neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

Monday real life

I talked to Mom on the phone, and she said she didn't think Dad was coming to see her in the nursing home, because he had a cold.  Not that she wanted to get a cold, but I didn't want her to be lonely.  He'd been very faithful about visiting her at the hospital and the nursing home.  I got to the nursing home around 2:30.  Mom wasn't in her room.  I asked at the nurses' station, and the nurse told me she'd gone to a wine and cheese social.  They gave me directions to that activity room.

Of course it was sparking cider instead of actual wine, as Mom and I had both independently figured.  But they had cheese and crackers, and fruit.  One of the aides there offered me fruit and something to drink.  I had only had cottage cheese for breakfast, so I got cheese and crackers and fruit, and sat down next to Mom.  She was sitting up in a wheelchair.  A volunteer or activities director was asking the residents trivia questions.  Some were about history, some pop culture from the fifties and earlier, some about inventions -- they had several pages each of different categories of questions.  Mom double-majored in American history and American studies back in the day, so she was rocking the history questions.  She remembered the TV shows of the 1950s, too.  I think Mom was kind of enjoying participating.  A couple of the other ladies at the table were pretty sharp, too, and got a number of the answers.

About half an hour after I got there, someone came to take Mom to physical therapy.  I followed with my plate of cheese and crackers, and my cup of sparkling cider.  Mom had seen the physical therapist who was there on the weekends, but this was her first time seeing the physical therapist who was there during the week.  He reviewed her charts and had questions for her, and put an ice pack on her knee while she was doing exercises with the other leg.

Once her knee had been iced, he bent and straightened her right leg.  Fully straightening it out doesn't seem to feel too good either, judging from Mom's expression and little cries of pain.  I asked what angle she was able to achieve bending it, and the therapist said about a 60-degree angle.  She's eventually supposed to maybe get to 110.  At least, that would be the ideal, I gathered from what the physical therapist at the hospital said.  He had her walk across the room a couple of times, and she didn't seem to be doing too badly in putting her whole foot down, though I couldn't tell how much weight she was putting on it.

When Mom was done her exercises and walking, I took her back to her room.  She headed directly for the bathroom -- all that sparkling cider, I suppose.  When she came out, I asked her if she wanted a shower.  She did, so we rather randomly got things together, put a protective plastic thing over her dressing, and I got her into the shower and on the shower chair.  I went out into the room, and told her to call when she needed me.  Mom called at some point a little later.  She'd done everything but her back, she said.  I washed her back, then got her dried off and back into her wheelchair.  I went to ask an aide where linens were, so I could get her a hospital gown to put on.  He directed me to the linen closet.

I had brought slipper socks from my time using them, and got Mom into the hospital gown and clean slipper socks.  A lady came in to tell Mom about her rights and responsibilities as a patient, and her directives and such.  Basically it was a lot of paperwork for Mom to sign.  The nurse came in after that, and after a little discussion about Mom's level of pain, gave her two Percocet.  After Mom had taken all her pills, I put lotion on her back and the backs of her arms, as her skin was very dry.  She got a charley horse in her right calf when she turned on her left side.  I massaged it a little, and gently, but was afraid to do much, since that was her bad leg.  I got the nurse again, and he massaged out the cramp.

At 5:30, Mom put on the news.  She'd just learned that she was paying a dollar or two a day for television, and she said she might as well use it.  True, she doesn't watch much television, but she does watch the news and Jeopardy, and she likes watching baseball games.  She and Dad had watched the baseball games Saturday and Sunday.  I was getting very hungry, so I drove to the house.

Dad and I were exploring what foods hadn't spoiled after that two days with the refrigerator and attached freezer broken.  He heated up a hot dog and tried it.  It had not kept.  I smelled the apple cider, and that had turned.  I checked the jellies, and it seemed they'd kept relatively well, so I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an orange, and half a banana.  He tried a TV dinner.  I wasn't too clear on whether that had originally been in the big freezer, or if he'd transferred it to there when he realized the refrigerator/freezer had broken.  I think he'd tried to rescue it.  He didn't spit it out, so I suppose it tasted better than that hot dog had.

He said he hadn't really gone through the refrigerator yet for what had spoiled.  He'd thown out the milk.  I'd been very firm that he should throw out the mayonnaise, as that spoils very quickly, even if it's just out for a couple of hours.  "You're not doing too well without Mom here, are you?" I said.

"I'm doing just fine," he insisted.  I remained dubious, but didn't say anything else on that topic.  He'd managed to get some laundry done on Sunday, but he's been doing that according to Mom's directions for quite some time.  He refuses to cook, so I expect he'll eat a lot of TV dinners.

My next stop was to go to [university] to return the bag S. had left in my car.  He said it just had his cologne and a book in it, but I said I was in the neighborhood anyway.  The handicapped spaces I usually use were full, so I parked in a handicapped space by the alumni building, and he walked there.  He crouched by the car and talked to me for a bit.  I said that I was concerned about him getting home, but then thought, "It's S."

"Yes, I always get home in the end," he said.  I asked him if he wanted me to drop him off at the gym, and he said he was walking to a nearby one.  I thought later that I should have asked him if he'd been nominated to be president of the GLBT organization.  I've been telling him about the authors I correspond with who would like to come speak at the university.  I hope he follows up on that.

Today was kind of a return to my nursing aide days, but I was glad I could help Mom get washed and more comfortable.  She's gradually recovering, though I'm sure it will be an adjustment to go back to the house with all its stairs.  We talked to the physical therapist about how generally inaccessible the house is, as I learned when I broke my ankle.  I was generally aware of it before that, but it was quite personal in August and well into the fall.  (See the entries with the tag "medical" for late July, all of August and September and on in 2010 for details.)  I think she's going to need to practice on the stairs in the physical therapy room before she goes home.

I felt like I'd made myself useful, though.  Mom says she feels so young being there, as most of the ladies and the few men there are close to eighty or older.  I don't think she's really trying to make friends, as she'll only be there for a week or so, but it seems like she's enjoying the activities and the socialization opportunities.

I got a few minutes catching up with my love child, who again said he'd had a great weekend.  I'm sure I was just a small part of that, but I'm glad he had a good time.  I drove back to the apartment, and started catching up with my online buddies and the sites I read.  I have editing to do, and I want to watch today's episode of AWZ.  That's about it for my plans for the rest of the evening.

Tags: family, friends, medical

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