What started off as a somewhat harrowing morning yesterday ended on a positive note.
Mom did not sound like herself on the phone. She could barely get her words out, like she wasspeaking in slow motion. She was trying to tell me something about one of the aides. When she got frustrated and started to cry, “Why can’t I talk anymore,” I got off the phone, left work and went to see her.
When I got to the facility I saw C., her speech therapist, outside and started tearing up to her. I do that pretty well these days.
When I got to mom’s room, she was in bed sleeping. She woke up and we “talked.” It was still a bit of an effort for her to get her words out. What I did get out of it was that she felt that one of the aides with her this morning wasn’t as gentle with her as she would’ve liked and was in a bit of pain.
I went to the nursing station to speak privately with the nurse on duty. I told her about my concern with her cognition this morning and the handling issue, which was naturally a concern to her. She said she was fine at breakfast, talking with the three other ladies at the table but seemed a little confused. Because a UTI can cause confusion in the elderly, a urine test was ordered. I also asked about changing her pain med hydrocodone to tramadol, which is a non-narcotic, at my friend C.’s suggestion. my little Charlie is on it for some lower back tenderness. Didn’t realize humans and animals use the same meds!
After we got mom in her wheelchair, I fixed her hair and suggested she put some make-up on. She transformed herself and looked and felt like her old self. Her speech was more fluid and she looked alive. I went downstairs to her apartment to get her some earrings to wear as well. She even spoke to T., on the phone.
C., her speech therapist, came up to visit for a bit, which brightened mom’s day. Her eyes sparkled at the sight of her.
Mom did comment that she ate breakfast with a nice group of three ladies, which made me happy. By the time I was satisfied enough with things it was lunchtime so I took mom into the dining room and helped her with her menu selection. Following lunch she had physical therapy.
Once back in the office I had a long talk about what happened this a.m., and that although I know already that I have the flexibility to leave when something unexpected comes up, I just wanted to speak to my boss about it. Having been a caregiver herself, she knows what I’m going through. She was very understanding and didn’t want me to put any unnecessary pressure on myself, which of course I’m doing to an extent. There’s no question I have to be available for my mother but I also have responsibilities at work and to my client. Luckily, my work environment is fairly easy-going and I have built-in flexibility, which I appreciate.
The day ended on a high note. It was Casino Night for the AL and rehab residents outside the facility. There was a dinner buffet, gambling tables, slot machines, a live band, and staff in Vegas-style costumes. When I got there, mom was already seated at a table eating away enjoying herself.
After dinner, there was a traffic jam on the ramp leading back into the building withwheelchairs. It was kind of comical. I took mom back to her apartment for a little while and we visited with her next door neighbor, who is one of my friends’ mom.
In her own apartment, mom commented how comfortable and homey it is. It warms my heart to know how she feels moving to AL albeit so brief, but she will hopefully be back sooner than later.