It’s been a couple of weeks since the last update. In that time, Mom has continued to make improvements. Her Occupational Therapist was ready to sign off last Friday, but the Physical Therapist needed this additional week. Mom is still challenged with balance problems, and anything that distracts her while she walks will cause her to hang a sharp left directly into the nearest wall. It would be comical if it weren’t serious.
That said, both therapists will sign off this Friday, and on Saturday, we’ll move Mom back into her own comfortable room in the Assisted Living section of Piedmont Place. She’ll abide there, I’m sure, with a new appreciation for the activity and noise levels which are markedly less than those in the nursing rehabilitation section.
She’ll also be able to re-establish her life routines; those daily markers which serve to maintain her sense of stability. Mom will watch her favorite inspirational shows on TV while eating breakfast. She’ll rejoin her friends in the dining hall for lunch and dinner. She’ll spend part of the afternoon in the garden taking in the fresh air, and she’ll stroll the hallways each evening.
Mom has abandoned her oatmeal-for-lunch-and-dinner regimen because its desired effect, regularity, is being achieved through the use of her old friends Activia and prunes.
The hallucinations appear to have abated somewhat, but are being monitored by medical staff, nonetheless. This was discussed in a quarterly care-plan meeting today. We agreed that no harm was being done to her or to others, so the present strategy is to wait and see. The hysterical laughter continues unabated, however. Nearly everything is the absolute funniest thing Mom has ever heard or said. It’s almost as weird as the hallucinations.
In contrast (sort of), Mom claims to be spending an awful lot of time crying. This started while still in the hospital a few weeks ago. She’s always quick to emphasize that these are happy tears, and that they are part of the release she’s feeling from the oppression under which she has lived her life. But crying is crying, and this, too, will be watched by medical staff.
The big news: Mom feels strong enough to allow visitors again beginning next week. She’s hoping that the pent-up demand for face time will not result in a sudden crush of guests; she knows she’s not that strong yet. This Sunday, she wants me to take her to church. And on Saturday, of course, it’s the big move to her own room. So, the coming days will be busy for her.
One sore spot for Mom is that her showers have to be personally monitored by staff. This has been necessary for many months and is a result of her propensity for falling. I came upon a brilliant (Thank you!) idea today and discussed/negotiated it with the Occupational Therapist. Here’s the deal: Piedmont Place will purchase a ‘tub seat’ the correct size for Mom’s private shower. As the name implies, Mom will be able to sit, thereby minimizing the risk of falling. Mom will inform the head nurse that she’s going in for a shower; no personal monitoring required. The nurse will understand this as a signal to check on Mom in about fifteen minutes to make sure she hasn’t fallen. Of course, if Mom gets dried up and dressed before then, she’ll call off the hounds with another visit to the nurse. Slick! Mom deeply loves this plan.