Home again

My mom is home from the hospital.  She’s not very strong, but hopefully she will regain her strength.

Her hand, where they placed an IV catheter, is swollen.  Her primary care doctor examined her today and we showed him the hand.   Since she just started antibiotics, we are watching.  If it gets worse….call.  If it remains the same after a couple of days….call.

My Mom

My mom is ‘slowing’ down.  She’s almost 97, so I guess I should expect it, but I still hate to admit it.

In my heart, I’m 5 years old and she’s still Superwoman.  In my mind I know that’s not true.

Before my dad died, they visited a very good attorney and everything is in order so my brother or I can step in and start taking care of mom’s affairs.  The attorney said it would be easy.  I don’t believe him.  When I have to start using the power of attorney form, I won’t be able to pretend that I’m 5 years old.

We are very lucky in other ways.  Mom’s next door neighbor is a nurse that would be retired except for us.  We pay them for their services, as we should.  If they weren’t there, mom would need to be in a nursing home.

Mom, Christmas and The Litttle Drummer Boy.

I got my Christmas “shopping” done early for my mom.

  • A new walker.
  • “Everything proof” mattress covers.
  • An eye exam.
  • New glasses.
  • Dinner.

The old walker’s safety was ever so slightly degraded, so I got her a new one.

The mattress covers will save her bed….enough said on that one.

It has been about 14 months since her last eye exam and I thought it was time for a new one.  The optometrist started out a bit impatient because I mentioned my mom was a bit hard of hearing and that she hates her hearing aids.  I kind of bristled at the impatience and it turned out the optometrist quickly warmed to my mom.   Mom’s eye glass correction prescription changed ever so slightly from her last pair of eye glasses and her eye health is very much better than would be expected for even a 50 year old.  A new set of glasses are being made.  Mom likes to watch the birds in her backyard and I’d like her to have as perfectly clear vision as is possible.

Dinner is a chance to be with family and I greatly enjoy cooking.

As I was getting these things for her over the past few days, I was, the whole time, thinking of what to get her for Christmas.  After 96 years, she had just about everything she wants.  Then I thought of what I was doing.  At first, I thought that they weren’t really very good gifts, but then I heard “The Little Drummer Boy” being played on the radio.  Suddenly I was OK with my gifts to my mom…the gift of time and love.

Lasagna, and other things

Last night I cooked a beef lasagna.  We didn’t eat until around 8pm.  I was bringing my mom over and stopped at the grocery store for some tomato paste.

When I came out, mom had “an accident”.  If it were my daughter as an infant, I would have called it a “blow out”.  If you’re a parent, you’ll know what I mean by “blow out”.   Suffice it to say I made seat cleaning a priority.

With the daughter, stuff like this was expected and was just one of those things.  Plus we knew she would outgrow it.  With my mom, it made me sad.  A proud woman, once capable of doing anything she wanted, is now not even always able to control her own body.

I can remember my grandmother going through this when she was in her late 90s.  I also remember my mom getting upset with her mom.  I never understood that.  Mom would be in tears because she was so upset and her mom would be in tears because she so upset and embarrassed.

I can not get upset at mom. I can’t think of any reason to get upset.  Like I said earlier, it just made me sad.

So, I took her home and she showered–that was the easiest path to getting cleaned up.

And then we came back over and everyone kept me company while I made the lasagna–starting about an hour later than I had planned.

I made a lot of lasagna (two 9 inch by 13 inch dishes). plus a Caesar salad, rolls and green beans.  It must have been good.  There was four of us and we ate well.  Tonight, my wife cooked some egg plant for dinner.  Our daughter had finished off the lasagna….”Dad, I didn’t eat it all tonight.  I had some this morning and I had some for lunch too. Oh and I had some when I got home from school.”

She is sixteen and a competitive swimmer.  My mom, when I told her, laughed. She said that when I was in high school and running cross country, or swimming, no food around the house was safe.  Mom went on to say that one morning she cooked a pound of bacon, a dozen egg ham and cheese omelet and a skillet of “baked” apples.  She said it was for the whole family, but that I misunderstood and the rest of the family ended up eating french toast.

Helping mom shower and cleaning a car seat is nothing in comparison to hearing mom laugh as she tells stories of my high school days.  The laughter and stories are absolutely priceless.

More medical

I think I’m going to have to find a medical themed TV show to take my mind off the hospital routine.

Earlier in the week my mother was in the hospital emergency department.  Last night, my mother in law was taken by ambulance to the hospital emergency department.

Mom is home

My mom is home from the hospital.  Nothing was found that would explain what hapened.

Amazingly she stays in her own home.  She’s greatly assisted by her next door neighbor–a retired army nurse that keeps their nursing license current just for us–and myself.

It’s sometimes scarey, my mom living alone, but it’s important to her.  Over the years, with my grandparents, my parents and now just my mom, elderly folks don’t fear death.  They know it’s coming someday.  What they *do* fear is their loss of their usefulness to others and most of all, being a burden on others.

So, for my mom, like with my (and my wife’s too) daughter, if they want, I will sit back and let them do it, whatever that might be, themselves.  I may be nervous and ready to spring up and rescue them–something I hope I hide well and I have learned to wait.  Doing otherwise would rob them of the feeling of usefulness as well as make them feel like a burden and that would be giving them their worst fears.