Medical update – 031309

The challenge and fun of being here in this circumstance is that of getting things done despite the annoyance of other people’s schedules, etc.  It makes me feel good to succeed against the odds.  But enough about me.

It’s really all about Pop, after all.  That man obviously ain’t gettin’ enough attention.  He wanted to talk and talk all day and it was all about his thoughts and feelings.  It was over-the-top and edgy, as always.  Despite that, he still demonstrates a genuine concern for Mom.

Mom got her first two doses of Percocet today.  They knocked her out.  So we (with the nurses) decided that Darvocet could do the job of pain reduction just as well without the knock-out punch.  Her energy did pick up noticeably at noon.  She did eat a nice lunch in the room.  Nevertheless, her thinking and speech were dramatically slow all day.  Occupational and speech therapy will begin next week.

I met this morning with Mom’s doctor’s nurse, Cynthia.  She and Mom and the doctor go back 20 years.  There’s more than a professional relationship here; there’s also an emotional relationship.  There’s a lot of caring all around.  That said, Dr McKeown said he’d be willing to sign the necessary documents to elevate Mom’s level of care to SNC.  All I needed to do was say “go,” and we’d be heading down that road.  But I told Cynthia that I had set a meeting for twenty minutes from now with the Wagon Wheel Ranch head nurse, and that his input was important.  We also talked about the emotional toll on Mom if moving was necessary.  Cynthia and the doctor really want the best for Mom.  She’s blessed to have them on her team.

At 11am, I met with the head nurse, and the Ass’t Administrator for WWR in M&P’s room.  Mom basically slept through it (see paragraph 3, above), but I advocated her point of view.

It basically came down to this: Mom needs able-bodied help from WWR staff EVERY TIME she moves from where she is to where she wants/needs to be.  Day and night.  Even if it’s every hour of the night.  She needs to use the nurse-call string from now on.  Period.  The nurse asserted that his staff could and would respond.  I expressed doubt based on my own observations over the past four years, and more-kindly expressed the view that he was over-promising.  I further said that I was making an unfair request.  But he stood his ground.

M&P and I were still not heartened after the meeting, though.  Then I realized that motivation was needed, and said to Mom, if you do your job and use that pull-cord every time, and if staff responds quickly and capably enough, then you extend the possibility of remaining here at WWR.  With clarity that extended for the rest of the day, she understood that equation.  I then hunted down the two meeting attendees and a couple of key nurses and explained the equation in the same terms.  They all understood.

So Mom is properly motivated.  For its part, WWR is motivated because they need  –  especially in this economy  –  to keep their beds filled.  The down economy means that many people are not electing to enter assisted living the way they used to when their houses sold for a fair price.  It seems like this plan should work.  In his special way, Pop put the stopwatch to each of the half dozen nurse-calls made while I was there.  In every case, the response was very very fast.  That was today.  Time will tell.

At dinner this evening, Sally thought up a question I missed: how will WWR handle Mom’s visits to doctor’s offices?  I’ve got an e-mail in to the head nurse.  It could be a big problem, or it could be that there are outside resources available.  Film at 11.

Beyond doctor visits, Mom is pretty much restricted to WWR.  We talked about it at length.  She has always had a tenuous relationship with her church and won’t miss it.  The Sunday services at WWR are perfect, she says.  There’s nothing about their church that Pop has ever liked, so it’s a non-issue for him.  As for tithing, that’s unto The Lord, and He will honor their tithe no matter where they send it.

Granville and Sherree visited M&P while I was out doing stuff this afternoon.  I always value their observations which, in this case at least, confirm my own.

Things have loosened up a bit.  Calls and even visits are more welcome now.  But if you call, be in a quiet room because you’re gonna have to listen hard to hear Mom’s quiet voice.

Have a Good weekend !         Fred

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About FredMarx

Old enough to have wisdom; young enough to learn.
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