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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Mum back in the nursing home but still sick

This morning I drove up to the nursing home to see how mum had settled back in after spending a night in the hospital. When I arrived she was still in bed. It soon became obvious that things were not ideal, as she got me to remove the covers from her legs. I put on a thin blanket instead but later she asked me to remove that as well. the covers were "too heavy" but this is just because her legs are very sensitive.

I spoke with the deputy manager who said mum has cellulitis in her legs which makes them liable to infection, and also liable to be sore. Mum went to dinner last night in the dining room but on the way back to her room, the nurse told me, she was taking very small steps. "Like this," the nurse informed me, making little movements with her hands like a shuttle. It's clear that mum is in a significant deal of pain due to her legs.

Her face is slightly flushed and she also has a pain in her shoulder. I wrote yesterday how the doctor in the hospital had had an X-ray of mum's shoulder made, as a result of which they found a plate had been installed in the shoulder at some point in time in the past. The shoulder was still giving mum difficulties today. I gave her a piece of cake to eat and she took it in her right hand but was unable to get that hand to her mouth. She had more luck with her left hand. I also gave her a cup of coffee to drink - after it had cooled down somewhat - and she again had a hard time moving her right hand to lift the cup. We were more successful with the coffee when we both held the cup: mum with two hands.

I didn't mention my concerns to the staff in the nursing home but I wonder if the hospital people didn't move her out of the hospital a bit too early. The quantity of pain she is experiencing, especially in her legs, makes me think she might have profitably stayed in hospital a bit longer.

Because she is not mobile now mum's life has become more complicated. It's a lot harder to do simple things like go to the toilet, for example. To do this now mum needs to have staff to help her. And the remote call button that she normally wears around her neck was found to be broken. I'm not sure how the staff are going to be able to make sure mum gets enough opportunity to voice her needs, so they might just need to drop by her room a bit more frequently then usual, for the moment at least.

Today mum also asked me where she was and I asked her where she thought she was. She said, "In the hospital I suppose." I told her she was in the nursing home. She might not know exactly where she is or be able to vocalise that information reliably but at least in the nursing home she doesn't panic like she did in the hospital during the night she stayed there this time. It might be that that delirium made the hospital staff decide to let her go early this time. Perhaps a bit too early.

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