Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
      Well, I got another one of "those" calls Monday afternoon (after I had posted).  Shortly after 1pm my cell phone rang with those words "Med Team" on it...  I held my breath and answered. They found my mom on the bathroom floor when they went to pick her up for lunch in the dining room.  They said she is saying she hit her head.  They didn't ask me "what hospital" or if I wanted her sent to the hospital.  They had already called for a transport for her.  Technically, they are supposed to always send the residents out for a fall, particularly if they did not witness it.  She was not bleeding.  I asked a few questions and then thanked them.

     Then... I think I lost another few years off my "young" life!  (I know that sounds dramatic, but I don't think I will ever get used to these calls...)
     There was some good news about this call.  It was daylight, my kids were in school, they took her to a nearby hospital.  I also tried to take a few deep breaths instead of flying out the door.  I took the time to gather a couple magazines (by the way, I don't think reading a magazine in the ER is ever going to happen), and my mom's important papers.  Then, within 15 minutes I left my house with that sense of dread.
      Is my mom seriously injured "this time"?  Is she going to be disoriented and anxious?  Will she be admitted?  How long will it take to find out anything?  Do my kids have any activities after school today?  Why is my husband out of town when the kids might need him?  Did they give "Muffin" to my mom to bring with her?  What will happen if she's injured?
     I arrived to find my mom already in an exam room in the ER.  She had a neck brace on.  That makes it look a little scary, and she didn't like that neck brace.  She was glad to see me and seemed fairly calm and subdued.  The longer I was there, the more grateful I became that she was calm and subdued.  She did not ask what hospital she was at a million times.  She did not ask too many questions.  She DID say, "they haven't even given me nothing to eat the whole time I've been here.  Not even a salad with ranch."  Ha!  At that point she had probably only been there about an hour.  I was glad to hear that was what she was most worried about.  She dozed in and out of sleep.  I made sure the staff knew I was there.  I watched the clock. Eventually they took her for an x-ray of her back, neck and shoulder.  In the end, they said she was ok and had only sprained her back.  By then, I was all about just getting her back to her apartment and settled in before dark.  
     I will say I have also learned from a previous ER experience to make sure my mom can actually walk with her walker before they send her on her way.  The staff walked her to the restroom and she did okay.  On another visit a few years ago, they "wheeled " her to my car, and we could barely get her in the car because she was in pain.  It was around 1am.  When I got her home she could barely walk into my house and I spent the night pushing her in a kitchen chair back and forth to the bathroom. Not fun!  If they are able to walk before they come into the ER, you want to make sure they can still walk before they leave!

     I must say, the staff was very pleasant, buckled her into my car and were just very personable.  Before I even arrived at the hospital -- everyone knew who "Muffin" was!   I got her an Icee drink and some french fries on the way back to her apartment.  I had her settled back in by 6 pm.  I also caught the Med Team staff before the day shift left.  I had two of the staff helping to settle my mom back in when I left.  They gave her meds, brought her some dinner, and I felt comfortable leaving.  As ER visits go, this one was not fun, but it was a much better experience than last time because my mom was not as agitated and things seemed to happen a bit quicker.  (By the way, that last time seems like it was about 3 weeks ago, but it was actually 3 months ago.) Before we left, I asked my mom which "pain" face described how she felt.  She quickly indicated the "happy" no pain face.  I decided that meant we were good to go!

     Megan and I did a follow up visit on Saturday.  She seemed pretty good and was fairly lucid and talkative.  She asked Megan some of the typical questions.  What grade she is in, if she has to use a baseball bat to keep the boys away, who did her hair, and if she likes Justin Bieber.  Megan does not like Justin Bieber. 

 We decided to talk about the boy band One Direction (Megan's favorite) as much as possible in hopes Grandma would learn about them like how she seems to know about Justin Bieber.  Megan showed her their picture and played some of their music for her on her phone.  Megan kept telling her that One Direction was better because they did not do drugs or go to jail!!  My mom seemed to like listening to the music and closed her eyes and sang along for a few minutes.  Megan and I got a big kick out of that!   

We also found my mom wearing Mardi Gras beads when we went to visit, and she also had a name tag that said "Hello My Name is Bourbon Jambalaya".  So funny!  Apparently, they had a Mardi Gras party earlier in the day and I think my mom ended up with one of the funniest names a girl could end up with! 

 We are happy she seems to have bounced back from yet another fall! 


Kerri said...

Never a dull moment for you! I'm glad your mom wasn't hurt and things went better in the ER than the last time. And, the beads look good on her!!

Julia said...

Hi Cindy, I've been rather busy and I'm having difficulty getting to everyone's blog these days.

Your mom looks very happy and relaxed talking on the phone. I'm sorry that you got such a scare when she fell. I'm glad that she's OK though. GETTING THAT CALL CAN BE NERVING FOR SURE...

Love that Mardi Gras Bourbon Jambalya name and the beads.... Too cute.
Your daughter Megan is a sweet looking girl.

Wishing you all the best.

Jennifer said...

I am fascinated with the fact that she knows who Justin Bieber is?? How is that possible??

And thank goodness she wasn't hurt badly!