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.