Friday, February 5, 2010

Mom's settled in nursing home but still wondering...

Mom moved into a nursing home Monday afternoon and shows some improvement each day.   I've called her daily and with each conversation she sounds perkier.  She is happier with the food, her table mates and the proximity of people in the hallway.  She misses her recliner, can't quite figure out the telephone and hates the view of a broken down wooden fence but overall seems content.  She's gone to physical therapy a couple of times and is very appreciative of their support to get her to the bathroom more often.

She arrived at the nursing home with a urinary tract infection so has to go often and hates to ask for their help.   Urinary tract infections seem to be common among the elderly - both my in laws had them often.   Such infections can be hard on an older body because it weakens the patient making it harder to manage other conditions like blood pressure.   I wonder which happened first the seizure or the urinary tract infection? She is responding to treatment so I'm hopeful that she'll continue to feel better.  She had a catheter for 3 days during her hospital stay so I wonder if the UI resulted from that or eased her pain and suffering?  I'm not there so I can't ask these questions - which I HATE but must deal with it. I can only trust that she is getting the good care she deserves.  My brother, sister-in-law and niece ( a nursing student) seem confident so I trust them as well.  I'm facing my inner control freak and have to let it go.

In each conversation she says "I don't know how long I'll be here or where I'll go after therapy." As she improves I hope she has no desire to return to assisted living because it will be up to me to tell her no. Upon learning she'd go to a "rehab center" (code for nursing home) she was upset and mad but realized it was necessary.  If it becomes an on-going question, I plan to blame it on her doctor.  It's not a lie; he says "absolutely NOT, she stays put."   We've moved her things from her apartment to her garage and told the ALF that she will stay at the nursing home.   I hope I'm not repeating my reply several months from now but I suspect I will.   It frustrates me to tell her the same things over and over, I'm not ashamed to admit that.   But - a frustrated me is better than an upset mom so I'll learn to deal with my frustration and try VERY VERY hard not to let that show to her.    As long as I can be loving and supportive WITH her, I figure I can be frustrated in private later.