What’s Faster Than A Six Minute Egg?

Give Up? It’s my mother kicking me and my husband out of the hospital. 

Well, remember I’m taking the doctor’s advice, letting my mom decide what and when she’ll eat and drink, because me pressuring her isn’t working. So her diet has been sweets and she has only been drinking about ten to fourteen ounces of water a day. I did remind her daily of the little amount she was eating and drinking but told her it just to make her aware. 

When I did her catheter the week before, I knew by the color, cloudiness and smell that she was possibly getting a kidney infection. She argued said I was not a doctor and on Friday she said she didn’t want me to do another catheter. By then her diapers smelled like ammonia. 

Saturday and Sunday, were okay days, she seemed to be fine, and by Monday I knew she would let me do the catheter. 

Now I’m with my mom twenty-four seven, with the exception of forty-five minutes Monday through Friday to pick up Mac from school and for about four to five hours one day a week when I go take care of my aunt. On those days Paul stays with her until after she showers and she has eaten, once she’s back in bed he leaves. 

Well, over the weekend my husband and I were finally going to start on redoing my mom’s bathroom it will be her Christmas gift. We already had put in a high profile toilet and now needed to pick up new tile so Paul could redo her tub into a larger shower with a built in sear and safety bars. We were also looking for a new sink cabinet to update everything. 

On Monday, Paul and I decided to go pick out tile and to see a few cabinets. Mom as usual did not want to get up, so we left her Ensure and breakfast ready. She was told not to take a shower until we returned. 

Well, we returned after a few hours, when we pulled up Paul noticed the bathroom light still on. When he reached the porch my mom started yelling; 

“Nancy, Nancy.” 
“Eva, Nancy’s getting out of the car.”
“I fell.” 

I rush into the house, and there she is lying in the shower in about two inches of water, she had been unable to turn off the water and there was a steady drip. To make matters worse she pooped all over. 

“Pick me up.”
“I can’t, your dead weight and with my bad back and dropped bladder there’s no way I can do it.”
“You just don’t want to do it.”
“No, mom I can’t Paul will have to pick you up.” 

So I cover her in a towel and Paul brought in a sheet, he used the sheet not only to cover her but put to pick her up. 

I pulled out her bath chair and we sat her down, I started rinsing the shower and Paul went to get the bleach to finish cleaning so we could put her back in and rinse her off. 

“Mom, what were you thinking you know your not supposed to take a shower when no ones home?”
“I didn’t want to wait, and I don’t need anyone here when I shower.”
“Apparently you do, how long were you in there?”
“Since nine this morning.”
“No, mom you hadn’t been in that long because of the steady drip of the water and your butt covering the drain the shower would have overflowed, I figure you’ve been in there two hours.”
“Stop talking and get me dressed.”
“Mom, once Paul is done scrubbing the shower we need to rinse you off then I’ll get you dressed.”
“Well, stop talking.” 

Paul finished the shower he picked her up, so I could put the shower seat back in; 

“I can’t put weight on my leg.”
“Mom, do you think it’s broken?”
“No maybe sprained.” 

I made the decision to call 911, she has had knees, hips, shoulders and elbows replaced even though she was talking and actually very clear headed I wasn’t going to take a chance doing any damage to her replacements. 

“911, state your emergency?”
“My, mother fell in the shower, she seems fine, we got her out about thirty minutes ago but she can’t put weight on her right leg.”
“The paramedics are on the way.” 

I go back into the bathroom. 

“Mom, I called 911, their on the way.”
“Why did you call, just pick me up, you never do anything right.”
“Mom, I know what happened your dehydrated and to weak to take a shower you probably passed out, this is your fault not mine.” 

My mom started to lean backwards when I stopped her she went forward then I realized she passed out. 

My mother almost died her core temperature was 92. Her blood pressure was 45 over 15. She non responsive, and suffering from severe dehydration. 

The paramedics worked on her outside for at least twelve minutes; they made a decision that she had to go to the USC Hospital since it is a trauma center.  

This was an experience, when I entered into the emergency area with the paramedics a guard stopped me and opened my purse, and then he asked; 

“Do you have any guns or knives?”
“Do you have any weapons, a gun or a knife?”
“I’m an old lady from Temple City with my mother who was just brought in by the paramedics why would I have a weapon?” 

(I should have said yes my gun is next to my blush just underneath my lipstick. Now really the characters that would be carrying weapons into a trauma hospital would be handling unfinished business, does the guard really think by asking them they would answer honestly). 

Once inside, my mother was treated quickly. They asked me what happened, I updated them on her health and told them she was dehydrated with a possible kidney infection. They said she could go either way, it didn’t look good. I was escorted to a private room given a phone and two social workers came in to offer assistance. 

After an hour they escorted me back to my mom, they did all the lab work x-rays, ultra sounds but she needed a CT scan, she was so unstable the nurse refused to transport her without a doctor. By then my brother had arrived. She had dislocated her right hip, she had a major kidney infection and was completely dry as he put it so dehydrated she could go into renal failure, and they could not rule out a C2 fracture. They stabilized her with pressers popped her hip back in and transferred her to the ICU. 

The next day, she’s all plumped up, wearing a neck brace and in a hip abduction pillow; she was clearly upset that I was not taking her home. She wanted to talk about her illness and I explained she was not in the hospital due to illness, but from a fall due to dehydration. 

She was upset over her lack of care, as she put it they hadn’t even wiped her face. Well, I knew the nurse had fed her breakfast in the morning what else did she want. I explained while the nurses were settling her in I met some of the families that had relatives in the other rooms, one was a thirty-five year old man dying from a brain disease they were removing him from his ventilator in hopes that they could take him home to die. Another was a young girl in her twenties also on a ventilator from an illness, and last an accident victim. I told her all these people are ill, they’re fighting to live, they need care and I reminded her she was taking up space and the doctor’s time not because of an illness but because she didn’t drink water. She didn’t talk; I stayed for four hours and left.     

The next day, still in the brace and pillow the nurse asked if I could help her change mom’s bedding no problem while helping the nurse; 

“Mom, how do you feel?”
“Get me out of here.”
“Mom, were trying to transfer you to Kaiser, then to a rehabilitation convalescent home, to get you back on your feet.”
“I want to go home, not to Kaiser or anywhere else.”
“No, mom I can’t do this you need to be stronger,”
“Get out I don’t want to see you.”
“You told the nurse earlier you wanted me here.”
“You should be here, you’re my daughter you’re obligated.”
“No mom, I’m not obligated.”
“Then get out.”

The nurse was trying to tell my mother that I was helping her and had only her best interest in mind, but mom wanted me and Paul out. We went and talked to the doctor who explained that she would be moved from ICU to a regular room, he and the nurse were apologizing for my mother’s behavior. I explained this was normal for her and left. 

The next day I didn’t go since they were to have been transferring her to Kaiser (a process that took three days, this will be another entry later.) 

Now she’s at Kaiser Sunset, in the Neurology Unit. I went to visit her; she’s in a private room under evaluation, being the weekend we probably won’t know anything definite until Monday or Tuesday. 

When I walked into her room I could tell she angry, she wants to go home and she is coherent enough to know that I want her to go for rehabilitation, she’s promising to eat and drink fluids, but she’s done this before and I need her to realize changes need to be made. She wanted to know if people knew she was there and in a neck brace, I told her this is not a game, people are tired, she always wants to be sick that’s why no one comes to visit anymore this obsession is ruining her life, her response was that I ruined my life years ago. 

I picked up my purse and left. I don’t need anymore drama, she needs to realize that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and I need to realize she won’t remember any of this tomorrow.


3 Responses to “What’s Faster Than A Six Minute Egg?”

  1. 1 Barbara November 16, 2009 at 10:55 am

    “and I need to realize she won’t remember any of this tomorrow.”..

    That’s the hard part, huh? You have the patience of a saint to be able to put up with this behavior. I’d have my Mom in a Nursing Home if this was my case. Well, not really. Who would pay for it??

    Maybe it’s a matter of being tougher–for her own sake–but I’m afraid that would be nothing but one big daily fight and you certainly don’t need that!

    She should consider herself lucky that you’ve kept taking care of her after all of this! She doesn’t have any idea what she has in the daughter who has taken care of her the best she knows how!

    Hang in there, gal!

    • 2 Nancy November 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm

      “Well, not really. Who would pay for it??
      Exactly, I’ve checked its five thousand a month for a nursing home, and anywhere from twenty-three hundred to four thousand a month for an assisted living. If things do not get better I will place her for a while in an assisted living facility (which is the cheaper of the two), so she can see the grass is not always greener on the other side.

      She’s been in the hospital for a week, and is being released today, per the case manager my mother informed them she lives independently, so forget about tomorrow she doesn’t even remember today.

  2. 3 Barbara November 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Oh Nancy, I’m so sorry about her dementia issues and how hard it must be on you.
    I do agree with placing her for a couple weeks–let her see how it is without you.

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