View of the Falls

At the end of February, on a Monday morning, I heard noises coming from Mom’s room. I knocked and opened her door to find her sitting on the floor with her legs splayed open and a large knot on her left leg. It looked like her knee might be dislocated. She said she needed to go to the bathroom and couldn’t get up.

“Mom, why didn’t you call us?”

“I didn’t want to bother you.”

Bob helped slide her across the floor down the hall and to the bathroom. I called 911, the police and paramedics came quickly and took her to the closest hospital. I followed in my car and took care of the administrative stuff.

At the hospital, I learned that Mom had been sitting there for hours. She had fallen in the middle of the night and I hadn’t heard it. The noise we did hear was Mom trying to pull herself up on the bed as it slid across the floor. She had bumped her head. The lump on her leg was a hematoma. After lots of tests, she was pronounced merely bruised and was cleared to go home.

In the days that followed, we iced her leg and she came around. Her left leg turned purple and healed.

Yesterday, Bob and I went to out record our town’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It was a really good one. Lot’s of marching bands, emergency vehicles from all over the area, scouts, sports teams and vintage cars. It was a cool, clear, sunny Saturday and everyone had a ball. I run my town’s public access TV station and this is one of my jobs, one I really enjoy.

I hadn’t hired a caregiver for the day. I figured she’d be OK on her own for a couple of hours.

Bob and I went for a bite at a favorite restaurant afterward and then headed home. As I walked up the stairs, my older cat, Max, was poised at the top in a posture I hadn’t seen before, and our new cat, Cody, was at his side. They both looked at me like “’bout time you got here, Mom!” I noticed my mother’s slippers splayed on the dining room floor near her make up bag.

I called to my mother and went to her room. She was sitting on her bed with tissues packed in a knee-high sock to staunch the bleeding from her right knee. She’d fallen again, this time apparently tripping on the dining room area rug on her way out of the kitchen, where she had been applying make up. She told me that when she opened her eyes, Max was standing over her, looking concerned. The two cats sat by her as she tried to figure out how to get herself up.

I cleaned her wound, dressed it with gauze and an Ace bandage and called Bob. I gave her some acetaminophen for the pain. I helped her put on elastic wasted long pants and sneakers. We were off to the ER again.

We stayed with Mom as they examined, monitored, CAT scanned and X-rayed her. A man in a nearby room was resuscitated and shocked back to life several times as they played the theme from “ER” over the PA system (no joke!). It was pretty intense. We were there over five hours waiting for Mom to be released.

We got home around 11 pm. I fed Mom, gave her ibuprofen and got her to bed. Bob and I watched a movie, had a bite and went to bed.

Today, I finally got around to opening the mail from Friday. Her insurance carrier denied her claim for x-rays from the February fall because her auto insurance should be the primary insurer in this case. So tomorrow, before taking her to her podiatrist, I have to call the imbeciles at AARP MedicareComplete from SecureHorizons (aka Oxford) and explain that Mom’s injuries had nothing to do with a car accident and try to get them on the correct page with the new claim coming their way from yesterday’s misadventure.

I have appointments with three assisted living facilities in the coming week and I will be contacting her long term care provider to change the benefit from in-home to residential. I need to get her situated before I leave for Florida at the end of April to clean out her apartment and close on its sale. Then I can go without worrying about caregiver schedules and all that nonsense. She needs to be monitored all the time. That has become abundantly clear.

And I’ll have to get her to her regular geriatric doctor for a follow up soon, too.

I am also in the market for a good cloning facility so I can assign some of this to another me.

Good Lord, I am so due for a vacation.


About traceysl

Digital Artist, creative technologist, problem-solving lover of life. Having cared for my mother, who died on April 14, 2015 after a long fight with dementia, I have refocused professionally to helping others through my experience. I have started a company called Grand Family Planning to provide unique Family Support Services. In this way, I share my knowledge and give meaning to the tragic turn of my parents' journey through the misery of dementia.
This entry was posted in aging, caregiving, dementia, life changes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to View of the Falls

  1. Sally says:

    When you find that cloning facility, could you post something about it? I’ve been looking for one, too. My mother is coming to “visit” this week so my father can have a break.

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