Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rough, Rough Day

My dad, Brent and I arrived somewhere between 9-9:30am this morning and mom was resting after her SP for about ½ hour before PT. While we were getting ready for PT, we discovered that she had a bowel movement in bed. The physical therapist was coming in for his time and decided to teach us some of the transfers and moves to successfully help us. Since finding out that we are leaving Friday, the PTs have really been tailoring time to helping us learn certain things. The speech therapists have also shared with us some exercises that we can do with her mouth. Something my mom and I can do on our trip back. My mom was just so grumpy today. She was really upset that she went in the bed. She easily gets upset when that happens as she feels that she has failed us, her, her body. I don't really know but we just know that stuff happens. It's okay. My mom had lunch and then PT again after lunch. The past couple of days she has been feeling kind of backed up so they gave her some medicine to help relieve that. Well let me tell you, it did. It was bad is all that I am going to write. I will let my dad and I and the CNA, Ted, retain that memory. It was bad. We got that all figured out and cleaned up and headed out. She did not want to go to PT. She was grumpy and pouty and very dissappointed in what happened. I told her that she needed to take that up with Todd. She did and we decided to do some easy stretches. Most of the time was spent teaching me how to do them so that I can do them with her. I love going to the therapies with my mom and I really like to be involved in learning the simple ones that just her and I can do together. I also wanted to learn how to do them so I knew how to do them the right way. My dad tends to do things his way and let me tell you they are not the right way. We see a little differently on these things. The medical staff do things a certain way for a reason. Most of the time it is to prevent further injuries down the road or because it is an easier way or their is a medical reason as to why you do it that way. My dad doesn't understand and wants to do it the most fastest way possible. Most of the time it results in my mom looking at me like please help me or that hurt real bad. We tease him about how this is his lesson on patience. His excuse for doing what he is doing is that he will be the one taking care of her at home so he needs to do it his way. Just thinking about it, is really irritating him because his way is not the right way at all. He tries to encourage her to move her right arm or leg in a very hurried fashion when I am pretty sure that she is trying and of course nothing is really happening. He needs to meet her at where she is and not where he expects her to be (#16). We all would love to have her almost to where she was but that won't ever happen again (#37). My dad also needs to slow down a little and realize that her right side is incredibly sensitive (#20). Holy cow this is so true. Her arm is absolute dead weight. It weighs a lot. If it is not handled with care and protected, it can eventually pull her shoulder out of socket. It can also loosen the ligaments and cause future problems when she regains mobility. It also hurts like crazy when moved and stretched. I can only imagine what it must feel like. The closest thing that I can think of is when your fingers are super cold and you think that it is a bright idea to run them under hot water and they sting and are numb at the same time. You slowly regain feeling but it hurts like mad. That is what I imagine it being all of the time. My mom's feeling comes and goes. I also had a c-section when I had Gunnar so the bottom half of me was numb. I could not move my legs or feel them. My brain was telling them to move but nothing was happening. I have often thought about that and how that is what a parapalegic must feel like and now my mom, what a stroke survivor must feel like to some degree. You just can't feel them. It really is the strangest feeling ever. For the few short hours that I had experienced it, it was incredibly frustrating.

So anyway, the day was pretty uneventful. Full of lots of pouting and sadness on my mom's part. I think that a great deal of it is coming from going back home. She knows the day is nearing. She has mixed feelings about it. We talked about it. She is scared. She is worried how others will perceive her. My dad and I assured her that nobody cares. Everyone loves her so much. I know that she knows that but those feelings are still there. She is nervous about going to a new facility, new room, new people. I don't blame her because I am feeling the same way for her. We have become very familiar and close to the therapists here and we hate to leave them. They have done such an awesome job with my mom and have been really fun to work with. I feel so lucky to have spend 8 dedicated days with my mom and dad. It has been tiresome, exhausting but also a great blessing in being able to set aside everything to be here. It has been great to be able to witness all of the many improvements that I have been able to. It has been great to be able to spend time with my dad. It has been great to explore Sacramento and get to know the city better that my brother calls home at the moment. It has been great to be able to meet his fantastic inlaws and to be able to call them family in an unexpected way. Who else can say that they were there for their son in laws entire family in one of the most scariest times of their lives. I just wish my sisters could share this part of the journey with us. I too am nervous about going back home. I am nervous about the drive in general. The PT had mentioned that they are trying the best that they can to get us prepared but they never really see this type of situation where they discharge a patient so early to be driven several hours to another. This is definately new for us too. I am nervous about introducing my mom to a new facility. The Stroke Program Director had mentioned that patients, regardless whether they get their on an hour flight or drive hours to get there, tend to digress about 3-7 days. I am already starting to see my moms motivation go and hopefully that was just a today thing. I can for sure see where she will be exhausted when she gets there and have to recover from it for several days. No doubt about that. I will need to do the same. I am also nervous about visitors. I know that everyone will want to visit her and see her but her situation is so incredibly different. She tires very fast and after a long day of therapies, she is so exhausted. I am assuming that it is very similar to Mercy here. Therapy takes place from about 7am until about 6pm spread throughout the day. It is best that visitors do not come during the day because it could easily interrupt the flow of things. Usually during down time she is found taking a nap anyway. Dinner here is 6pm so it will probably be around the same there. The best times to visit would be after that. I will have to find out the specifics. I would recommend not coming by for a few days for the family to figure out how things work and get her more acclimated with her surroundings. An example of her comprehension would be when a nurse asked if I lived in Caldwell too. Her daughter actually lives there. My mom had this very puzzled look so I asked her if I lived in Caldwell. She said that I did not. At one point she also did not know that she was in Sacramento. Some of that is just not there. It will be interesting to see how she is when we arrived besides tired. Because of my mom's inability to speak real words, she can not carry on a conversation well. Most of what we do is tell her stories or some yes or no questions. We try to keep that to a minimum. When expecting her to converse like she used to, it just results in major frustration all around and I hate to see her that way. For my sisters alone it is going to be hard to learn certain cues, or decipher certain things that she is trying to say. It took my dad a couple of days of all day sitting with her to begin to understand. It is hard. I also do not want my mom to feel like she has to play host and stay awake when she is tired, etc. Keeping personal issues at home would probably be best. She was released as Relief Society president this last Sunday so she know longer needs to be burdened with that stuff. All that she needs right now is uplifting conversations from visitors. Words of encouragement. A calm, pieceful environment. She did get really happy when we told her that we would be putting all of her cards, etc into her new room. Okay so that was one big vent and I am so sorry but so many feelings have been going around. They apparently needed to come out and I feel I somewhat need to protect my mom. She may show lots of improvement but her brain and body are still very fragile. Hard to explain if you have never experience something like this.

On a lighter note, Brent and I went to the Ikea store. Holy moly! That store is big, awesome, big, cool, I love it. They have entire house displays of what you can do in like 900sf or 500sf. It shows you the smart use of all of their products in a way cool display. It was really neat and you just walk around them and check it out. There were some really cute things. There were these awesome shelves that looked like the ones on chalkboards. I thought that they would look great in Gunnar's room. As I was just looking up the link, I noticed that I can't order them online which is what I was planning on doing if I liked them. So...Jeff do you like them? What do you think? Should I pick up a couple tomorrow? Anyway, the store was really fun and really big. I wish Boise had one. I am starting to wish that Boise had a bunch of things. Brent informed me tonight that the one RC Willey here has a scratch and dent area like triple (or more) the size of the Boise one. Tonight we also went back to Buca di Beppo with Brent and Noelle. We ordered the salad again, lasagna, garlic mashed potatoes and a really yummy pizza. It was all sooo good and we were all very stuffed. We need one of those in Boise too. I wish that I could just ship home some of the food.

Thanks for listening to me tonight. There was just so many feelings going around today. As Brent and I were headed back to the hospital after Ikea, I looked over at downtown Sacramento and thought to myself how this place, in some strange way, feels like home. I how feel like I live here and Boise. Not sure how that can happen but it has. Soon we will be closing this chapter in our lives and hopefully coming back in the future for vacation. What a wild month it has been.

3 clever remarks:

Brittney Josoff said...

Sounds like tomorrow will be quite eventful. Hopefully all will go well and you'll all be home before you know it! I will say a little prayer for you so things go smoothly!

Jeff and Sandy Gale said...

I know after I go on vacation I'm exhausted for about a week. I know it will be hard on your mom and that she will need time to recover from the trip. I'm one of those that would love to visit her, but I understand that it's best to let her rest, do her therapy and have her family with her. Thank you for keeping up so well with the blog. My heart goes out to you and your family. You're in my prayers.

Camille said...

My sister is in your moms ward and she said it was really bitter sweat when your mom was released. It was sad because of why she was released and knowing that it was necessary for her to be released, and how much they loved having her as the president. But it was nice to think she would not need to worry about the needs of the sisters, and that they could begin to repay all the service she has given to them.