, but Gabby saw me as a source of love and affection, as I did him.  He was 14 years old and brought me 14 years of pleasure and joy.  The house isn't the same without him and I will miss him greatly, but the sadness I feel was worth the time I had with him.  I could not have asked for a better companion kitty. 


Some years ago I made a Gabby calendar.  Below are the photos and quotes used in the calendar.  I hope you enjoy them in memory of Gabby.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Madness

Click on photos to enlarge
No sooner did I sing the charms of Spring than we had a 30 degree drop in temperature overnight and then about 5 days of dark, cold, rainy weather.  That'll teach me!  Over the last 4 days we've been in the high 70s, but last night had another 20+ degree drop.  While I nurse my second cold, it's no wonder everyone is sick with something!  I have managed to get in a few good walks, which I've thoroughly enjoyed.  the warm days have made everyone eager for the real Spring to arrive.

The photos of the fox were not taken during a walk but rather on my way home from visiting Mama.  I spotted him beside the road eating something.  He made no effort to move, so I turned around and went back, unfolding my trusty iPad as I went.  This is the first fox I've spotted and he was beautiful.  He finished what he was eating and then trotted down the road, tucking into the golf course service yard.  It really was a treat to see him and I'm pleased to have gotten the photos.

Between my mother and the weather, I've tried to maintain some kind of life.  Sharon and I finally managed a lunch date, which had been postponed numerous times between my 92 year old mother and her 96 year old mother. We refer to our lunches as therapy sessions as it is non-stop venting from beginning to end.  We do manage a few laughs, though.  Another friend, Cheryl, and I had an early dinner at Saigon Cafe and then went to the Unitarian Church to see Inequality for All, the Robert Reich movie.  It was creatively and cleverly done, as well as being equally informative.....I highly recommend it to political junkies.


I was actually looking forward to the Oscars this year.  Some years are bleak and without much promise, but this year seemed stellar for movies.  After not going into a movie theater for years, I did go to see The Butler and 12 Years a Slave, both of which were very good, though I was disappointed that the Butler didn't get more recognition.  One reason it seemed to resonate with me was that it depicted the whole civil rights era that we experienced.  It really did bring back so many memories that had gone dormant, some good and some bad.  Sometimes I think we live through historical events without acknowledging their importance (in our own lives or those of others) or looking back at them to see how far we've come - or imagine how things would be if they had not happened.  In any case, both were powerful movies.  The other one I intend to see is The Dallas Buyers Club.  Somehow, from the minute I saw the first clip, I knew this was made for Matthew McConaughey!!  It sounds exceptional and I'm looking forward to seeing it.  Gravity was probably very good, but I have no real desire to see it....and I'm iffy about Her.

The remainder of my free time has been spent enjoying the visual aspect of my iPad.  Until recently I had not tried streaming.  My thought was that it would not be as clear as TV.....wrong!  The best feature is that you are seeing the event as it happens in its entirety.  I've recently seen Hillary speak at the University of Miami, humorist Dave Barry talk about his new book, as well as James Franco and Chris O'Dowd interviewed about their upcoming play and their careers. One of the most enjoyable was Jane Goodall speaking a Washington and Lee University.  I tell you, she is one impressive lady, who is celebrating her 80th birthday this year.  As she began speaking, she put her watch and her notes on the podium.  Her notes were on a little sheet of paper no larger than an index card.  She was informative, humorous, inspirational and enchanting, with oh-so-many stories and experiences. She was fascinating.  As I mentioned last time, this was through LiveStream.  While I've found many good things on it, I feel there are many more events of interest that I've not yet discovered.  At this point, I'm trying to findl an index or something similar that may make it easier to know what is available.


Unfortunately, Mama isn't bouncing back from the fall and hip surgery....and it has played havoc with the dementia.  As of yesterday, she is under hospice care.  I am looking at this more as palliative care than final care, though we all know how this book ends.  I hope the added hands will help her plateau and begin to regain strength.  To be honest, the last two days have been her best days since the fall.  The Tidewater Hospice nurse is there all day every day.  She is so sweet and gentle....everyone knows her and likes her.  She loves her work, has a wonderful way with her patients, and does a caring and professional job.  I, for one, am thankful to have some extra help, especially people who know their stuff.  Mama met her (Christina) yesterday and seemed to like her........we'll see how she likes her when Christina tries to get her out of bed today!!  Though Christina has quite a few patients there, she seems to do a wonderful job and I know Mama will get more individualized care.  I am thankful for her help and I hope Mama will benefit from her attention. There will also be a social worker, clergy, etc. involved, all of which will keep a check on Mama.

At this point, she is no longer able to walk on her own.  With help, she is able to stand, pivot and move a few steps very slowly.  Since the fall, she seems to have given up, but she did get out of bed when I got there yesterday and said she knew she couldn't stay in bed all the time.  Of course, frequently she doesn't know whether it's day or night due to her poor vision.  As bad as it has gotten, she never complained about it until the fall.  Now she says "I can't see anything or do anything", which is frustrating for her.  She also has not been wanting to go out into the common areas or be with others (unless I'm there).....I'm hoping Christina and the others will help draw her out again over time.  Anyway, it is what it is and we're all doing the best we can.

My other concern is my sweet Gabby, who continues to eat almost nothing. He was at the vet's last Friday and for the first time he was unmanageable.  His insulin was cut in half and he was given an appetite stimulant, which I could only administer two times!  I just talked to the vet and will be trying another type of food.  At this point, getting him to eat anything is the goal. He was my first kitty and, by far, the most loving.  Allan always thought I paid more attend to Gabby, but Gabby would always come to be with me or to ask for some loving.  I'm hoping that he does a turnaround before it's too late.

So, on those depressing notes, tell me something good, tell me something funny.....a personal story/anecdote ('cause I know you have them!), cartoons, silly photos of times gone by, an embarrassing moment......anything that amuses you and can be published here for the amusement of others (and me). My news has been heavy and grim over the last few years and I'd really like to lighten it up a bit, with your help.......and I know you have nothing better to do!! (lol!)  Please give it a little thought and share your favorites with me/us.  I would really love to hear from you and it would be great to share some laughs. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March is Here

After losing the month of February, it's still difficult to believe that March is already here!  The beginning of the year is whizzing by at record speed.

As mentioned last time, Spring is in the air and today (Sunday) is no exception....sunny, warm and clear. The patio door is open and the kitties are huddled in front of it enjoying their first gasp of fresh air in a while!

I received an email that the daffodil fields would be open yesterday and today, so I thought the perfect time to go without hassle would be on Sunday morning, while everyone else was at church.  The Christians may have been in church, but the nature worshipers had the same idea as I!!  The parking lot was full and they were opening the second field as I drove up.  In this part of the country, daffodils do announce the coming of Spring and they are always so cheerful and welcomed. It was a great way to start the day!  
I took a vase with me and whipped up an "arrangement" in the parking lot of Bloom, arriving just as they were getting Mama out of bed (very late in the morning!).  She liked the flowers and remembered that we had been there before. Once she was dressed we went to the dining room for a cup of coffee before lunch.  She was very pale and weak, and complained of her heart before finishing lunch.  She continues to refuse many of her meds..and has no recollection of doing so, and she is eating only the smallest amount. Keisha took her vital signs and her BP was a little high, as was her heart rate.  She wanted to lie down....she has been up only a few hours each day before wanting to lie down again and is not gaining strength.  Once in bed, I got her to drink about 1/2 of a Glucerna.  I came home while she rested and will go back around dinner, hoping to get her out of bed for that.  I'm not at all sure she will come back from this and, if she does, the baseline is likely to be much lower than it was before the fall. It is so painful to see, and I can't imagine how confused and frightened she must feel.

I wanted to mention another website that might be of interest to those with an appreciation of the scenery and history of this area.  It is Capture America Journal by David Emch. I started following him when he resided in Charleston.  He has since started a journey to raise money for epilepsy research.  He is quite a good photographer and has a knack for meeting interesting, everyday people. I've learned a lot about the area through his exploits.  Having taken many carriage tours through Beaufort, I knew who Robert Smalls was, but he tells more of his history, which is very interesting (2/28/2014 entry).  He has also inspired me to want to take a walking tour with Jon Sharp, whom I'd read about in the paper but didn't know he was leading tours!!  Anyway, give it a look and see whether it's worth the occasional glance.

Not a lot else happening at the moment.  I've actually devised a "To Do" list in hopes of getting a few things accomplished.  The idea has come to me to thoroughly clean one room at a time, every other day, every three days.....whatever I can talk myself into doing.  So far, I haven't been very persuasive!



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February is Almost Gone

Well, Spring is in the air and I've actually been able to get out and enjoy it.  I've been able to take some nice walks, which have been noticed by neighbors who were concerned that they had not seen me for a while.  The weather has been beautiful, although another polar vortex is due within a few days.  It should not be as cold as earlier and I'm hoping to be able to continue my walking. 


As you can see, Mother Nature is as confused as the rest of us!  The yellow jasmine is on my mailbox and the azaleas were on the golf course.  I also saw daffodils and red buds in bloom, but couldn't get close enough to photograph them.  This may be very premature, but I'm so happy to see that Spring is near!  I need the feeling of renewal that it always brings.

In the many hours I've spent bedside, I credit the iPad for my sanity!  With all that has happened over the last few years, I've found it almost impossible to have the focus to read a good book or do anything that requires prolonged concentration; however, there are so many things available online to maintain one's interest.  Two of my favorite discoveries follow:
  • Livestream App.....this offers live events/performances (front row seats, as events are happening).  I've enjoyed jazz from Lincoln Center (one of my faves!)---92Y, which are interviews with interesting/famous people from the 92nd Street YMCA in NYC ( our local synagogue charges for the series) ----TimesTalks, which are interviews with famous people by NY Times.---BooksandBooks, which has authors discussing their newest book.  There are symphony performances, lectures   I've really enjoyed what I've found, but I feel there are many things that I've not discovered.....the search feature isn't particularly user friendly.  All of these seem to be more low-key than major production pieces, as well as more in depth and diverse......so am continuing to search.
  • The Writer's Almanac....this is a web site that you sign up to follow.  Each day you receive an email that begins with a poem, then gives a summary of a famous event that happened on this date, someone who was born on the date (with a little history), and so one....a lot of info in a short email.
I'm sure you've made equally enjoyable discoveries and I've love to hear about them!

On Saturday I treated myself to an afternoon in Savannah, Macy's to be exact.  I had been wanting to go in to take advantage of the white sale, but thought I'd missed it.  Then I received an email announcing ongoing sales; so, on the spur of the moment, I went in for a look around.  I actually found what I was looking for, at a great price.  I met a very nice saleslady, who found an additional 15% discount, which made my day.  I wasn't there nearly as long as I would have liked, but it was a good little jaunt.


 Before all of this happened with my mother (and after our Artist Uncorked class), I started an acrylic painting lesson online (YouTube).  It is absolutely amazing what you can learn online!  This is supposed to be a cherry and I'm 2/3s of the way through.  I hope to view the last instruction video this weekend and complete the project.  It you think it's an apple with a long stem, don't feel bad!  I thought the original photo looked more like an apple than a cherry, so I'd be surprised if I could get it to look like a cherry!!  This isn't anything I will ever be great at, but I'd be happy to just create something I like.....

Wednesday, February 26
Today is dark and rainy, which is fine.  My plans are to have lunch with Sharon, buy cat food on the way home, stop in for a brief visit with mama, and have the rest of the day at home.....sheer joy for a semi-recluse!  On the Mama front, she isn't rebounding as she usually does, and everything is so tied together - dementia, pain, anger, depression - that it is difficult to determine the major motivation for anything she does or doesn't do.  Since she has been mostly bed-bound, I've been going over at lunch and dinner to help with that.  Day before yesterday, she was uncooperative with the physical therapist, but he did get her to walk a bit and had left her in a wheel chair in the dining room.  Since she was there, I went with it and, lo and behold, she fed herself, no problem.  Lots of people stopped by to say they were happy to see her out and about, and she responded positively.  But, yesterday she was angry and wouldn't go to the dining room for lunch.....so I left and didn't go back for dinner.  She stayed in bed all weekend and wants to stay there most of the time, but the plan is now to get her up throughout the day, whether she likes it or not.....and I will not be going around meal times (or several times a day!).  She isn't going to like it.  It's not going to be pretty, and I've apologized to the staff in advance; but, it seems the only thing left to try. If nothing else, this plan gives me a little more personal time, for which I'm thankful.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coming Up for Air...

Well, I'm having a day at home today and my only expectation is to do this post.  It's almost 11AM and I'm still in my PJs...and may remain that way unless I can think of a good reason to put on
Substitute "tired" for "busy"
something else.  


Mama was in the hospital until Thursday.  Because she was labeled as "combative" and "uncooperative", the rehab centers refused to take her.  So, she was sent back to Bloom!  Needless to say, I was beside myself, but she did seem to settle a bit once she was back.  Friday was a very bad day since lying on her back so long aggravated her scoliosis, a lifelong problem.  It got to the point that she never mentioned her hip, it was her back.  The pain meds from the hospital were not doing the trick and Bloom was hesitant to give anything stronger due to the possibility of falls.  Keep in mind that my mother doesn't have the strength at this point to push herself up to sit, so I don't think she will be standing alone for a while!  Both the Amedisys (home care service) nurse and therapist felt she needed to be in skilled nursing.  So on Friday I contacted Life Care myself and plead our case (Bloom wanted to know what Life Care could do that couldn't be done at Bloom and I said they could manage the pain!), referring them to the people at Amedisys, explaining her hospital stay, that she has dementia, and so on.  I finally got the ball rolling.  Then, when I came in on Saturday, my mother was sitting up in her recliner, talkative, eating well at all meals, taking meds....go figure, but this is typical of dementia.  You literally don't know what to expect from one day to the next.

Sunday was the reverse.  She kept her eyes closed most of the day, mumbled, not responsive, and reaching out with her hands like she was doing something....just in a world of her own.  Once I got the ball rolling with Life Care, the Bloom nurse prescribed a stronger pain med and I thought this behavior might be due to that.  Yesterday was more of the same, except she seemed more coherent but refused her meds, wouldn't eat, was combative, etc.  As I was trying to coax her to take her meds, she became angry and went into her same old routine, making me the source of all evil.  That actually clarified things for me a bit.  I didn't know whether to move her to Life Care because I couldn't tell whether she was in pain, whether it was the dementia or the fallout of the hospital experience. When she did her usual performance, I knew that part was to punish me and she was stronger than she appeared.  In her tirade, she invited me to leave....and I did.  I hung around until the social worker and therapist came. I stood outside her door to observe how she interacted with them.  She was a little testy but, overall, very workable.  Both were pleased with her effort and told me to go home and rest, which is what I did and am doing.  I think remaining at Bloom, where people and routines are familiar, will be best in the long run.  Her therapy may go slowly, depending on her and the dementia. We will just have to take it one day at a time

At this point, if things progress well, I plan to detach a bit, which is definitely easier said than done.  Tomorrow I hope to have lunch with Sharon and will stop by Bloom either before or after...but for a short time.  It is good to be there frequently, but I can check on things without her ever knowing I'm there.  Its already the middle of February and I haven't walked since the end of November.....and I can really tell the difference.  I'm going to try to get back into that.  My political groups are always an option, which I enjoy, as are outings with friends. Micheal's has some acrylic painting classes coming up which I'd like to take, and my neighbor and I have signed up for a one-day pottery painting class.  So, lots of options....just need to rest up to have the energy to do them.

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch, especially since there was little response from my end.  Over the last few years I've been living vicariously through you and it's always good to hear from you, especially your good thoughts and words of encouragement.  This catches you up a bit and I hope news will be more positive from here on out.  I also hope news is good in your corner of the world....let me know..  Love to all.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

It's Sunday and my mother remains in the hospital.  It has been another case of one step forward and two back.  The dementia adds a whole new dimension to it.  Every other day has been a bad day, which means progress is very slow.

She fell on Monday and on Wednesday she still could not move out of bed, even coughing would make her grab her side.  Before I went over on Wednesday, I called Amedisys, the home health people, and asked if they could send someone over to evaluate her.  Micheal, the therapist who has worked with her several times, came over, which was a great relief.  It didn't take him long to determine that she needed to be sent out again, so off we go to the ER again.  I Mae sure to get there before Mama in order to see that a lot of "efficient" but invasive procedues (that agitate people with dementia) were not done.  One our previous visit they had put an IV line in that was never used.  She will tolerate a little of this, but at some point she begins pulling them out....which she would never do if she were herself.  A different physician ran a few tests and x-rays again and, sure enough, the hip was broken.  She went into surgery around 6PM.  I went home and took care of the kitties so I could be back by the time she got to a room.  

She got through the surgery fine and even the next day, though movement remained difficult....no doubt aggravated by two days of I attention and pain!  The second day she was either combative and abusive or asleep, so no PT was done and everything was difficult.  The doctor said that the second and/or third days could be worse than the first, and that proved to be true.  The third day, Friday, she was sitting up when I got there and had a good day, eating well and moving (with help) from the bed to the pot and to the chair.  She worked with the therapist and by late in the day could make those transitions without screams of pain.  But late in the day she began to become agitated, so I kept a low profile (as I can do no right during those times) and left once she had dinner and was moved to the bed.  

When I came in this morning, I saw the nurse in the hallway and asked how she was through the night, to be told that she had been moved to the cardiac wing.  She had become agitated and had an irregular, rapid heartbeat, with her BP dropping very low. She was surprised that I had not been called, but I learned that this had begun around 6:30AM and I guess there had not been time to call once things were somewhat under control.  In the process of the move, she had cut her finger, which had bleed a lot.  Because of her striking out at nurses and attendants, she was restrained and still agitated, though she settled bit after I arrive.  I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.  I'm sure part of her agitation is that I go home at night, but she also gets agitated when I come in the morning.  This morning she was mildly agitated and resistant to anything I suggested.  She refused to eat breakfast or have milk or coffee, both of which she loves.  So, I asked her several times and when she refused, I put things away, sat down and asked to to let me know if she wanted anything.  That is usually the best thing until she eventually vents it all or forgets about it.  By the time the nurses came in a few times, she seemed pretty well over it. Around 10:15AM she was taken to the OR to suture the finger cut.  It's now 12:30 and they are just bringing her back to the room.  We'll see where things go from here.

So, I'm pooped.  Every morning it becomes harder to get up and takes longer to get going.  It is mostly mental exhaustion and physical stagnation, but it's harder that work!  It her heart stabilizes over the next day, I hope she will be transferred to a nursing facility and maybe that setting will be less stressful.    Since I didn't receive a call about the heart situation, I was totally shocked when I arrived this morning, but all he ups and downs of this whole process removes some of the sting. You just learn that it is the nature of things.

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