L to R ~ Me, Mom (without makeup) and my little sister.
Hello everyone ~
Sorry I’ve been gone so long, but I have been trying to catch up as I can. As most of you know, my mother had a stroke about 10 days ago. Needless to say, I have been spending most of my time with her. I am her only child that lives here so I’ve been helping her with my 97 year old step-dad for the last 3 years. He has Dementia or Alzheimer’s combines with just being old. If you’ve ever been a caretaker for one of these, you’ll understand what I mean.
Mom blacked out on a Friday morning in the kitchen, but my step-dad was still sleeping. She cracked her head open and obviously couldn’t get up. I’m not sure how long she lay there cuz she says at least an hour and he (didn’t have his hearing aids in) and he says about 10 minutes. (He uses a walker but gets tired and has to stop to rest just walking from the bedroom to the kitchen.)
Normal people would have called 911 Emergency for an ambulance immediately, but he decided to try to go next door and get the neighbor. She called 911 & then me. I put on flashers, probably ran red lights, and passed a bunch of slow people to get there as soon as I could. I did make it before the ambulance left thank goodness cuz they needed insurance card, ID, list of her medications, etc. all stuff my step-dad couldn’t answer.
We took her to the ER of the closest hospital where we usually go when we have an emergency. I didn’t know that they did not have any neurosurgeons on staff. They tried to stabilize her but could only give her tylenol for pain until the found out what was going on. (that took hours) and finally they moved her into a regular room. I stayed with her all night and popped up every time she moaned. (She doesn’t even remember those days) To be honest, I don’t think I could have done it all without the help of my daughter (Certified Nurse Practioner… like a general practice dr. but she doesn’t deliver babies)and her fiancee who drove down (apx. 45 minutes away) and helped me at the ER. She helped me with mom while her fiancee kept my step-dad in the waiting room until we could get someone from his family to show up. I called 3 times & finally got one, but it was probably 2 hours later before they showed. I’m glad they came though!
Me with my beautiful and super smart daughter this January 2013 …LOL (not that I’m biased)
Later Saturday, Mom was put in the Intensive Care Unit and we were told that she needed to be in one of the other local hospitals. I honestly don’t know why this was such a problem, but it took us HOURS of fighting and calling Dr. friends to try to help us get her admitted. Finally we got her moved around midnight. It was so much better… but still a bad situation cuz she had a severe head trauma and was bleeding in/on the brain. The first hospital had stapled the gash closed, but didn’t know she had a skull fracture in that same spot.
I don’t know if it’s the new Healthcare or just some random decision from someone, but now when you got to the hospital (at least here) you don’t get to see your regular doctor. They have Hospitalist (Doctor’s and Physicians Assistants) that see you and every day it’s a different person. (That was most disturbing to me cuz I’m wondering how they could really know her and her other health problems … but they said they read the notes…. like 82 years of health issues would have been in there) Oh well…. That was a pain in the butt. When we got to the 2nd hospital, the first hospital only sent one scan to them as her records)
Yep, When I found that out I called the first hospital and gave them a good tongue lashing! (told them I was pissed cuz that was ridiculous) by this time I was yelling into the phone right there in the middle of the ICU unit. (Probably not a good idea, but it worked) I told them I wanted ALL of her records faxed to that ICU immediately because it was a crisis situation and they didn’t need to be playing these stupid competition games with the other hospital by withholding mom’s records)
Eventually, she was moved to a regular room and I stayed with her 24 hours a day. The hospital was filled to capacity with so many flu victims (oh yea)…
Presently mom is in an Acute Rehab Center that use to only be for the big stars and sports injuries, but apparently have added this Acute care part with therapy. She is to stay there until she can walk again and sit ing a chair. She lost all hearing in her left ear, has a little difficulty swallowing, no appetite, needless to say her head is killing her from all the bruises, the gash, and fluid that has developed between the brain and the skull. So that’s where we are now. My step-dad is with his son who lives here in town (driving them crazy I’ve heard) but is being taken care of there. They are finally seeing what I had been trying to tell them earlier but they didn’t believe me… LOL
Just thought I’d post some pictures so you can see my family…..
*Size might be a little off cuz I tried to make them smaller
Left to Right: Me, Mom, My little sister & big brother in front.
Oh, and my cat is extremely upset with me for being gone so much… LOL