Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Running On Empty

Those of you who follow me on Facebook probably already know I've been 'running on empty' for a while. My mother, (who always prefers me to refer to her as mum), has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for months. She's now back in the hospital again. I want her well and healed this time, before they discharge her.

The thing is, she's weak, frail, and plumb tired—and anybody would be after almost three months of this shit. But at her age (in her 80's), tired and weak—well, it takes on a new meaning.  The problem is once they discharge her from the hospital, the drs. always discharge her to a rehab/nursing home for physical therapy and/or occupational therapy.

So, after vomiting for eight straight days, is it any wonder she doesn't feel like doing any exercise? Hell, she could barely walk before she fell back in August and got sick. And when I say walk, I mean with an assist walker. Her main way to get around used to be her motorized scooter. Yet now she is expected to walk like a 40 year old in good health, lift weights and pulleys and fuck knows what else.

Yes, I know she needs to build her strength, but can't we get her well first? I am so tired of all these places explaining to me that she has to help herself and move. Well, no fucking duh. But it's hard when you are *going both ways*, to put it delicately,  80+ years old, running a low grade temp off and on, and couldn't walk for beans before all this started.

My analogy of never playing the piano, but suddenly after really working with them in therapy, I can—just sailed over their heads I think.

The nursing home/rehab place before this last one complained of the same thing. She wouldn't cooperate and hold her head up. In the meanwhile, she ran a fever and was sick, wouldn't eat her meals, and didn't cooperate in therapy. Hmm...then they finally got a brainstorm and the nursing home dr. finally sent her to the hospital, where her real doctors could see her, and immediately said, "OMG—this woman has an inflamed and diseased gallbladder! We gotta remove it STAT! Why didn't they send her to the hospital sooner?"  Yeah, why the fuck didn't they?

After a week and a half at the hospital, they released her once more to a nursing home/ get stronger. Instead, she got sicker and weaker and the entire cycle started again, with her sick and *uncooperative* in therapy. They even mentioned it being partially behavioral. Over a week passed this last time before the exact same nursing home dr. (but at a different nursing home) finally figured something else might be wrong and sent her back to the hospital (different hospital too).

I stayed with her in ER for nine hours the other day and come to find out, she was running a low-grade temp and that after a CT scan, her diverticulitis had majorly flared up. OMG.

Today, the hospital nurses are talking to her about discharging her once more to a nursing home/rehab center for additional care—to strengthen her.

Now, I am not dissing the nursing care staff at any of these rehab/home places. I know they do the best they can with limited resources, but damn, this is getting old, ya know.  I want to break the pattern for mum and see her really improve. I can't stand watching this horrible decline.

And I gotta say if I were her, I'd be damn depressed too and not want to lift my head.

Oh—I gotta love the threat they all use on the family. "If she won't participate, we'll have to discharge her."

Okay, discharge her to where? Her home? Hmm, if she gets well, you'll discharge her home, and if she doesn't cooperate you'll discharge her home...see any difference? I say cut her the fuck loose and I'll give her the care she needs. Geezeus.

Of course, the problem there is that I am battling my own numerous health issues and my writing would have to go on a back burner indefinitely.  I'd miss my writing since that is my only real outlet for creativity, and it takes away some of the chronic pain I'm in, putting my mind in a better, healthier place. Hmm... I could share some of that natural pain-reducer (writing) and do what my mum has always wanted—write her memoirs. I bet that would get her mind off her own pain. I doubt it would ever get published, especially in this economy when the only real non-fiction sellers are autobiographies of the rich and famous—neither which can be said of my mum. Infamous possibly. At least in certain circles. :P

Ah well... I'm heading up to the hospital today to check on her. ::fingers crossed:: she is hopefully feeling better.

Until next time...
~ Cass


Estella said...

I hope you mom feels better soon!

Cassandra said...

Thanks, Estella. ((hugs))
I just got home about a half hour ago, and they have hopefully found yet another nursing home/rehab facility for her to try. I hope this one is better than the last two. ::sigh::

Cora Zane said...


Mary Kirkland said...

I'm so sorry your mom isn't feeling well. I know what you mean about those rehab places though. My mom was in a rehab place for 2 months after falling and breaking her leg and fracturing her pelvis a few years ago.

Her doctor gave her and this place orders that she was to have no weight bearing at all on the broken leg and minimal exercise on her other leg until her pelvis started healing.

The first night she was there they were unable to get her any pain meds because the woman who had the key went home and wasn't able to be reached untilt he enxt day.

My brother and I called that place and the hospital and got her some pain meds right from the hospital, I don't know why they weren't smart enought to do that.

Anyway, I know how those places are for the most part. I hope things get better for you and your mom.