My musings for the end of this year, not to be repeated in subsequent years, the bad stuff, por favor.
Prayers, answered. Mom much better. Patience, tested. I don't mean this
in a bad way. It just means my Mom is as close to back to normal as she
is going to
get, which means she is driving me crazy. She looks much better than in
the preceding months before her hospitalization, and except for the
oxygen tubes in her nose, and her telling you, you would never know she
My first major clue occurred during a bathroom run. Ever
the helpful daughter, I assisted her to the pot. While waiting outside
the door, I heard her crackly voice: "I NEED A DRINK OF WATER!" To
which I replied, "WHEN I GET YOU BACK TO BED, I'LL GET YOU SOME WATER."
NEED IT NOW!" Now, I looked up in the mirror there, and noticed that
the waitress hat was not on, in fact, I was sporting a jaunty set of
reindeer antlers. So I repeated : "WHEN I GET YOU BACK TO BED!" "BUT I'M
DYING!" "NOT RIGHT NOW YOU AREN'T! WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED.""I'M FINISHED
THEN." And so we toddled back to bed, she had her water and a gentle
lecture from me as can only be done when someone wasn't wearing her
hearing aids: "I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR YOU,
BUT BREAKFAST AND DRINKS IN THE LOO IS NOT ONE OF THEM." Conversations
need to be kept short and to the point during a scream fest.
forward to the day after Boxing Day. I hadn't been over since Christmas
Eve, due to the dreaded Christmas cold, so imagine my surprise over the
past two days to find a new steadiness to her gait. She's taking
purposeful steps now to the bathroom, nary a shuffle in site, no
bouncing off the walls and door jambs, no swaying at a whisper. In
fact, I think if she could guarantee she would use a walker, she might
even be able to go alone. Shaking my head, I remember her ward room days
when she was assisted by me and a walker, she would zoom the walker
into the middle of the room on the way back, and stagger to her bed. And
of course, I remember her deluxe rollator that sits on the opposite
side of her 12 foot living room, where she can't reach it.
So I rearranged her back in bed, and she told me "The volunteer fed
me." Her ears were in, she wasn't yelling quite so loudly.
"And what do you mean the volunteer fed you?" I had visions of them opening up her tray, setting her up.
"She fed me with a spoon."
"She did what?"
"She fed me with a spoon."
jaw breaking because it hit the floor! I was speechless, and apparently
trolling for flies. For most old folks that I've dealt with, eating
independently is one of the last things they want to give up. They
shake, rattle and roll, miss their mouths sometimes, but feeding oneself
is a basic need for most of them. You can assist with the occasional
mouthful to make sure some of it actually gets in. My Mom? No shaking,
no weakness, nada.
And I said nothing.
The next conversation had
to do with comfort. Because of her osteoporosis, she has a hard time
getting comfortable in bed. I bought her one of those u-shaped airline
neck pillows, which she finds is comfortable, but it gets hot. No
the plastic pillows propping her up. So I asked her if I could bring in
one of her pillows from home. I figured a breathing cloth pillow behind
her might cool things off a bit. She said she didn't think the hospital
would like it if I brought in things like that from home. No amount of
explanations would convince her otherwise, so I said I would ask the
doctor, because apparently I am just a nurse, and then I was forbidden
to ask the doctor. The end. She is definitely much better. God has
reversed the train.
2. Babies make everything better. I was told by
the Queen Mum that the Humvee was not to visit her in the hospital, in
case she had something contagious. Like cancer is. So ignoring her as
usual, just because it was Christmas, or slightly after due to our
illnesses and not hers, the Bean and the Humvee and I went to visit. And
my Mom positively lit up. The Humvee cooed and smiled and laughed, the
Bean declared whoever owned this baby must surely
want him back. It was a bonus day, proving again there is a Santa.
In keeping with my Mom's tour, I help her to the bathroom every visit I
make. She declares that the nurses don't come fast enough, and then are
too fast in dealing with her once they do come. So I take my time
getting her off the pot, helping her pull her bloomers up, wash her
hands and pad on back to bed. The one thing she always does is pull the
call bell in the bathroom when she is done even if I am there. I don't
discourage it because it is easier just to have her yank it all the
time than for her to hit and miss when I am not there. So she pulls the
bell, and I am there helping her when her day nurse comes in, saying she
would help my Mom. Normally the Old Girl prefers me, but this time, she
actually pushed me forcefully out of the bathroom, announcing that
she'd rather this nurse help her as she was more efficient than me.
Apparently I must have been wearing the Nurse
In other news:
1. Granola bars with Nyquil chasers
make a fine Christmas dinner indeed. And like the 24 pound turkey, there
is enough to go on for days.
2. In keeping with the festivities of
the season, Nyquil comes in red and green, pretty much the only
Christmas decorating I did around here.
3. The warm, weather has
turned the out house into a do it yourself bidet, stated one of my best
friend's nephews. Thank you very much for that visual.
gin, the card game! - wine and friends make a great New Year's night. If
only I could remember it. Or how I got soot under the arm of my Tilley
shirt. Or the bruise on my arm. Or where I put my toothbrush. Or...
New Year's revolutions, or, next on my Bucket List: My travel plans are
a bit on hold for now, other than for work. In the desire to screw up
my knee worse than it is, and only because it is feeling a bit better, I
think I am going to try skiing. Once. This all
Canadian polar girl has never downhill skied in her life. I will only
ever go up in that chair lift once, and down the bunny hill, upright, I
hope, once. Right up there with the zip line - never ever to be done,
ever again. Yup. We'll see.
And that's all for now. I wish everyone a
Happy New Year, filled with wild and wonderful things, and above all,
filled with joy in the midst of anything bad. I refuse anything less for