Anyone my age knows that life can change on the turn on a dime and for the last few days the dimes have been spinning. No sooner had I posted the message on Thursday evening than I heard my mother in the back of the house. She was up and active after a day of hardly being able to get out of bed, not being able to eat and generally depressed and fearing that she wouldn’t make it through this round of antibiotics. Then suddenly, energy abounds and she’s 180 degrees from the person earlier in the day. But after an hour or so of this (and as things get more and more bazaar), and thinking that she’s settled in bed for the night, I hear her talking in her room. I get up and she’s taken the bed apart and is seeing something that she needs to get off it. That’s when I know she and I need help. I just go back to my bedroom and get dressed. I ask her if she wants to go look at Christmas lights and she agrees. We put on her robe and we go to the ER. She walks in with me without question or complaint, which is the second sign that something is terribly wrong! She goes through the entry and triage with great ease and jocularity…….which is not my mother when it comes to doctors and hospitals. She didn’t even register a complaint when they told her she was going to be admitted overnight. Anyway, I got her settled and in bed at the hospital and got home around 3:30AM, returning the next morning (Friday) at 9AM. By that time they were administering fluids, sodium and magnesium (which were low), and loads of antibiotics for the infection associated with the abscess. She also had white cells in her urine which might be a urinary infection and, I was told, that can often play havoc with older people. Friday seemed to go well and her spirits improved, though there were fleeting moments of seeing things that were not there and general disorientation. The doctor came around 7PM and was pleased with the improvement and thought it was basically under control. I got her settled for the night and went home to prepare to bring her home today.
Today when I went into her room, it was like night and day…….she was angry (accused me of trying to dump her), combative (even to the nurses before I arrived), not wanting to leave the hospital!! She wanted to go to her home in NC, not home with me! She was combative to the point of the nurse calling a discharge officer to speak with her to determine whether or not she was in touch with reality enough to leave. Eventually she settled enough that they could get her out the door, but I was not feeling confident about being able to handle her. Actually, the discharge officer talked with her first and seemed to have as much trepidation as I. He came out and spoke with me and said, “Let’s just go in and see how it goes and we’ll go from there.” Not a lot happened that made me think I could handle her single-handedly (how can I even go grocery shopping if my mother is at home talking to people who aren’t there?), but he moved forward with the discharge, telling me to call her doctor if things got worse!
I’m hoping that some genuine rest and familiar routines will bring her back to normal. If not, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do. In any case, we came home and had lunch. We stripped (not a lot left to do) and made her bed, and I put on the laundry while she rested. She seems less combative but is still seeing kitties that aren’t here (as though we don’t have enough in reality!). Needless to say, I’m playing this minute by minute. While I'm really too emotional to talk about it, I do appreciate being able to express my feelings here and I hope you will keep us in your thoughts and prayers.