Thursday, November 29, 2012

Move to Manor-Care

Manor-Care - Click HERE
Wednesday was spent researching “Skilled Nursing Facilities” for Mom to be released to from the hospital.  Snickers and I did some actual eyeball-to-eyeball tours with facilities representatives and came to a consensus.  “Tadpole” came over from the other side of the state and tied in with her mom Snickers as I headed back home to prepare for services prayer meeting night.  Thursday morning I did some chores, gathered some legal paperwork and met Snickers and Tadpole in the cafeteria at the hospital.  Mom was under the care of a new Dr. at the hospital and we received information that changed our plans a little.  Mom was actually doing better and we were going ahead with the move from the hospital to the selected “Skilled Nursing Care Unit” but we have decided to postpone the Hospice care.  We learned that if we called Hospice in on the case, the Skilled Nursing Care would not be as diligent with lab work.  That being the case we instructed them that we did NOT want Hospice care at this time and would re-assess Mom’s condition in a week or two and monitor her condition closely including regular lab work until we know if she is going to go downhill or have a chance for a recovery of some sort.  At a little after 1PM they transported Mom from St. Anthony Hospital to Manor-Care room 209A (by the window).  I signed all the initial paperwork for Mom as her POA.  Snickers, Tadpole and I were there in the room with Mom as the various different “NEW” care givers came in to introduce themselves and do the preliminary tests, questions and check for vitals, etc.  Mom’s new “home” is very nice.  If she improves enough to become ambulatory like she was not long ago, they will move her to a different wing of the facility that specializes with dementia patients.  She is still on oxygen, has the catheter, is on one to one care at soft diet mealtime and still has a choke hazard but for now, is off the IV.  Many of our friends and family have been praying for Mom.  Today was a display of how God hears and answers prayer.  Thank you Lord and thank you that were praying for Mom. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tue. update on Mom

I made it over to St. Anthony Hospital Tuesday morning by around 11:30 am.  Snickers was already there since about 10:15 am.  It had been a bad morning so far for Mom.  Her blood work showed that she was back in a dehydrated condition and they had her hooked up again to an IV with saline solution.  She was also on Oxygen.  Snickers was trying to feed her some Jello.  Mom was having a hard time swallowing and chocked on it.  The nurse was able to suction everything out OK and things settled down but the coughing caused a lot of pain for Mom with her three broken ribs.  The nurse also gave Mom a half dose of pain medication about a half hour earlier than scheduled.  Things got better after that.   

The Dr. finally showed up around 1pm and said he was keeping her in the hospital for another night and was setting up an interview for us with the Hospice administrator.  Depending on the assessment of the Hospice people, his goal was to re-hydrate Mom again to a good level, keep her comfortable with proper pain medication and release her back to OAR with help from Hospice. He said he was not on hospital duty on Wednesday and there will be a different Dr. on call tomorrow to make the decision on if Mom is well enough to be discharged with Hospice care back to OAR. 

The Hospice person didn’t get to see us until about 4pm and told us that Mom was qualified for Hospice care and working with the Dr. – their plan was to get her re-hydrated so she can go home to OAR.  They will maintain her comfort level with pain medication, prescribe a hospital bed for her room at OAR, and a good wheelchair, Oxygen as needed in the room, a Hospice worker assigned to Mom working in conjunction with the OAR staff, one on one care at mealtime while remaining on the soft food diet for now.  I left Snickers there after this meeting and got back home around 5pm. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Update on MOM

UPDATE ON MOM:  She has had a rough go of it.  Thanksgiving went fairly well but Mom had her problems.  I picked her up around 11:30 am from OAR.  I loaded her walker in the back of my pickup with the folding chairs borrowed from church.  Mom had her cane with her too.  For the first time in over 30 some years, we did not have the event at OUR house this year.  EVERYBODY was invited to “Firecracker’s” place there on the property next to “Popcorn and Snickers.”  Food, Football & Fellowship was great but Mom didn’t eat very much and had to take a nap.  Everyone had a dose of reality and many wonder if this will be our last thanksgiving with Grandma.  I got her checked back into OAR around 3:30 or 4 pm I think.  She wanted to skip supper and go straight to bed.

I may not have the details of the timeline perfect but here is where we are.  Mom has been having a problem with her bladder and has been seeing a specialist.  She is constantly feeling as if she must use the rest room.  At some point, Mom got up in the night and took a fall.  OAR called Snickers to advise that they were sending Mom to ER for assessment.  Snickers called me the next morning and gave an update.  They kept Mom in St. Anthony Hospital because she was dehydrated.  The report was that nothing was broken but she was very sore. 

I spend all day Saturday with her in the hospital.  She kept insisting that she needed to get up and go to the bathroom.  The nurses and I must have told her 500 times that she had a catheter and could relax and let go with her urine and all would be well.  She would not eat.  I hand fed her some rice, chicken, one bite of veggies, applesauce, and mandarin oranges with some 7up and water to drink.  She didn’t eat much.  After she had her evening medication, she fell asleep and I went home to get ready for church on Sunday.


 Snickers stayed with Mom all day Sunday.  I was involved with the church services and dealing with a police report about property damage at church by vandals Saturday night.

They kept Mom in the hospital Sunday night again and we thought she was doing a little better.  She was re-hydrated enough to disconnect the IV saline solution. However, we found out early Monday morning that Mom actually had three broken ribs.  They have her on pain medication for that now.  She also has “Thrush” in her mouth and throat.  They prescribed a “rinse and swallow” medication for this.  Snickers and I were both there this morning to talk with the attending Physician.  He was very helpful and informative.  He is going to keep her in the hospital again tonight and decide tomorrow if she can move back to OAR or more likely, to a rehabilitation unit other than the hospital.  All vitals are good.  She will be very sore with the broken ribs and depending on a variety of things, she should heal up from them in six to eight weeks.  She is very weak due to her not eating well but it is reasonable that she would not be eating well with the urinary problem and the thrush (and possibly Alzheimer's).  They will continue to give her pain medication and treat the thrush and put her on a “one on one watch” for her meals.  She still has the catheter.  A “Swallow Therapist” tested Mom and she did well with drinking liquid, swallowing applesauce and fruit cocktail but struggled with toast.  They have her on a very SOFT foods diet now.  She is also having problems with her dentures and has a sore spot on her lower gum.  So, they are letting her leave them out.  Snickers stayed with her today and I had to go re-paint part of our church building while we had some nice weather today.  Mom is a sweetheart most of the time but when she is having these kinds of problems along with her Alzheimer’s I think the staff at the hospital are glad when someone from the family is there to be with her.

Monday, November 12, 2012

2012 Vets Day and Good Day for Mom at church.

Alzheimer's disease is a cruel illness that gradually transforms our loved ones into shadows of their former selves, eventually taking even their lives. It’s also a serious threat to public health. There are more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s according to the National Institute of Health, and it’s the sixth leading cause of death in America. It will continue to rise in prevalence as elderly people begin to make up an even greater share our population. For this reason Alzheimer’s research has made its way to the forefront of public policy. Researchers at laboratories and medical centers across the nation are hard at work to find strategies for detection, prevention and treatment. While there’s still no cure, the last couple years has brought us a lot of exciting research and many promising discoveries that give cause for hope for Alzheimer’s sufferers and their loved ones. 

Today was Veterans Day.  We had a good day in church.  I called OAR around 8:30am to make sure Mom was up and ready for church.  She had a rough week.  Her cell phone is missing.  Snickers took her in for a Dr. appointment to see a specialist regarding her bladder discomfort.  So far, all tests are not showing anything.  The Dr. gave Mom a prescription  and she is dealing with that.  She has another appointment this week.  I picked Mom up around 9:15am.  She was using her walker and is quite slow getting around.  I loaded the walker in the back of my pickup and got Mom all strapped in for the ride to church.  We were having the usual Washington State kind of light rain and drizzle.  All went well.  Mom had to set in the back pew today in order to have easier access to the ladies room.  One of the dear sisters in the flock sat with her.  Mom is easily confused and lacks the confidence we are used to seeing her normally display.  She didn't eat very much at the noon meal but all in all, stamina-wise, she had an excellent day.  She said she sure was glad that she was able to be in church and hear me preach again.  Today's Sermon audio clip

After services I got Mom back "home" to OAR around 2:30pm.  All the spots were taken in the great room out front in the East Neighborhood (Mom's wing).  She had to visit the ladies room right away and I waited for her and took her to her room and turned on her TV for her.  The remotes were missing and when I inquired about that, one of the attendants found them in Mom's dresser with her clothes.  We also found her cell phone.  It was totally dead and MAY be damaged.  I put it in the charger and told Mom it needed to be charged  over night and maybe it will work in the morning when I call her at the usual time.  I don't think she remembers how to turn it on however.  We will see.  She began to be a little fretful when I started talking about leaving for home but after several nice big hugs she settled down.  When I got home I called Snickers to give her an update on the day.