It was about 9pm on a Tuesday July 1st when we finally got to see my mom after her surgery, and as it was to be expected she was a little out of it. In pain, disoriented and sleepy.
The next day I went to work as usual and from work drove the hour drive to the hospital. Being as we only have one family car my son and husband stayed home forgoing church that evening. I arrived about 7/8ish and my sister and niece were sitting with my mom, still in ICU. My mom was still very uncomfortable and disoriented. Though the course of the past evening and the current day she had become a bit agitated. She kept removing the wires and connection attached to her. Thinks like the heart monitor, the IV, ya know things she need to leave alone.
Several weeks before this event she was unable to walk un-assisted and with some strong urging she went to the doctor and come to find out she had broken her pelvis. This injury is in fact the reason we found out about the tumor on her kidney. When the fracture was discovered they gave her some pain medication after a day or so of taking the pills she became a little loony. She would forget what meds she had taken, she would hide them all over the house much to the dismay of the family. We could not track what she was or was not taking. Along with her medications for the fracture she also has several prescriptions for high blood pressure, cholesterol, an aspirin a day for her heart, fish oil for....not sure on that but you get the point she had about 5or 6 pills to take at different times.
My sister wrote down what and when she was suppose to take them. That did not work. Then my sister separated them in to am and Pm's. That did not work. Then my sister purchased a pill organizer with days, times all the info you need to know when to take your pills. That did not work. She would keep moving the pills into draws, and cabinets.
After a few days on the pain pills we went to visit her. She was sitting on her couch, according to her she had been there for days, no food, nothing to eat or drink for days(my niece and nephew were there a day or so before). She said she had nothing to eat in her cupboards, not even for the cats. She had a box of cereal beside her and remnants of cereal were all over the couch and floor. She told us that is all she had and she had been feeding the cats the cereal because they were out of food. Upon closer inspection of the cat food bowls, sure enough we found them with fruit loops in them. Mind you we had to hunt them down, only to find them in the microwave. When we looked in her refridge and cupboards we found more food then a family of 10 could eat in a week.
After a quick discussion with my sister, my sisters family and I decided she was crazy. When my mom would talk she would only say a word or two then start another sentence on a different topic. She could not recall any ones name, where they lived, time, current events nothing. Out of frustration we opted to take her off all pain medication. She had a physical therapist coming a few days a week and we were seeing improvement on her walking ability. Since we could not monitor what amount of pain medication she was taking we were afraid she was over dosing, thus creating this very weird behavior. After a few days she became a bit more her normal self, which by the way is about 90% with it she does have about 10% demensia setting in but is still capable of living on her own(although we are questioning her ability to drive.)
After the episode of delirium with the pain medication a few weeks before we were not surprised when she had some issues in the hospital. The ICU nurse covered the IV with a towel and told mom to leave the tubes alone. She said she had not taken them out she was trying to help the nurse tidy up the room. She kept coiling the IV tubes up, which inevitably rip the IV out of her hand. The nurses were having trouble as it was finding a vein good enough to insert the IV. Mom was suppose to stop taking any medications a week before the surgery. This would include the aspirin aday for her heart. As we know the aspirin is a blood thinner and when you blood is thin apparently it is hard to have your veins sustain and IV line. We are not sure she stopped the aspirin. Every indication said she did not.
It was Thursday July 3, one day from my 7th Wedding Anniversary and one day until we were to go on vacation. Surly mom would have improved enough I could go with out any compromise. I went to work at the daycare and straight from work to my second job at the restaurant. I would not get off until around 10pm so I was not able to go to the hospital at all that day. My sister was going to be there. I asked her to call with any updates or problems.
Exhausted and ready for vacation the alarm went off at 5Am. It was finally Friday, July 4th.....All I had to do before vacation could start was to get up, meet my niece and family, go to the 5K race, run the race, go to the hospital visit for an hour, come home, pack, clean house and yes......I could be on vacation. As we sat in my sisters car before the race we began to discuss the mom updater. She had been moved to a regular room and physically was coming along fine with the slight concern about her temperature being a little high. But the real concern was the completely bizarre behavior she had been displaying.
The nurses gave up on the IV after about the fourth or fifth time putting it back in her arm. Mom was completely unaware of where she was or why she was their. She had no recollection of the surgery and she became very pissed off when "these people" would not let her leave. If left unattended she would try to get out of bed, and promptly fall to the ground because she was so weak from the surgery. One time she got out of bed, fell on the ground and layed there for an undetermined amount of time, finally the patient across the hall called the nurses station an told them the patient across the hall was laying on the floor they may want to check on her.
When they did come to get her she told them she wanted to go home, when they indicatied she needed to stay for a few more days this made her really mad and this my friends is where the real fun began.........!
Watch out she will punch you in the face...really hard!