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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Wrath of Mom 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

The wrath of mom

I stood in the hall near my mothers’ room waiting for the nurse.  I was torn between desperately wanting to know my mother was OK and really not wanting to suffer any more of The Wrath of Mom.

My thoughts were filled with moms’ pleas, “get me out of here”; the hatred I heard in her voice, “You know you could, if you wanted to”.  I still had a pit in my stomach from her saying, “I thought I could trust you”; It broke my heart.  I hoped the nurse had been right about it being the effects of the anesthesia.

They had used ketamine.  I knew nothing about it, so I spent the some time researching it on my “smart phone”, which was really stupid.  I have a bad habit of researching myself in to hysteria.

On the up side, my crash course indicated the nurse had probably been right regarding moms’ state of mind.  I wondered how long it might last; what was normal with this drug?

The nurse stood in the hall with me and further explained the dissociative effects of the drug.   We quietly entered the room.  I humored myself briefly as I imagined using the nurse as a human shield against moms’ attacks if she was still angry with me.

Mom was awake and looking quite contrite.  “I’m sorry”, mom was near tears.  She was replaying the previous night.  Mom told me about thinking she was ruling the world and trying to decide which button to push.  “That really scared me”, mom admitted, “I didn't know what the buttons would do”.   She continued, “I thought I was controlling the world”.  She quickly added, “I wouldn't want that much control”.

“You have nothing to be sorry for, mom”, I hoped that meant she still trusted me!  “You had me worried”, I smiled to let her know it was OK, now.  Throughout her rants, I had assumed she thought she was in the other hospital.  Turned out that was only partly true.

Mom in her HBOT "display case"
“It wasn't only the hospital”, mom explained.  “You had me on display in a glass case, IN THE MALL!” mom looked incredulous.  I couldn't help but laugh, talk about disassociation!  I don’t even like malls!  “It seemed so real!” mom nearly shouted.  She shuddered and exclaimed, “I really believed it!”

To the best of my knowledge my mother had only been in a glass case twenty, maybe 30, times in her life; I don't remember how many HBOT treatments had been approved my Medicare to treat her osteomyelitis.   We sat quiet for a few minutes, both in our own thoughts.

I needed to tell mom about the second surgery, but I didn't have the heart.  They might decide it wasn't necessary; maybe I had misunderstood.  I certainly didn't want to worry mom unnecessarily.  Mom’s progress, or lack of it, would determine the next step.  I hoped mom could take a next step.

Within a couple hours, mom was gingerly helped to a sitting, then a standing position.  I held my breath as mom attempted that first step.  The attempt was immediately aborted and mom was helped back to the bed.

Within the hour mom was moved from the step-down ICU to the Neuro/Trauma unit.  Again, we were greeted by smiling, caring nurses and CNA’s.  They immediately tended to moms needs as we voiced our concerns.

I was impressed.  The nurses patiently listened to us.  Everyone seemed to understand the importance of keeping us informed; of making sure we understood what was happening and why.  Moms nurse wasn't afraid to say “I don’t know”; she finished her sentence with, “I’ll see what I can find out”.  She seemed genuine; I like that in a person!

wasn't sure if it was the confidence I felt with the nursing staff or pure exhaustion, but I knew it was time to sleep.  Mom had another dose of morphine and was finally resting.  “I’ll see you in the morning”, I kissed mom and my sister.  I made sure the nurses had my contact information and slipped out the door; in search of my bed.

Normally a snowy, slick drive in the middle of the night would keep me lying awake for hours after.  There's always an exception to the rule.

I was sound asleep before my head hit the pillow. Obviously, nothing in my life was normal.

Will it ever be normal again?

Was it normal before?

What is normal anyway?

How will I know when I get there?


Tanya said...

I want to let you know at some point in the future this may become a favorite family tale. I went through a similar event with my Mother. I spent an emotional week with my Mom accusing me of horrible things, including pimping my then 12 yr old daughter out for drugs, locking her (mom) in a department store for ransom, and other such nonsense. Years later we would laugh and tease Mom over it.

JM said...

"Normal" is a constantly changing paradigm; sometimes we don't realize what it was ... until it's irrevocably gone. All we can do is take each new change as it comes and make the best of whatever situation we're in. You're doing very well at that by now!

healthcare hostages said...

Tanya, it is true that we are now able to laugh at some of the bizarre things that we have experienced, however some of them still send shivers up my spine. There are days that the humor is the only thing that keeps me going!

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I really do appreciate it.

healthcare hostages said...

It is so true that "normal" constantly seems to change and evolve in to something different. It is also very true, that sometimes we don't realize it until it's gone.

I have had to learn to take each day as it comes; realizing that it may or may not resemble the day before!

Thank you for taking your time to read my post. I so appreciate your thoughts and comments!