Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease:  Staple Removal Edition*
     Well, after a good solid week of my mom asking when, where, why and how she would be getting her staples out, including the day she got them, we made a visit to her primary care physician last Tuesday.  Prior to that, I found my mom doing this one day when I went to visit her...
Mom, What Are You Doing??
I can also tell you and remember that she was saying "don't take a picture"...at least she knew it wasn't the most flattering thing.  Odd behavior....you'd think I'd be used to it by now -- but not so much.  The more I thought about it, I could only equate it to how a kid feels when they have an injury or illness.  Sometimes they add to the drama...and so perhaps my mom felt it necessary to protect her injury.  I had provided those pads to protect her furniture, but not to wear on her head. 
     Unfortunately, my mom's doctor is now a good 45 minutes away from where she now lives so we made the hike.  We were greeted by nurse Shannon (who has known my mom for many years) and then a new resident who apparently was going to remove the staples (*careful if you are squeamish...there is a pic below of the staples).  Initially, the resident did not have the correct tool.  I knew as I had witnessed this removal procedure last time my mom fell.  After the resident made a feeble initial attempt (using the wrong tool) and was hurting my mom, I quickly cut her off and gently but firmly asked if she could numb the area or find something to avoid the pain.
     Voila!  She came back with the proper tool!  Thank God I was there as I am not sure if she would have continued trying to remove all the staples with the incorrect tool.  My poor mom cannot really advocate for herself, and I was glad I was there and felt bad that my mom even had to experience that bit of pain on top of everything else.
     Afterwards, my mom asked the doctor and resident how many staples there were...they both looked at each other clueless and then started counting the staples on the counter.  They came up with six which (thankfully) was correct.  I then looked at them both laughing and told them they were making me think perhaps I could also be a doctor!!??  They thought it was funny.  Really though, the home nurse who did this for my mom last year did a much better job.  (Hooray for nuses!)    
     Later, some blood was drawn for routine testing.  This took awhile because my mom's veins are very hard to find.  I also have hidden veins, but I have rarely had my blood drawn except for when I was pregnant (and the Red Cross told me to not bother showing up anymore to try to donate!)  It also should be noted that my mom has lost 11 lbs. in the last couple of months.  I need to make sure she is eating properly at her meals.  I know she tells me quite often that she tells the staff that "she does not want a roll and butter with her meal".  She apparently has decided on her own to try to cut down, I guess. 
     Finally, we were out of there and ready for the long drive home, now during rush hour traffic.  I was relieved that when we walked into the American House where my mom lives one of the Med Team staff was in the hallway and said, "Mary, come see me."  She was doing her medication rounds and asked my mom where she had been.  It is apparent that my mom has a good rapport with the girls and that hey seemed to get a kick out of my mom.  I was glad that she was "home" and within a few minutes of us settling into her apartment, she was escorted to dinner and we said our goodbyes. 
     Praying we will not need any hospital visits again for awhile and still thankful for others that care for her!!

Waiting for the Doc
Still Can't Believe They Put Staples....in heads
Happy That It's Over

1 comment:

Kerri said...

I love that last picture of your mom...so cute and she looks really happy. I can't believe a new resident would be allowed to remove staples when she wasn't even sure of the correct tool. How scary is that? I think it's great you said to them that you could probably be a doctor! I would never had the nerve to say that...although I would have been thinking it in my head! :)