|As scary as it is, I hope you will return and join us for the ride!|
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
9 - Not a walk in the park!
Today is day July 9th (and my 9th post) in the 30 day blog challenge I joined. For anyone "just tuning in", this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about. I promise it won't take too long to go back and review my first 8 posts so you can catch up with my story. For anybody thinking there is nothing here that could affect you, I hope you're wrong. I hope you are wrong, not because I wish bad things for you, but because that would mean that you are truly alone in life. You see, although my story revolves around senior care giving and health care, I believe there are lessons within my story that could be applied to ANYBODY that might EVER know someone (or be someone) who is need of a little help, no matter their age.
Now, one would think that things might have gotten easier at this point. They just got different. I no longer spent up to 20 hours a day at the hospital. Now I only spent probably a total of 6-8
hours either at or traveling to the hospital. The rest of the time I was making sure moms clothes were gathered, washed and returned to her; anything she wanted brought back was either found or purchased; bills were paid; items she would need when she was released to come home were gathered and prepared; etc. It was truly a juggling act!
Although I had assured the doctors; therapists; nurses; family members; and myself that I could handle this, I was starting to panic! Was I really ready for this? Was I really ready to be with my mother 24/7? Was I really equipped to handle all the care she needed? Could I really roll her in to the "roll in" shower we had installed? How could I get her in/out of the house for appointments? My worries and concerns just kept adding up. What am I going to do? What if I can't do it? What if I let mom down? Having continuous care at home had been one of the criteria for acceptance in to Acute Rehab. I HAD TO DO THIS!
Oh, man, I can tell this is not going to be a walk in the park!
Mom worked hard - ability and commitment to a minimum of three hours a day of organized therapy had been one of the criteria to be considered for the program. In spite of the constant back pain which was being semi controlled with some heavy duty narcotics, she managed the organized therapy and more most days. Each week her "team" met and discussed her progress and likely discharge date. Her report cards (yes, that's what they called them) were pretty impressive!
Mom was on the right track!
She was granted her first "day" pass after about 10 days in rehab. With the help of the therapists I learned very quickly how to best load mom along with the wheelchair, walker and any other equipment that she might need. I had no idea what we were going to do or where we were going to go, but we were in the car and on the road! We didn't go anywhere too exciting or do anything that unusual, but for mom this was big stuff right now! It was a sign of things to come. She beamed as we made the decision to go to "Great Clips". After our hair cuts we just drove around. We got ice cream. We just enjoyed being out of the hospital.
My mom was on the road home!
It would be a total of 3 weeks that mom spent in rehab, this time, before she would come home on May 30th, 2012. That night we both slept like we had not slept in weeks. I woke with a start after snoozing hard for nearly 10 hours. I hadn't heard mom at all - even with the baby monitors I had placed in her room. My heart was beating hard as I scurried across the house to her room. Oh, Lord, please let her be OK! I quietly crept in to her room with my eyes on her chest to see if she was breathing.
Her eyes opened. "We better get up. The Home Health people will be here soon." What a relief!
With the help of the Home Health nurse and therapists mom gained strength each day.
Things went pretty well and mom continued to improve. Well, she improved in the sense that she was able to feed herself and accomplish other tasks necessary for survival, but she still needed a lot of assistance. She was still in severe pain most of the time and still taking at least two different narcotics for pain control. Plus all the other pills she took for her various other "conditions".
Even so, six weeks later she was discharged from Home Health Care. These were people we'd relied on for the past six weeks. They were people we had come to trust, people who offered helpful advice and access to resources. We were comfortable with them and confident in their abilities. We hadn't been nearly as impressed with the office and management staff.
With assurances that mom was doing "very well for what she'd been through" and accepting praises for "doing such a good job" with moms care, we said goodbye to the nurse and the physical therapist. (We had never seen the aide that was assigned to mom (but we did get a call after being in home health for nearly 3 weeks apologizing that "she wouldn't be able to make it today") We had asked that the OT not come back after the first 3 visits - remind me to tell you THAT story later!)
The next week and a half were pretty uneventful.
We took lots of rides around the valley, just enjoying our time together and marveling in all the beauty around us. We noticed things we had never noticed before and chattered about what our community used to be like.
As we drove around I told mom stories
about some of the mischief I use to cause when I was young. She acted shocked at each story and then would laugh. I so enjoyed hearing her laugh. I suspect that there were very few of those stories that she hadn't already heard from someone, but it was fun taking those walks down memory lane.
Things seemed to be going pretty smoothly. What a nice reprieve!
I probably shouldn't get too comfortable, huh?
But, things were pretty normal actually. Well, except for moms back pain.
Sad to think even her pain had become normal.
And, her knee. Does that look a little puffy?
But she seems to be feeling pretty well and we have an appointment scheduled with her doctor in a couple weeks or so. Maybe they could get her in a little sooner, maybe they'll have a cancellation - I'll call in the morning.
No such luck. Not only did it only take moments for me to find out the doctor was on vacation, it took even less time to find out that "they don't do a cancellation list".
I wondered out loud about what I should do.
She didn't know, but suggested "if I really thought it was urgent to go to the emergency room".
By the last week of July we were back on the roller coaster.
Count your blessing and enjoy the day!
Please share: http://homesbythecase.blogspot.com/ Has anyone ever asked YOUR opinion about what should be "reformed" when it comes to healthcare? Well, they have NOW! Can you think of one thing (or 10) that would better our healthcare system?