Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mom ordeal con't

When I arrived on Friday July 4th the nurses were relieved someone had come to rescue them from the crazy lady in room 223. My mom had recovered physically but here it was day three and her mind was worse then it was on day two.

As I entered the room I was a little prepared for what to expect by my sisters description of the previous day, but as I sat with my mom I realized, with shear panic this was really bad. I sat down in a chair next to her, she seemed worn out. At first when she started to talk I had to hold back my laughter. It was so crazy, I looked at my husband whom also was fighting back the laughter, but as the conversation progressed I had to fight back the tears.

She was sitting in a regular chair with a restraint on each arm and she was tied to the chair around her waist. It was weird, she new she could trust me and ask me for help so I know she knew who I was, I think? She began this very long garbled story about people beating her and pushing her down on the bed. People asking her about a child that had been injured, people like child protective services. She said she had been kept in a room with alot of old people with no water or bathrooms. She said she had been there for days.

The nurse came in and said she had become so violent she had to be restrained. Throughout the course of the evening and the morning she had tried numours times to leave her bed. As explained before when she tried to get out of bed she would fall. When the nurses would come to put her back she would punch and fight them. In her drug induced state she could not compute the reality of the situation.

My mother was born in Ohio and went to College at Bowling Green University. Some where along the line she met and married my father. She was a school teacher and some where along the line and several children, later the marriage failed. This is where my mom stopped listening to anyone about her life. My best estimate of her age at that time was about 38ish. When the marriage failed she packed our station wagon with all our pets, all our belongings and all of us (3 kids),and the way she would explained it, drove as far as her money would take her. I am not sure if she had a plan but we ended up in Florida. It just so happened we had an aunt that lived in Clearwater Fl. and this is where we landed. My mom seemed to be fearless. To the best of my memory we lived in my aunts garage apt. I seem to remember rotating getting to sleep on the couch. My childhood memories are slim during this time but I do believe my aunt lived on a golf course and when it rained really hard we could go out to the greens and catch tadpoles during the summer months.

As an adult I look back at those days as if I were looking at a friend of mine going through a tough time. She was a single mom of three little children moving across country after leaving a marriage of 13ish years and living in a garage. As far as I know she never took welfare, food stamps, or any government assistance. She just worked. She worked a lot. She found a teaching job in a very low income area, which by the way is now one of the fancier areas on the west coast central of FL.

She worked her way out of the garage to a rental home, then she worked her way out of the rental home in to a 3 bedroom home she had built. We had the proud distiction of being one of the first homes in a subdivision of over 500 homes. My mom continued to work two and three jobs to fiance 3 growing girls school activities, band, cheerleading, girl scouts, church stuff and we all had a horse. My mom was a first grade teacher for 51 years. Being a teacher you have a boss, and rules to apply but for the most part you run your room your way. My mom never remarried and I only have one memory of maybe she sorta kinda dated one guy. She ran our household, her classroom and her life her way. Much to my mothers dismay her mom, dad and sister eventually followed her to Florida. She buried her father and later cared for her mother for a very long time though a long battle with alzymers. She supported her sister with her children and many of their very trying situations. The point being this is a women whom is very very independent and as my sister pointed out for the never had to be told what to do, or when to do it. Thus, with the medications, made for a very bad tolerance level and this induced severe mood swings and violent out burst.

Once the staff saw we were with her they untied the restrains. Mom kept insisting the bruises on her arms were from the people beating her. In fact some probably were from the nurses trying to restrain her and defend themselves from her punches. But, some were from the numours times the IV's were placed and the gigantic bruise on her back was from the surgery, but getting her to realize that was futile.

As the day progressed the chances of me going on vacation became slimmer and slimmer. My sister was exhausted from the day before and was not overly willing to say Go, enjoy yourself it will be fine. I can't say I blame her it was very tedious dealing with my mom. I found the best way to keep her calm was to just agree with her. If she saw a small purple lizard like creature crawling up the wall, then who was I to tell her she didn't. She would say "look at that funny animal getting a drink". When she ask if I saw it I would just respond no, but if you do then you do. This conversation went on for hours......non-stop.

I have never been a drug user, I can't even say I was experimental. I defiantly had my party days but a few drinks was about all I could handle. I have never hung out with people who did drugs. A bit nieve in this department, but I can imagine from what I have seen on T.V. (Dr. Phil....Just Kidding) it was as if she was on a very bad acid trip. Her hands never stopped moving, twitching, fumbling. She would say she couldn't feel her legs, her mind would not stop moving, racing. When the Dr. examined her her heart rate was racing. She had no appetite.

The nurses agreed she was not complaining of any pain so all pain killers were stopped as of 3am Friday morning. She was officially off all medication. Being it was July 4th weekend all her regular Dr. were not in the hospital. So each time a different specialist came to the room for his rounds we had to explain, physically she was fine, mentally she was complete gone. All we needed is for some Dr. to come in and tell us her body was fine send her home! Usually after a few minuets of a talking to her they also were aware she was not capable of being released.

At one point a very mean Dr. came in reviewed her charts,talked to her, check her heart rate and then demanded about 5 new test to be run on her. from a cat scan to a cardio something. I explained the medication in the past had altered her mentally and he also aggreed NO MORE PAIN MEDICATION.

When we were done with the 5k that morning my son went home with my sister and my husband and I went to the hospital. When it became apparent this day could be longer then we thought my husband left the hospital to retrieve him. My mom had reached a holding pattern, not better but not worse, just the same. The technicians were starting to come in to do all the test the Dr. had ordered to rule out any major reasons(other then the med) for the extreme hallucination she was having. We had been told by several Dr.s the anesthesia can have this effect on elderly people. My mom being 77 and never being put under anthisa for that long was suvering the extreme after effects of the 6 hour surgery.


Dave said...

Mom's a pretty cool woman from the history you've given. I'm waiting for the next installment.

SonjaB said...

Wow sweetie, I'm so sorry. I hope she is getting better.

Wendy said...

Thanks, I hope to have the next installment and conclusion this week.

Jenks said...

ok, you made me cry. I feel so bad for your mom. I can't even imagine her like this. I hope she gets back to normal after all the meds wear off.