Tuesday, 1 December 2015

A brief break from caring duties today

I had a break from caring duties today after mum had been in the hospital from Thursday to Monday inclusive. I did phone the nursing home twice today just to make sure things were ok. It seems that mum has settled back into the routine in the nursing home without too many dramas.

They told me last night when they called me that they might have to readmit mum to the hospital because her heart rate was high and she was drowsy. Apparently the ward nurses had administered mum with an antipsychotic at 2pm that had caused her to be very drowsy throughout the evening. I had left mum in the ward at 1.30pm at which time she was asleep so I'm not sure why the doctor thought she needed sedating.

This morning I phoned the nursing home to find out how mum had adjusted to the old environment. She had had her shower with staff help, as she usually does, then she had eaten breakfast in the dining room. The first floor nursing staff told me that mum had been placed in a wheelchair and situated in the common area so that the staff could keep an eye on her during the day. In the late afternoon I called back to find out that mum had eaten all her meals in the dining room and that she was doing well.

In the meantime I went to the CBD this morning for a dermatologist's appointment. After I got home I did a bit of paperwork then headed off to a lunch appointment about 45 minutes' walk away, on Broadway. It was nice and relaxing for me after all the medical dramas to just sit down over a simple takeaway meal and have a chat about nothing in particular in the company of a friend. Then after lunch I walked home and paid some bills, and then helped another friend move out of their office space nearby. Later I settled down to eat some reheated fried rice and have a glass of wine and watch a bit of slow TV.

In all it has been a busy day but I will go up to the nursing home again tomorrow just to check on mum and see that she's fitting back into things the way they were before her recent illness. She had such a strong reaction this time to the infection, which caused a fairly severe deterioration in her mental faculties. I hope that being back in familiar surroundings will enable mum to go on to lead a normal life in the medium term.

I was reminded during the period of hospitalisation however of how bad dad's dementia became toward the end of his life. There was something in the way mum was balling her fists and hitting her bedclothes that made me think of how frustrated dad became with his disability at that time. It was mum who witnessed those changes, of course, and I did remind her of that during this hospital stay, although she did not remember anything about dad's sojourn in the nursing home, and how she had driven up to be with him every day.

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