Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 5, 2014

If It Weren't For Bad Luck....... If you're "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. I welcome and appreciate your thoughts and comments.
For anyone who has been along for the whole wild ride - Thank you!

If It Weren't For Bad Luck....... 

My detour through the Acute Rehab Unit after leaving moms room had left me less than hopeful that mom would get in to their program.  The nurses and aides working that night remembered mom and would love to have her back, but they told me the beds were all full.  “Sorry”, one of the nurses had said sincerely as I was leaving in tears.  “Gloom, Despair, and Agony on me”, the song popped in my head as I was riding down in the elevator.

“Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery”, Roy Clark; Gordie Tapp; Grandpa Jones and Archie Campbell continued to taunt me as I drove back to the hotel; I was still singing (I thought to myself) as I let myself in to my room.  “If it weren't for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all” I sang in my gravelly, off-key, out of tune voice when I heard the people who had passed me in the hall laughing.  I guess I wasn't being very quiet!  I felt my cheeks burning as I stepped in to the room.  I really did have bad luck, didn't I?!

I didn't even want to have to think of other options for moms’ rehab.  I was terrified my mother wouldn't get the care she needed in a Skilled Nursing Facility.  We had been down that road before; even with one of us being there many hours a day (and night), the care had been inadequate in my opinion.  Actually, thinking about the care (or lack thereof) my mother had received in the short time she had been in a SNF last year brought me to tears.  I wiped my eyes and tried to sleep but every time I closed my eyes my mind started racing.

For hours I laid in the dark and tried to process every possible scenario; searching for a palatable option.  I tried to close my eyes, but the next thing I knew I would be staring in to the night again.  “This is ridiculous”, I said to myself angrily as I punched my pillow and turned over for, what seemed like, the zillionth time.  Sometime after 5:00 AM I finally fell asleep.  I woke just before 8:00 AM with one thing on my mind.

I hurried to dress so I could get to the hospital to check on mom; I was sure she would be wondering
where I was.  As I stepped off the elevator and turned towards the orthopedics unit, I heard someone call my name from the other end of the hall – The Acute Rehab Unit.  I turned to see a nurse who I had developed a friendship with; she had been so good to mom – and to me – during moms’ last stay in rehab after her spine surgery, I will never forget her kindness and upbeat spirit.

“What are you doing here?” the nurse smiled as she gave me a hug.  I told her what was going on and where mom was.  My eyes welled up when I told her how sad I was that mom wasn't going to be able to come to their unit.  “Why not?” she asked incredulously.  I told her about my detour through the rehab unit the night before and that I was aware they were full.  We chatted about procedures and how they would evaluate mom; we marveled about how strong my extremely frail mother was.

The nurse explained that they were full right then, but believed they would have a bed open by Monday or Tuesday.  “Don’t worry”, this nurse was an amazingly calming force.  I knew she couldn't guarantee mom being accepted, but I felt like the weight lifted off my shoulders as I walked down the hall towards my mothers room with this nurse who had become a fast friend.

 Although we had been very impressed with the entire staff in the Acute Rehab Unit (the entire hospital really), there were a few of them who had stood out – this nurse was one of them; she made a difference in the lives she touched.  We were laughing and chatting as we entered moms’ room.  “Look who I found”, I leaned down to kiss mom.  She gave me a quick peck and struggled to look around me to see who had come in with me; she smiled wide and her eyes lit up when she saw who it was.

“I’m hoping they let me come to your unit”, my mother told the nurse with a twinkle in her eye.  Mom didn't know I had been told they were full, so she hadn't worried much about it.  After the nurse had left, mom and I chatted about what the doctors had told her.  “They are planning on taking the block out and getting me up this afternoon”, mom was telling me.  “He says I can put full weight on it as tolerated”, she looked skeptical.  The room fell silent and mom closed her eyes.  I slipped out of the room, deciding I should probably get some rest too.

After spending a few minutes talking with the nurse assigned to mom I returned to the hotel, finished my blog post for the day (I had entered a 30 day challenge to write a post a day), and fell sound asleep.  I woke briefly late in the evening thinking I should go back and check on mom, but I could barely keep my eyes open.  I didn't want to call moms’ cell phone in case she was sleeping so I fumbled in my purse to find the number and security code the nurse had given me.

Moms’ nurse assured me that mom was resting peacefully after her pain pills and that she had been up this afternoon with physical therapy.  Satisfied that mom was in good hands, I crawled back under the covers and slept for nearly twelve hours before mom called – she was clearly upset.

If it weren't for bad luck……….

No comments: