neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

chaotic Tuesday

Mom called at 7:30 a.m., a time when I'm naturally still sound asleep.  I roused slightly when I heard the phone ring, but wasn't conscious enough to get up.  I had told R.A. that she could wake me around 11 if she wanted to, and I would either get up or roll over.  R. knocked at 11, and told me the time.  I lay there for a while, then decided to see what the phone calls had been, as I remembered the phone ringing.  Mom had left a message saying, "I know it's early, but I had a horrible night and couldn't reach Dad."

I called back.  Apparently it was quite chaotic there, as Dad was there, and the nurse had just come in, so Mom said she'd get back to me.  She called back, and told me her story.  "A man with dementia wandered into my room.  I told him, 'This isn't your room.  You need to leave.'  He eventually left, but he came back, and it took a long time for a nursing aide to come get him.  I want to go home."

"People with dementia are hard to work with, and I wouldn't want one coming into my room."

"I got this big talk (from the social worker?) this morning about how they can't restrain people."  Mom sounded like she thought it was nonsense.

"Well, they do have very strict rules about that."  Restraints were very much abused for patients with senile dementia who wandered, the mentally retarded and the insane in institutions, up through the 1970s.  Rules laid down much more in the way of limitations about when they could be used by the 1990s, after some exposes.  There were certainly times when I worked with dementia patients that I wished they could have been restrained in some relatively gentle way.

Anyway, Mom was determined to get out of there.  I said that I'd drive over when I found out where she'd be.  "You should get physical therapy before you leave.  You shouldn't miss a day of that," I said.

"You didn't have physical therapy every day," she said.

"That was a very different kind of injury.  I couldn't bear weight on that leg for six weeks.  You're supposed to be bearing weight on your leg now and bending and straightening it."

She got lunch before her escape, but she didn't do physical therapy.  She called when I was about half an hour away to say that she and Dad were heading home, so I met them there.  Mom was just getting settled into the recliner where I'd spent so much time in during late summer and in the fall.  I was really having flashbacks to when my ankle was broken, what with Mom using a walker, and planning to spend most of her time in that recliner.

Since a lot of the food in the refrigerator had spoiled when the refrigerator broke sometime Tuesday night, I wanted to get fresh food.  The repairman came Thursday, but Dad hadn't cleaned the refrigerator out after that.  I told him to do that while I went to the grocery store.  Mom listed off what she wanted, and I wrote it down, then headed off so I could get there before rush hour.  I got everything on the list and more, plus food of my own.  I handed containers of spoiled food to Dad from the refrigerator when I got home (well, back to their house) and put the groceries away.

Next thing I did was start a load of wash.  I had brought a couple of dark things with me -- a pair of jeans and sweatpants, and I'd left a black hoodie there.  Dad threw in his dark clothes.  Mom had dark green hospital socks, but I was afraid they'd run, and I didn't want green streaks on my jeans.  I washed the socks with Woolite, in the sink.  They turned the water in the sink green.  I put clean hospital socks on Mom, and she and Dad started to watch the news.

I was going to get a quiche for dinner if they had one, but they weren't where the guys working in the seafood department told me they were.  I got cheese blintzes instead, and sushi for myself.  I'd gotten quite a lot of TV dinners, too, so Mom and Dad will have something to eat tonight.  Dad can figure out dinner tomorrow night.  I think they were saying something about the weather being bad Wednesday night.  "Maybe you should stay here," Mom said.  I have enough clothes between what I brought with me and what I left here to stay for several days.

I put the Word documents for my editing jobs on the USB drives I keep in my purse, and brought my proof copy of GhosTV with me.  I had told Mom that my work was pretty portable.

R.A. was telling me she was having panic attacks, and was having fits of weeping, when I got up this morning, and before I left.  I was concentrating far more on what was going on with Mom.  I told R. to take deep breaths.  She got J. to come up to stay with her.  "Tell me when you bring men in when I'm still in my nightgown or going to take my shower," I told R.  She said she would.  I was not terribly appeased, but I didn't really have time to reinforce it further.  I told her to do some loads of laundry, including washing the rug in the bathroom, and to take out the bathroom trash.  "I will," she said.  I doubt she'll have done any of it in however long until I get back to the apartment.

I'm not sure why R. was feeling so sorry for herself this morning.  Sure, she's probably still getting used to her meds being adjusted.  I think most of it was that she felt that she wasn't getting enough attention.  I put up with three days straight of her lying in bed and crying when she had PMS.  I had just moved, and I had to work around her for those three days.  I was just focused on Mom today, so R. didn't get pity from me this morning.  Not that I was mean, but I just told her what I wanted her to do.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if R. is retarded or lazy, but her social worker and family friend P. and her cousin tell me that a good deal of it is that she's lazy and needs tough love.  Having a roommate has been nothing like having her mother back sheltering her and doing everything for her.  I think she's feeling very sorry for herself about that.  When she puts on the TV, I go to my room and either get online or work on editing.  I'm not much for TV unless it's German soap operas.  I don't think she expected I'd be at the computer for hours at a time.  I said I worked at home, but I don't think she had any idea of what I meant.  Perhaps her social worker can explain it to her.

Anyway, Mom's relatively settled.  I don't know if she's planning to sleep in the recliner or try to get up the two steps to the level of the kitchen and living room, and sleep on the couch.  I have the feeling that she'll just sleep in the recliner.  I just don't want to leave her alone in the house just yet, since she's not that steady on the walker.  Dad can be there for her some of the time.  I figured that I'd be splitting my time between the apartment and Mom and Dad's house when Mom got her knee surgery and was recovering.  I'll be comfortable enough here doing some home health aide duties.

Added later: Dad and I left the house long enough to pick up the transport chair from S.M., and to get a package of 4x4 Tegaderm, which is incredibly expensive.  A nurse is coming to change Mom's dressing tomorrow.  Mom didn't want me to try to do it tonight.  The Tegaderm at the top of her bandages was peeling off, and the gauze pad was therefore down enough so you could see the staples in her leg.  I wasn't sure if I should mess with it, but they don't seem to want the wound exposed yet.  We just put a piece of Dermaview over the top of the bandages to hold it up until tomorrow.

Mom plans to go up the stairs to bed tonight.  She said it was very easy to get up the two stairs from family room to kitchen.  Well, she's used to walking with a cane and having a bad knee.  She can put as much weight as she wants to on the new knee.  I'm sure it will very soon be less painful for her to walk on it than it was with the degenerated arthritic original version.  I'm sure I'll have much to say at some point about how Mom's adventure going up a flight of stairs was.

Tags: family, medical, shopping

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