…the worrisome journey in long-term care….
Sunday’s visit was very worrying to me. Mom was in the dining room, dinner in front of her, waiting for a aide to help her eat. The dinner was not bad. Cheers to the nutritionist and the cooks. The soup was excellent, full of vegetables. The rest: chicken and rice, a little bread pudding. Mom ate most of the dinner. “That is enough of that, where is the dessert?” All was well, until…she started to pray. Okay, this is new at the dinner table, at the end of the dinner. Fear is present again. Something has triggered fear of being shipped out of there. Did she hear something? What triggered the fear? I was able to calmly ask questions when we got back to her room. A little dialogue, it went something like this…
“Mom, why are you so upset?”
“They are going to ship me out of here.”
“Mom, they cannot ship you anywhere without talking to me first and I would not let that happen to you. They have to talk to me if they are going to do anything. They haven’t talked to me and I would NOT let that happen to you. This is your room.” (You never, ever say anything about …until you die. Very bad causes more fear. They must be kept calm.)
“Well, I heard something like that and I don’t like that English man.”
“What English man? Is there someone new here?”
“I don’t want him to give me a bath.”
Calmly asking, “Mom, was there a new person giving you a bath yesterday?”
“I don’t like him. Well, Barry is okay, but I don’t like him.”
“Okay, Mom, I will talk to them about only having a woman give you a bath.”
“Good, but, they are coming for me, in the air”
“Who is coming for you in the air, Mom?” I start thinking maybe she thinks the angels are coming to get her and she is going to die.
“They are invisible, they are coming in the air to ship me out of here.”
“How are they coming in the air, Mom?”
“They are coming by helicopter.”
“Mom, they can’t land a helicopter here. There is no room to land outside. Mom, they cannot take you out of here.”
Now, I have to decipher what was really happening. Was there really an Englishman giving her a bath? Why is she thinking she is being shipped out? Why does she think someone is coming in the air? Is she getting to the end of her life and is sensing this? It is a worrisome journey to watch your mother slowly deteriorate. Is this a down turn into dementia? Does she have a bladder infection causing her mind to imagine things? A bladder infection is always a worry. I called Lorna to chat with Mom. She started to pray again in the middle of the conversation. Something serious has caused this because Mom has been very cognitive. More questions. More answers.
Finally getting her to relax and believe she was not being shipped out, the next worry was who was going to put her to bed. I left once a lovely young aide came to put Mom to bed.
All was well for the past three days. Well…except for the Tuesday lunch. “They took me to some Chinese place and the food was all mushy! It was disgusting.” Mama was all the way back to herself.
I talked to the RN about the episode and asked pointed questions about who was bathing Mom. Anything could have happened and I have to find out I have to make sure it is safe and nothing has happened. It is a sad commentary on the end of life living. Always a concern. No wonder I have more grey hair coming in. Get thee to a salon, Carol!
I bought a hatbox last night. We are traveling to Ottawa for a big wedding at Notre Dame Cathedral this summer. Just in case, I am taking my beautiful hat, on board, in the overhead bin, in a lovely hatbox case. Tres chic!
I bought the best garden tools today from the best garden tool store, Lee Valley Tools. Oh, and two pairs of gloves for gardening in and around the prickly roses. The gloves are fabulous. They go all the way up the arms. I dare the thorns to touch me now! My arms are scratched to bits by the rose thorns and the dreaded weeds are almost gone. Geri, how is your garden growing?
Hope your day was full of good things.