Total Pageviews

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How could I say NO? For anyone "just tuning in" this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about, I hope you take the time to go back and review my earlier posts so you can catch up with our story. For anyone who has been along for the whole wild ride - Thank you! I very much appreciate your thoughts and comments!

How Could I Say No?

“I’ll be back”, I told mom.  I desperately needed to escape from the hospital for a little while.  It was going to be another long night.  I hadn’t planned on staying at the hospital, but mom had asked so sweetly, How could I say “no”?

It was just before 1:00AM on February 23, 2013 when I returned to mom’s room.  The nurse thanked me for the tip I had given her to calm mom down.  “It’s pretty sad that she is that scared to go back there”, the nurse said as she handed me a sheet for the couch.  Did she realize it was February in Colorado I wonderedI was obviously in need of sleep.

I was in tears as I laid the sheet over that stupid tiny couch.  Would it have killed her to at least give me a pillow?  Why was I acting so hateful?  I was getting myself all worked up.  I considered wandering the halls until I found the blanket warmer.  I pictured myself slamming the doors.  I’ll make sure they know how rude it was to not offer me a blanket.  I tried reasoning with myself.  She probably just forgot.  I told myself how irrational I was being, I didn’t care.  Is she just going to forget about mom too?  I was literally stomping my feet and acting like a spoiled child.  I was even arguing with myself about marching out and giving them a piece of my mind.  What was wrong with me?

“You came back”, mom made me jump.  I immediately regretted the fit I had just thrown.  Seconds later the nurse was handing me a pillow and blanket.  I felt like crawling under that couch.
“Of course I came back, mom, I told you I would”, I turned away and wiped my eyes.

She asked about the surgery, but before I could respond mom closed her eyes and seemed to be dreaming.  She was holding her arms in the air and appeared to be pushing imaginary buttons, which seemed to correlate with the beeping of all the machines she was hooked to.  All at once she dropped her arms.  I jumped when she hissed at me, “You promised”.  I reminded her where she was.  “I know where I am”, mom snarled, “You get me out of here”!

“I can’t, mom”, tears were stinging my eyes.  I gently pried her crippled hands from the rail she kept trying to pull herself up with.  What the heck is going on?  “I don’t think they want you to get up yet”, I reasoned, “We’ll have to call the nurse”.  She didn’t care what they wanted.  Mom wanted me to get her out of there NOW.  “Mom, you know I can’t do that”, I was getting scared.

So much for my mother being sweet!  “You know you could, if you wanted to.  YOU KNOW YOU COULD”, mom looked at me like I was the spawn of Satan.  She was still pulling on the rail and ranting at me.  I didn’t want them to think mom was crazy.  I didn’t want to have a replay of last October.  And, I certainly didn’t want mom to damage her newly repaired spine.

I reminded her it had been her decision to have this surgery.  “Yea, and that was stupid”, mom dropped her head on the pillow.  I reminded her of what the PA had said, how he told us what to expect.  “He’s stupid too”, moms eyes were wide now.  Her voice was dripping with venom, “It’s ALL stupid, really stupid”.  This can’t be my mother.  “I TRUSTED YOU”, mom may as well have punched me in the stomach.

The nurse had tried “nice” and it hadn’t worked.  “You think you can get up?” the nurse sounded irritated, “go ahead, but we’re not helping you.”  That was kind of mean.  I was not happy with the tone she used with my mother.

Obviously, mom was not happy either.  “Fine, I will”, mom glared at the nurse.  Then she glared at me.  Once again, she tried to pull herself to a sitting position.  Of course she wasn’t able to, but it scared me to death when she tried to swing her legs over the edge of the bed.  She had just had 12 hours of surgery on her spine!  Mom finally seemed to have worn herself out.  She laid her head back and went sound to sleep.  Well, at least one of use will get some sleep.

The sun was coming up by the time mom had finally calmed down.  The nurse explained her actions, apologized and said, “I had to let her try, I knew she couldn’t do it.”  I wasn’t sure I understood or agreed with her reasoning, but I admired her honesty.  I also appreciated that she cared enough to take time to explain, that was a little (very) unusual where I came from!  I thanked her for her candor and made sure she had my number if mom woke before I returned.

Why did I need to be there, anyway?

Was it for moms safety?

Or, was it for my own peace of mind? (or at least what was left of it)


Anonymous said...

Having bad experiences which were unnecessary but necessary to reach out for help elsewhere. Thank God for his help in getting the resources to help. This showed us that there are caring people out there and that there was better care elsewhere and we need to advertise that. I think you're doing a great job with this and I really believe it's important for every one to realize that it's OK to ask for second opinions and I highly suggest it knowing what I know now. I shudder hadn't we gotten elsewhere, this special person in our life might not of made it this far. I thank God everyday for that and for the strength to carry on knowing that there is help out there. Just have to be patient and help others as well as we can.

JM said...

I have never had to face this kind of anger in a parent I was caring for - although that may eventually come with my FIL's Alzheimer's - but I do know that horrid feeling in the pit of your stomach when your parent trusts you to do something and thinks you haven't. When the parent is afraid and disoriented, believing something is true that is only imagination and fear.

All you can do is try to reassure her, and sometimes back off and let her discover for herself that she can or cannot do something. You're doing a great job!

healthcare hostages said...

We just have to "let go and let God". It's true that the "bad" experiences were a driving force in the getting the appropriate help.

healthcare hostages said...

It' is both heart wrenching and downright scary to witness this sort of thing. Mom has been through this before, but it was always drug induced. My heart aches for those who have to live this on a day to day basis. God bless them!

As always, I appreciate your comments and encouragement!

Thanks JM!