Saturday, May 15, 2010

mom's in the hospital

As most of you know, I take care of my disabled mother 24/7. She has degeneration of the cerebellum and Alzheimers and other fun stuff. She cannot speak or feed herself or stand up or go to the bathroom (we use Depends) or even hold her own head up for more than a brief period at a time. She kicks and fusses and waves her tiny stiff fists. It's the only way she can express herself.

Yesterday, she had diarrhea. All day. John called the doctor's office and spoke to the advice nurse. She asked us to check her temperature. It was 101.7˚. For those of you in countries that use the metric system, I don't know what the equivalent is in Celsius. But normal is 98.6˚. So she had a fever.

The advice nurse told us to take her to the emergency room.

I was just about to fix us dinner. It was about 5 pm. So we packed Momma in to the handicap van and took her to Mercy General Hospital. We found a handicap parking space with room to deploy the ramp. As we were walking in, there was a woman walking unsteadily ahead of us. I thought she was maybe drunk or something. We caught up with her at the entrance. She was pregnant, which wasn't apparent from behind. She had been walking unsteadily because she was in labor. It just goes to show, I shouldn't judge. Not that I would have said anything, but I need to keep an open mind.

We checked in, waited for awhile amid people from all walks of life with all sorts of problems. They finally brought us backstage. They lifted her up onto a hospital bed. It was nice to have someone else do it, because I usually do it by myself.

I guess I shouldn't get caught up in the minutia of everything that happened. We were there until about 1 am. We had vending machine pretzels and Diet Pepsi for dinner. John was very patient. I'm sure this wasn't how he wanted to spend his evening.

Momma had an EKG, a chest x-ray, IV antibiotics and saline and double catheters. They finally told us they were going to admit her. Several hours later, we were told that we didn't need to stay with her. I felt bad about leaving her there, but John and I were exhausted and, besides, I was leaving her to professionals.

I called this morning and found out her room number. I came back by myself this morning with my laptop. It seemed heavier than usual to carry along with my purse. This room is on the 4th floor and I used the stairs. Elevators make me dizzy, so I only use them when I'm pushing a wheelchair. Besides, I need the exercise.

So now, I've been sitting in her room for about one and a half hours. I'm still waiting for a doctor to come and tell me what her diagnosis is. I would like to know how long she will be here.

Is it evil of me to think - if she's going to be here for a few days- couldn't John and I take a mini-vacation? We haven't been able to do anything like that for several years.


Pile Girl said...

Monday - Mom is still in the hospital. Her fever is down and she seems a lot better. They told me she will probably go home tomorrow.
The most surprising thing happened today. I was telling the nurse that I'd like to go home but I hate to leave my mom. After the nurse left, My mom actually said, "Go on." She hasn't spoken in years. I said, "you want me to go home?" And she said, "yeah."

Linda said...

Pile Girl, it was so nice to see your comment. I wanted to come over and visit you. Reading about you and your mom is bringing back all kinds of memories. I feel for you. You are doing the hardest work imaginable.

"Is it evil of me to think - if she's going to be here for a few days- couldn't John and I take a mini-vacation? We haven't been able to do anything like that for several years." I'll answer that question. POSITIVELY NOT. (I know your mom is back with you now--but you have to arrange to get away once in a while. For your own good, and for your mom's good.)

It's so amazing that she spoke (your comment above) for the first time in years, and told you to go. Brings tears to my eyes.