Posts Tagged 'doctor'

Dementia And Dehydration, The Double D’s

For months it’s been one thing or another. I have so much to tell you but I have not had the energy to sit and write. But here it goes my entries will not be in order of their occurrence they will be more of a hit and miss of what I am thinking about at the time.

For the last five years I have been living my life constantly yelling. My mother tells everyone; “I’ve never liked to eat, my mother would sit next to me and yell to get me to eat.”

My mother lives constantly on the verge of malnutrition and dehydration. In the last four years she has gone by ambulance to the hospital four times, one time last year she was so dehydrated she almost didn’t make it. So I constantly yell at her to drink.

Last August I knew my mother either had a bladder infection or was becoming dehydrated she had a horrible body odor. Every time I would try to get her to drink it would end like this;

“Mom, you need to drink more.” “I’m not thirsty.” “I know you’re not thirsty, but you need to drink.” “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.” “Mom, your diapers have a strong ammonia smell.” “I don’t smell anything. You must be smelling your own dirty butt”

I took her to the doctor’s and sure enough she had a bladder infection. She also lost 7 pounds in the last for months. When they told us she had an infection I look at my mom and said,” I knew you were sick just from the odor” without skipping a beat my mom looked at the nurse and said;

“My daughter knew I was sick because she’s a witch.” “What did you say?” “You’re a witch.” “Oh witch, I thought you said something else.”

So now I’m getting to what I want to write about, the last six days.

Okay, Saturday October 15th and Sunday the 16th, mom’s diapers again had the odor of straight ammonia, she was refusing to drink more fluids. I’m thinking dehydration. When I would say something to her it would go back to the same song and dance. I made a decision to take her to the doctors on Monday or Tuesday if she was still refusing to drink.

Monday the 17th, mom got up around 9:30.

“Mom, take a bath before it gets too late.” “Why I’m not going anywhere.” “That’s not the point you’ve been in the same diaper all night and if it gets any later you’ll be getting lunch instead of breakfast.” “I’ll take a bath and eat when I’m ready just worry about your own fat butt.”

Now, she knows it bothers me when she talks about my being heavy. Heck I know I’m big but everyday for whatever reason she brings it up. She must truly have dementia because a sane person wouldn’t be making those kinds of comments to the person who makes their food.

By the time she’s ready for breakfast its lunch time so I make her a half of turkey sandwich with swiss cheese, a bowl of soup and a few pieces of cantaloupe and watermelon. She sits down and starts to complain that it was too much food. I let her know if she kept complaining I would give her the other half of the sandwich. I walked into the den to finish my crossword puzzle.

It was about two maybe three minutes and I heard my mother snoring. “Mom wake up, mom are you sleeping, wake up” Nothing so me and my fat butt get up, I touched her shoulder nothing then I notice she had thrown up and had passed out. She was breathing but making a sound between gurgling and snoring.

“911, is this a medical emergency?” “Yes my mother was eating and passed out, I need help.” “Is she breathing? How old is she? The address and number you’re calling from?”

Finally after all the questions were answered, I called my husband and kids everyone showed up the same time as the paramedics. My husband and son stayed to clean the mess and close up the house, Dana drove ahead to the hospital and I went in the ambulance with my mom.

First before I go any further let me tell you about the ambulance. Why are all emergency vehicles so high off the ground? This was my fourth time having to call for paramedics and an ambulance to my mom’s house, I now feel like I have a close enough relationship with the dispatcher that when they see my mom’s address pop up to send a truck with a bucket to help lift my big behind into the cab of the ambulance. It’s embarrassing I felt like a Weeble (you know the roly-poly characters).

We arrive at the hospital the paramedics had already cut open my mom’s favorite dress. The nurses take her torn dress and sweater all the way off and were going to hand them to me. Hell no! I wasn’t even going to touch the bag. The look on my face let them know it was trash time.

Dana came to sit with me, lab work, x-rays, a CT scan all showed how healthy my mom was, the diagnosis was dehydration. They plumped her up with fluids and we ignored her requests for a Babe Ruth bar. The hospital would have released her but her insurance Kaiser has a policy if a patients loses consciousness they stay overnight for observation.

When the ambulance came to transport my mom to Kaiser, Dana drove me home so I could pick up my car. Now I haven’t eaten anything all day. I down a banana and three cookies and then Paul drove me to the hospital.

When I walked into the room my mom was stuffing her face with Fig Newton’s, she feeling good and wanted to know who came with me to see her and who I called. I let her know everyone knew she was in the hospital and no one came because she wasn’t ill, she was there because she was to stubborn to drink water. I told her I’ve had it. I explained the paramedics, the ambulance, doctors and nurses had more seriously ill patients that they needed to tend to, also her taking space in the hospital is one less bed available for someone else more seriously ill. I was so upset and exhausted I left.

Late that night and early the next morning I received a call from the attending doctor at Kaiser, he wanted to let me know my mom was doing well and would be released around noon.

I got there at twelve thirty. When I walked into her room my mom immediately started asking me if anyone came with me to see her in the hospital. I said no because she wasn’t sick just too lazy to drink fluids. I started to get her ready to go when the nurse came in. She was letting me know my mom didn’t want to eat breakfast but she managed to get her to eat some cereal. Lunch was delivered and she needed to try and eat something. My mom flatly refused saying she would eat at home. Knowing that I would have to continue the battle at home I let my mom know if she didn’t eat she wouldn’t be going home. She began eating.

When I pulled the car up to the hospital patient loading zone, the young man who was helping my mom into the car said; “Have a wonderful day” my mom replied “I’m on the way out.” The young man didn’t know what to say, my mom made it seem like she was going home to die.

I stepped on the gas and looked at her and said;

“So where are we going? Dancing? Lunch? On a trip? Where?” “Aren’t we were going home?” “I thought we were until you told that young man you were on the way out. You’re not dying I know this because the doctors in two hospitals just examined you, the only thing wrong with you is your need for attention.”

When we got home;

“Mom, you need to take a shower you had thrown up and haven’t had a shower in two days.” “Don’t worry about me, worry about yourself.” “Mom take a shower.” “Shut up fat ass!”

Okay this time I picked up the phone, should I call the county morgue or my brother? I ended up calling my brother because I knew his number. I put the call on speaker and asked my mother to repeat what she called me and she did. Well, my brother let her know he wasn’t happy and was coming over.

Intervention (this entry is so long maybe it should be an Intermission).

Since I have tried in the past with the Scared Straight approach having only two bad cops wasn’t working. But now were doing Beyond Scared Straight, oh yeah everyone is on board.

The next day my brother came over, he had my back; even without a script he was remarkable. (Now remember in my last entry I had placed my mom in a really nice assisted living facility for a week, so I had to change it up).

I started to explain that I could not afford to put mom into the nice facility. The cost was $150.00 a day when I placed her in for a week of respite care. Placement for long term would be a little more as she needs assistance bathing, medications and walking to and from the dining room. Now keep in mind this conversation is in front of my mom. Without a dress rehearsal this is how it went down between my brother and me in front of my mom.

“I’m going to be honest with you I can’t ask my husband to do any more than what we’ve done its going to cost two thousand more a month to put mom into a home. Can you pay it?” “Two thousand no way, I’m retired.” “Well, if I can come up with half and I don’t think I can would you be able to pitch in one thousand?” “No, right now it would be tough.” “I know that’s how it is with everyone, I do know that there’s facilities that take only SSI and pensions that don’t have the extra frills but it’s doable.” “Sounds good.”

I told my mom I could no longer take care of her, I was done until I sold the house she was going to the cheaper home, the one where she would have to share a room with one to four other woman, the one where the meals would be simple, like bologna or ham sandwiches for lunch and casserole’s for dinner. Her eyes were bigger now, she understood.

My brother also confronted my mom with his disappointment with the way she talks to me. Surprise!

What a good day this was becoming. My aunt even showed up unexpectedly, without clueing her in about us taking a firm stance in Spanish she asked;

“Eva, how are you doing?” “Not good.” “No, Eva say you’re doing fine” “Fine.”

She even let my mom know she needed to do better so she could remain home. Yes today is a good day, I feel like the troops are with me.

Now on the fourth day, Kaiser sent a very nice young girl to evaluate my mother for Palliative Care. The only ailments my mother has is dementia and RA, since she was not in the final stages of life she did not qualify for assistance.

The only thing my mom understood is that this woman was from Kaiser, she asked me what she wanted. I explained she came to see if she could help, but since she didn’t have a medical condition and it was just that she’s too stubborn to eat and drink a facility might be the answer.

Well, that night no problems, this morning I woke her, gave her breakfast, she showered no problems. My brother just called, he remarked I sounded better, and I’m actually feeling better. Mom’s not sleeping she’s watching TV quietly in her room, when she heard the phone she came out to see who called; I said my brother and he asked if I found a home for you yet.

If I can keep it fresh in her mind, I do believe it will be a good day. Peace.


Zeltiq, Or Freeze Your Fat Away

I was watching TV the other night when a commercial for the eleven o’clock news came on saying there’s a new noninvasive procedure to freeze fat away. I’m interested so I TiVo’d it.

The procedure is called Zeltiq, it’s been approved for a variety of dermatologic applications, and it’s pending approval for fat cell reduction using Cryolipolysis.

They place a gel pack against the skin then using what feels like a vacuum they press against your skin, apparently when they cool the fat to a certain temperature for a certain length of time many of the fat cells die. Apparently the procedure is a precisely controlled cooling that only targets fat cells and not skin and other tissue. So here it is three simple steps; suck, freeze and die.

Interesting, so I Googled it.

Yes it works; it is expensive and recommended for those that are somewhat normal in weight with little pockets of fat not the extremely obese that have saddle bags or a twelve pack.

What a waste all the new ways to lose weight geared towards people who are within normal or acceptable weight to begin with.

Anyone within normal weight, who would pay for this procedure, should have their brain frozen and sucked out. Doctors are getting rich helping people who only have a few pounds to lose. I say leave these doctors alone until they fine tune this procedure for the people who really need it, the obese.

Realistically I cannot afford this procedure without giving up some of my hobbies like gas, food and electricity, but it would be nice if it was an option.

Everything now is promoted to lose weight fast, the easy way, pounds melt away, then you read the fine print and its for those who are overweight by five to ten pounds, or weight loss equipment that has a weight limit, what the hell it’s supposed to be for people who don’t have a weight limit, because their obese!

So, I’m taking control of my situation today, as soon as I finish the last Popsicle I’m going to sit in the freezer for a controlled length of time.

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.

It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings

On my last entry, I mentioned it was one of my worst days in a while. Well, “it ain’t over till fat lady sings,” and I’m not singing yet. 

On Monday I took my mom to the doctor’s, all her tests came in, and as expected everything was within range except her vitamin B-12. My mom suffers from pernicious anemia; her symptoms are weakness, feeling tired, lightheadedness, pale, losing weight (eight pounds in the last seven months) depression and dementia. 

During the visit my mom was having difficulty with her ability to understand and stay on track with questions the doctor was asking her. She also would roll her eyes and shrug her shoulders whenever I would speak. She called me a liar when I explained she was not eating, and said I was never home to take care of her. When her doctor questioned why she has not come for her B-12 shots she replied that she was told by him that she no longer needed them. She was then asked why she had lost more weight; she tried to explain that he was wrong she had gained not lost. 

I explained that my doctor was concerned for my health, he agreed that I needed help. I told him that my husband and I were planning to go with our kids to Hawaii for two weeks but that I have been unable to find someone to do my mom’s catheters. He at that point called for a social worker to get involved. He explained the progression of dementia and that I should realize that at some point changes will have to be made. He also prescribed medication that might help with her depression. 

As we were leaving his office, he explained he would be away for three weeks on vacation. I asked if he was going anywhere special, yes he was going to Japan. At that point my mom joined in by saying when she was growing up she had a Japanese neighbor who had eyes like his,(OMG), and her sister when growing up had fat cheeks so even her eyes looked slanted. I just smiled and shook my head, he smiled back, different generation, and in my mom’s case different world.

Two days later, I got a call from our Social Worker, she had arranged for a nurse to come out and evaluate my mom; she would be there later that day. Soon after I received a call from the nurse, she scheduled us between one and two. 

The nurse was wonderful, her voice and demeanor was so caring, I instantly felt relaxed, we talked for about twenty minutes, and then I brought in my mom. She made some small talk and when my mom felt comfortable started asking questions.
“How old are you.”
“Eighty seven.”
“What year is it?”
“Nineteen eighty-eight.”
“How long were you married?”
“Eighty years.”
“What month is it?”
“What day is it?”
“What is the date?”
“I don’t know.”
“Who is the President of the United States?”
“Oh, I know this one; it’s on the tip of my tongue.”
“His first name starts with a B.”
“It’s on the tip of my tongue.”
“It’s Barack.”   
“Oh yeah, Barackus,”
“Do you know his last name?”
“It’s on the tip of my tongue.”
“It’s starts with an O.”
“Oh, I remember its Barackus Overstreet.”

Every answer was wrong. 

“Mom, you need to watch the news, read the paper and talk so you can keep up to date with everything.”
“I am up to date.”
“Mom, all the questions she asked, you got wrong.”
“I knew the answers; I just didn’t want to tell her.”
“Keep playing that game, you’ll find yourself in a home.” 

Its evident today was not going to be a good one. The nurse said she would come back next week. She wants me to concentrate more on her caloric intake then protein. So my mission is to feed her fifteen hundred calories a day. Shoot that should be easy, I can do fifteen hundred by lunch. But, with my mom let’s just say Mission Impossible, I’ve been able to get her up to thirteen hundred, then she stops, she cannot or will not eat anymore. 

“Mom, you need to eat, if you lose more weight, you’ll have to go to the home so you can get proper nourishment.”
“I don’t have to do anything, or eat anything I don’t want to.”
“Mom, you’re losing it.”
“You think I’m losing it, maybe your losing it.”


Beauty Shop And Black Top

When my mom has an upcoming doctors appointment I try to get all lab work done a few days earlier, so the results will be available to the doctor at the time of our visit. 

Well it started on Sunday, ending with Monday being one of my worst days in a while. 

I had planned everything out in my mind, I left no stone unturned, and everything was to go smoothly, like clockwork. I reminded my mom on Sunday that we were going to the lab for tests. 

“Mom, tomorrow after you get up and have your Ensure we need to go to the lab for blood work.”
“We’ll see how I feel in the morning.”
“Mom, we don’t have to go early, but we do need to go tomorrow.”
“We’ll see.” 

She got up after ten, had her Ensure, then it happened, the beginning of one, of my worst days. 

“Mom, its eleven-fifteen, why  don’t you take a shower, and we can get to the lab before it gets hot?”
“I don’t feel like going today.”
“Well, I really don’t want to go either, but we need to.” 

Since my mom’s wheelchair was dusty, I had Paul put the transport chair in the car, I normally don’t like to use it, while it’s lighter in weight, its harder for me to use, it has four wheels and is a higher profile, then a standard chair so it’s actually harder for me to control. 

We got to the lab at twelve-thirty, no one in the waiting room, I checked her in; 

“Did your mother fast, for twelve hours?”
“No, I wasn’t aware she was supposed to fast, she had Ensure this morning.”
“You need to come back another day, when she has fasted.”
(Yeah great, no problem, I’ll do this again tomorrow, have a nice day)
“Mom, we have to come back tomorrow, I shouldn’t have given you the Ensure this morning.”
“You never get anything right.”
“Well, at least we can have a nice breakfast or lunch, then we’ll go get you a haircut.
“I’m letting my hair grow long, so I can wear it in a bun.”
“Mom, you can’t comb your hair now when its short, it needs to be cut.”  

We, had breakfast, then I pulled into the parking lot for the beauty shop, she turns to me and says; 

“I don’t want a haircut like yours, you look like a man.”
(What the hell)
“Your hair is too short, you look like a man.”
“Mom, why do you always have to say hateful things, can’t you just say, I don’t want my hair as short as yours.”
“I did, I don’t want my hair short like a man’s.”
“Well, maybe you should cut it short like a man’s because now your sides are sticking out like Bozo the clown.” (Yes, I feel better.) 

After they washed my mom’s hair, I get her back in the transport chair, I tell the stylist, she wants it short, but not as short as mine. 

“Mom, cool your jets, I said not as short as mine.” 

The poor stylish just looked at us. I helped her into the chair, and then sat down by the window. After her hair was done, I put her back into the transport chair. Mom was already on me about the haircut. Another bad choice I made. 

While I was paying, mom was complaining. I smiled and said “thank you, don’t worry being mean to me is her hobby, I’m used to it.”

 I backed out the door, when I cleared her feet; I turned the transport chair so I could go down the ramp. I don’t know if I made a sharp turn on the ramp, or if the ramp was a little to steep for me, I could feel the hand grips coming out of my hands, Going forward I held onto the hand grips as hard as I could, but I couldn’t stay on my feet. I fell flat, legs behind me hands outstretched like superman, in flight. I must have slid four feet, but I never let go of my mom’s transport chair, I did however take her down with me. She was still safe in her chair sitting up looking at the sky; my tight grip broke off the handles on the chair. Thank God, she never felt the pavement, the wheels, my hands and my body kept her and her chair from slamming into the ground. 

So here I was laying on the ground, crying, I felt as if I broke my fingers from the death grip I had, I felt as if  I shattered my knee and my arms hurt. Then it happened my mom turned her head towards me, keep in mind she’s sitting in her chair facing the sky I’m flat on my face, crying; 

“What were you thinking, letting me fall?”
“Mom, I fell.”
“Why did you drop me?”
“Mom, I didn’t drop you, I fell.”
“Why would you take me down with you?”
“Mom, if I let you go you would have ended up in the street.” 

By then two hairstylists and two other people from the hamburger stand next door came out, it took all five of us to upright the chair. The whole time my mom kept saying “why did you drop me, why did you let me fall?” 

They just looked at me and asked if I was ok, it was obvious to everyone but my mom that I was hurt. I got her in the car, drove home, honk the horn told my husband to get her butt out of the car, took off and drove around the block three times until I stopped crying. 

I’m bruised, my knee is giving me trouble and I’m barely able to close my left hand, but mom is ok. 

She did finally come out an hour and a half later and said; 

“Are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m alright.”
“I still don’t know why you dropped me?”

A Week In The Life

I can’t believe my luck. Mom has been home from the hospital less than a week and I had a feeling she’s was sick again. I called the doctors and was surprised being Monday that they had an appointment open at eleven. 

“Mom, get up we have an appointment today at eleven.”
“I don’t need to go the doctor’s.”
“Mom, I think your kidney infection is back. So you need to get up and we can go.”
“I don’t need to go, I don’t need to get up. You can go because I don’t need you.”
“You do need me, I’ll keep talking until you get up and get ready.” 

Forty-five minutes (and one nervous break down) later she’s up. Another thirty-five minutes for her shower, to dress and get the wheelchair into the car.

We saw the doctor, he ordered blood and urine tests. Blood tests that would normally take five minutes took thirty-five minutes because her blood was flowing slowly due to dehydration. Forget the urine test she did not want to have a catheter done at the doctor’s so instead of arguing I took her home did a catheter and drove back to the lab.

The next day Tuesday, the doctor called my mom had a different infection so he needed to change her medication. He asked that when I pick up the new prescription to drop of a new urine sample at the lab for further tests. Once I got to the lab, they informed me the doctor also added new blood work. So back home I go to bring mom back. 

“Mom, get dressed the doctor ordered new blood work.”
“Didn’t you just go to the lab?”
“Yes, I did but that was for urine tests not blood tests.”
“Two trips to the doctor’s in one day. Both you and the doctor don’t know what your doing?”
“Well, actually I’ve gone four times in two days. I’ve only had to take you two times.”
“Is that smart?”
“It may not be smart but it gives me time by myself. Just get ready.” 

On Wednesday I wanted to take my aunt and her daughter to visit my cousin Salle, she had emergency surgery that Sunday. (She was in the hospital ten days, but is now home and doing fine,) My husband volunteered to watch my mom. With the exception of my cousin being in the hospital it ended up being a nice morning. 

That evening off to my granddaughter’s first t-ball game. We had t-shirts that had Mac’s name and number on them. Two grandmas, one grandpa, Uncle Paul, Auntie Moo, mom and dad, one video camera and three digital cameras. All to capture family moments. (ie, skipping to first base, stopping to wave between first and second, twirling at short stop etc.) 

That night I was tired, I got completely undressed and put on an old comfortable housedress. Paul started the fireplace and we sat with munchies watching TV. Around nine there was a knock at the door. I reminded Paul that I couldn’t get up (lack of clothes) and he needed to answer it. It was the neighbors they are really great people who always bring something delicious over. 

Until tonight. All I heard was your roofs on fire! The neighbors came in, headed into the den where I was sitting in order to go out into the back yard to help my husband put out the fire. There I was sitting in a chair, snacks on my lap with no underwear. I had a decision to make, get up and let them see what I look like half naked or act like I didn’t care sit there and burn. Our neighbor’s wife always looks good even at nine at night so I decided to sit there and go up with the house. I’m sure they thought my behavior was strange and uncaring but I just couldn’t or wouldn’t get up and let them see me half naked in an old housedress. 

So, as my husband and neighbors put water on the roof to douse the flames. I sat with my goodies watching a new reality show Fire, Fire your House is on Fire. It was a small fire, just a minor repair. Everything and everybody is fine.

Friday off to the emergency room again. This time with my daughter Dana. Fast heartbeat, nausea and diarrhea. Dehydration! Now how can this be happening, I know she’s busy all day at work (drinking tea) but she knows the importance of drinking water. Oh well, at least she was embarrassed when we walked into the ER and the doctor and nurse greeted us by saying; Hi, Nancy usual room?

Distemper or B-12

Once a month, my mom needs to get a vitamin B-12 shot. Or what I call a distemper/rabies vaccination because she gets so vicious prior to her appointment. My mom has been getting B-12 shots most of her life, off and on, due to poor eating habits and the inability to absorb enough protein.

This time however, she also has an appointment with a nurse practitioner. When she found this out, she hit the roof. The last appointment with her doctor didn’t go well, in fact, he offered me the assistance of a Social Worker. She was so awful to me, he came right out and asked her if she loved me. She said yes, and his response was that he couldn’t tell by the way she treated me.

Oh well, another day. We went and got her shot this morning. Then we went to the doctor’s office. She was mad – not upset, not angry – just plain mad.

When the nurse called us in, she weighed my mom at 117 lbs. Her blood pressure was 130/70 (mine was probably off the charts).

The nurse practitioner then came into the room and asked why we were there. I explained I had a few reasons for the trip. One was a mole on her arm. The practitioner said it was okay, just ugly looking. They wouldn’t remove it unless it bothered her. (I was just afraid if it got bigger, I would have to feed it.)

Second, I needed her to explain to my mom, again, why I do a catheter daily, (my mom thinks I do this to torture her and not for a medical reason). She explained to my mom that her bladder no longer worked and it was necessary to avoid infection. My mom said she understood.

Third, how much Tylenol can she take? How much Tylenol could I take?

Fourth, if Medicare or the Marines could assist me with my mom.

Fifth, her eating habits. She explained the types of foods she should eat daily (all of which my mom will not touch). My mom said she will only eat chicken (one chicken wing is all), and the practitioner said she needed to eat chicken breasts. My mom says she does eat chicken breast. In 55 years, I have never EVER seen my mother eat anything but a wing. Everything the practitioner said, she apparently did.

Sixth, exercise – my mom has muscle atrophy. She walks from her chair to the den, two to three times a day, a total of 120 to 180 feet. But, when talking to the practitioner, she runs in a marathon.

The nurse practitioner understood in that 30 minutes. She basically stated, like her doctor, that my mother will not change. I’m the one needing medical assistance for all the stress. She will not and does not want to understand. At some point, I need to realize my mom should be in a facility that can deal with her better.

Okay, I understand what they are saying, but that’s not how it’s done in our family. We grin and bare it and pray we don’t go first.

On the way home, this is what happened.

“I told you, I don’t need a catheter.”

I then stopped the car, waited for traffic on the other side to break, did a u-turn, and said we’re going back so she could explain it again. My mom then said:

“I know she said I needed it to avoid infection.”
“Mom, I never seen you eat a chicken breast.”
“I did years ago.”
“That doesn’t count.”

So I took her to Denny’s. She ate one half of an egg, a couple of bites of hash browns, two pieces of bacon, one half of a toast, and orange juice.

I told her I was having my nails done and she was going with me. She was mad. She didn’t want to go and I can’t make her. Well, it’s about 95 degrees outside so she can make the choice. Today, she needs to work around my schedule.

So in we go to the nail salon, they’ve heard about my mom but have never met her and they could tell she was angry. I put her into a chair for a pedicure and manicure. Two people were working on her, giving her all the attention. She picked a hot pink for her nails. She was loving it. She looked liked a princess, smiling from ear to ear. She was going over all her surgeries to a new audience. She was happy and content the rest of the day.

What did she eat the rest of the day? Chicken breast, vegetables? No. She had three chocolate chip cookies and a Drumstick ice cream.

That’s all folks.

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