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Monday, January 6, 2014

Tougher than they thought! 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 very much appreciate your thoughts and comments.
For anyone who has been along for the whole wild ride - Thank you!

Tougher than they thought!

“Did I wake you? I’m sorry”, my mother said as I answered the phone, the tone in her voice had me up and dressing as I asked her what was wrong.  She assured me it was nothing urgent; that I should just call her back when I got up.  Deciding it was going to take me longer to figure out what was wrong than my bladder could stand after sleeping for twelve hours, I told mom I would call her back.

Inside of ten minutes I called mom back as I was getting in to the car so I could get to the hospital.  When mom answered the phone I asked her what was wrong.  Mom told me about them waking her up early to take blood; her toast being cold; it being hot in her room; and the noises bothering her during the night.  She still had that tone in her voice and I knew there was something else; something she wasn't saying.  I told mom I was just getting on the Interstate and would be there soon.

“OK, I’ll just talk to you when you get here”, mom said.  We were just saying goodbye when she said, “Yeah, I’m not very happy with a couple of therapists here”.  Uh-huh, there it was…….I knew there was something in her tone.  I asked her what they had done; mom sounded disgusted when she replied, “Well, they did my evaluation for rehab”.  My stomach churned and my heart sank.  “I’ll tell you when I see you & I’ll see when you get here, honey”, mom chirped and before she hung up she added, “They are not going to let me go”.

The line went dead before I realized what she was saying.  Unconsciously, I stepped on the gas in my panic.  “Holy cow!” I caught a glimpse of my speedometer as I was approaching my exit – eighty two in a 55 is NEVER a good thing!  I had slowed to sixty as I sailed off the exit, which was clearly marked 35MPH – also not a good thing.  I figured I had already pushed my luck as far as I should so I slammed on my breaks when the light turned red, dumping my purse and everything else from the seats to the floor.  “Damn!” I hit the steering wheel so hard it hurt my hand, “Don’t I deserve something good?!” I seethed to myself.  “I guess not”, I told myself as I looked at the stain I had on my blouse when I parked in the only spot I could find, which was about as far from where I needed to be as I could get.  I really needed to get it together; I didn't want mom to see me like this.

I stopped in the ladies room, splashed cold water on my face; dabbed at the stain on my blouse and tried to look presentable before I continued on to moms’ room.  I thought I had myself under control as I stepped off the elevator and headed down the hall, but I could feel the lump in my throat getting bigger.  I held the tears back as I headed towards the washroom and had almost made it when I ran in to the nurse I was so fond of from the rehab department.  As always, the nurse gave me a hug and then, as if she sensed something was wrong, held me at arm’s length and looked in to my eyes – “what’s wrong?” she was so perceptive.

Through my sobbing I explained to the nurse that I really didn't know what was wrong.  I told her about the call from mom and that it sounded like they had already done the rehab evaluation.  I needed to find out more from mom but I needed to get myself under control first.  The nurse helped me calm down, and then we decided that I needed to get more information in order to know which direction to go next.  “I didn't think they were doing any eval’s until this afternoon”, the nurse looked confused as we parted ways.

When I made it to moms’ room, she didn't look confused – she looked MAD!  “What did they say?” I asked mom as I walked in to the room and set my purse down.  In great detail mom explained to me how unhappy she was with these two therapists; she wanted to know how they could decide in less than 10 minutes that she didn't qualify for Acute Rehab.  “Did they say you didn't qualify?" I wanted to know.  Mom went on to tell me that the therapists didn't think she was strong enough to participate in the required 3 hour per day therapy.  “What did you tell them?” I didn't know what, but something seemed off; this wasn't the way they had evaluated her the first time.

“I told them I was pretty sure I was tougher than they thought I was” mom said adamantly.  The look on her face made me laugh and she smiled; looked at me quizzically and said, “It’s NOT funny”.  We both laughed harder.  Once I quit giggling and composed myself, I looked around to see what I could do to keep busy.  I was nervous.  I knew I had to talk to mom about an alternate plan for rehab.  I also knew I couldn't do it right then without crying.  I focused on her water glass, scooped it up and told mom I was going for ice as I left the room.

I was feeling more composed as I rounded the corner returning to moms’ room.  I decided there was no better time than the present to broach the subject, “well, if you can’t stay here………”  I had started talking before I got clear in the door and stopped short when I realized we weren't alone.

A second later I was shaking hands with the Acute Rehab Director and was being introduced to the intern who was on rotation in the department.  After exchanging pleasantries and complimenting mom on how good she looked, the doctor told us that therapy would be in to evaluate mom “after lunch”.  “We know how hard she works and as long as the evaluation goes well, we’ll be happy to have her back” the doctor was saying.  Huh?  We said goodbye to the doctors and mom and I were left there staring at each other.

“I thought you said therapy had already been here for the evaluation” I wasn't sure what was going on. Mom assured me that two girls she had never seen before from the therapy department had been in and had told her that she wouldn't qualify for Acute Rehab.  I was confused, something was not clicking.  “Did they tell you they were there for the rehab eval?” I asked mom.  They hadn't specifically said they were there for the evaluation, just for therapy.  It finally made sense, I thought I had it figured out.

There was one thing I knew for sure………..

My mom was tougher than they thought!


Tanya said...

Having been the caregiver to several family members and a current RA sufferer your blog speaks to me in many ways. I am very glad to continue reading about your journey.

healthcare hostages said...

So glad you're still tagging along with me Tanya! As always, I appreciate knowing that others are interested!