I have been at best, incommunicado…and my apologies for that. My little 88 year old Mommy has been in the hospital, and I had to go help my sister out. And writing just falls by the wayside, though it probably would have been a nice distraction. For any of you who have aging parents, you know the tag team thing this can become with siblings….and sooner or later, it is your turn. So, when I got the call Saturday morning that Mom had to go back to the hospital(she had been there much of last week, and then released), I knew there was only one thing to be done. The lovely feng shui of my Saturday morning outdoor yoga class(more on that tomorrow) was erased, to be replaced by the prospect of flying south, and several nights on a hard hospital recliner, surrounded by nurses that come in the middle of the night, and worry about a delicate little woman, who is, as my sisters agree, like a house of cards. One card goes, and it’s flattened.
I won’t bother you with her various health problems…though she’d make an interesting case study for many a doctor , and has, with her odd and interesting collection of ailments. You name it, I think she’s had it, or has it.
But here was my bottom line after flying home last night and my advice for you. If you have a loved one in the hospital…you really should be staying with them, unless they are only in for a couple of tests, and not very sick (in which case you probably wouldn’t be in the hospital!). I say this, because most hospitals, even the best, are understaffed and overworked. I think most nurses would agree with me. One PCA (personal care assistant) who does all the hardest labor….helping people with their baths, getting them to the toilet, cleaning them, cleaning up after them….one PCA can have 17 patients. At least ours did. If you think all your needs will be quickly met, what happens quick is that you will be disabused of those quaint notions. And not that the intentions aren’t the best…they are, and the staff by and large, was kind and caring. But on several occasions, medicine that my Mom was not to receive was brought in. Those who are inclined to take whatever is put before them, put themselves in harms way. We had to say…”She’s not supposed to be getting that.” Hmmmmm, much perusing of the chart….”well, it doesn’t say that here”, blah, blah….so many miscommunications. A cast of doctors…one comes in and says…”congestive heart failure”…the next day another one say, “that’s debatable”. And not that I mind a different opinion, I welcome it, but it sometimes seems that no one is communicating with anyone else. So you better keep up with it.
I’m home now, and so ♥ enjoyed sleeping in my own bed last night. Sister # 1 is on duty and calling with updates, bless her heart, to take a little of the stress off sister # 3 who lives nearest my Mom…she gets the brutal brunt of it…and bless her heart too. I wonder. What happens to the elderly who don’t have anyone when they go to the hospital? Seriously, what happens? Who gets them what they need…a sip of water, quick help to the bathroom (or in our case a bedside potty-there’s a fresh experience for you), your hairbrush, your toothbrush? I knew Mom was feeling a little better when she asked for her mirror and brush. She stared into the mirror for a minute and remarked, “I look like an old woman.” We started to laugh….and didn’t have to add the obvious…that she is an old woman. A lot of folks never make it to 88, for Pete’s sake. But she’s a feisty one. And she’s still standing. Kinda.