Monday, April 16, 2007

The responsibilitiy of the children

First, thanks to everyone who prayed for my mother.

I went on Saturday to see mom, with Kenzie in tow. That day was weird, because when I walked in, mom seemed to be in a fog. Her best and oldest friend was there as well has her neighbor, who was also a good friend to mom. They didn' tell me until later, but they also noticed what I noticed throughout the day. Mom wasn't quite herself.

She kept asking to be taken up to her room. I kept telling her she was in her room, to which she would say, "No I'm not! My room is upstairs across the hall." Then she would say that she wanted to get her feet off of the ottoman, or to stand up out of her chair. She was lying in her hospital bed.

She kept asking why she was there. (You had surgery on your heart, mom. To which she would reply "I did?") And then wanted to know why I was there. (Because you had surgery on your heart, mom.) And then began scolding me later (why is Kenzie still up? She should be in bed right now!) Uh, mom... it's 4:10 in the afternoon. It's alright that she's awake right now.

She knew what year it was, but not the month. She knew she what hospital she was at, but not where it was located. She didn't know what floor she was on.

She also wanted to tell me that they had moved her all over the hospital and she's had several rooms before this one. (No, they had you in SICU and then moved you to this room - those are the only two rooms you've had.) Like I said, Saturday, Mom was in a fog.

Worse yet... the nurse had her sitting up in a chair and told mom that she was to sit there and she'd eat her supper there and wouldn't be allowed to get back into bed until after she ate supper. And, if she needed anything, she was to buzz the nurse. Mom sat there for about 10 minutes and then said, "I'm getting back into bed."

I told her she was supposed to sit there until after she ate supper, but she got mad and said again she was going to get back into bed, she was tired of sitting up. I told her if she wanted to do anything, she had to buzz the nurse, and I gave her the remote so she could do that.

The nurse came in and told her the same thing - she couldn't get up on her own and she had to sit there. The nurse wasn't being mean. Mom had to sit up to get her strength built up - she couldn't just lay there all day long and sleep. She'd get pneumonia for sure.

But Sunday was different. I walked in and saw immediately she was back to her old self (more or less) and at least she had her wits about her. But she's still not able to do much walking. Her arthritic knees are hurting so badly that it's hard for her to walk right now. And she's not allowed to pull herself up, she is supposed to hold on to a pillow in front of her and the nurses are supposed to help her get up (at least at this point). But darned if she doesn't keep trying to pull herself up. If she doesn't break the sternum, she's going to warp it. I'm scared she'll strain so hard that she'll rip the bypasses loose and she'll bleed to death.

Well, here's the proof she's on the mend. Hey, not bad looking for 72 years old!

Now I am responsible for trying to find her a facility where she can get extra care beyond the hospital. They all agree she isn't ready to go home yet (not when she can only take 2" steps and it takes her 5 minutes to walk 8 feet to the toilet, and that's with help). I never knew how much work and worry would go into this - but I have to get her into a place where they can do sub-acute physical therapy for her. She has to be able to get up and walk on her own, and to fix meals for herself or drive or whatever. Trouble is, I want her down here and there are no rooms currently available in the good facilites. I'm praying that something opens up so that she can be here and near family.

On another note, Saturday evening I called both my brothers to let them know how mom was doing and asked them to give her a call at the hospital. Kenzie got to talk with both of them and told them about the tube that was allowing blood to drain from the operating site (she said "They sucked blood out of Memaw!")

One brother lives in the same town as I do, and he won't take the time to go see her. Hmmmm.... the words "self-centered prick" comes to mind. I'm sure he's still mad at Mom because she told him if he got in trouble either financially or with the law again, she wasn't going to bail him out any more and not to ask her for any more money. Both she and Dad had bailed him out of trouble so many times it's ridiculous.

The other brother lives in Seattle, Washington, so it would be a little harder for him to make it. But the least they could do would be to call her and talk with her. Even just for 10 minutes. She would love to hear from them.

This morning Kenzie was particularly quiet. I asked her, "Were you afraid of Memaw at the hospital?"

She said yes. I asked her if it was because she'd had an operation and had all the tubes coming out of her and the fact that she had a big cut on her. She said yes, and then,

"Why did Memaw have to be cut open?"

"Because they did an operation on her heart. She had a bad heart and they had to fix it."

"Because she didn't take care of herself? Like your daddy had a bad heart - but he ate a lot of candy and pretzels and stuff."

"Yes, but they are trying to help Memaw get better. I want her to stay around for awhile so you and she can have fun together and she can go home. And this is why we eat good foods."

"Yeah, it's okay to have a little bit of candy, but only a little bit. We have to eat mostly good things."

That's right, sweetie. I want my daughter to grow up understanding how our habits and diets affect our health. I think at four, she understands quite a bit.

1 comment:

Dannye said...

Kenzie is wise beyond her years!!

You scared me with the stories of you Mom on Saturday, and I am so glad she was doing better Sunday...heart troubles are scary, but I have faith your Mom will do fine and heal and have many years with you, Roy, and Kenzie...keep us updated as to her healing, until then we will continue to pray for her and your family!!