January 20th, 2017
I’m on the 10:30 sailing back to the mainland. Mom will forget about my schedule. It’s a conundrum… On one hand you don’t want to start off the day informing her of your plans because she will spend the entire day asking you about them, and then still ask the staff where you are when you don’t show up the following day. I think it’s kinder to let her know toward the end of our day together.
I seized some time with her doctor yesterday morning when he arrived to do rounds at the SNF. He was generous with his time, and we were on the same page regarding future ideal plans for mom. As he set off to do paperwork, I said, “Let me know when you’re heading to mom’s room.” The next time I saw him, he was heading out the door. I was none too pleased, but rather than send an email in anger, I asked to speak to the SNF nurse who was with him during the ‘appointment.’ She said both mom and the doctor reiterated their positions: She wants out, he wants her to stay. There was no substantive medical exam My job is to get her into a more appropriate community on the mainland while we wait for the EEG.
I returned to mom’s room to find a friend of hers visiting. Mom turned to me with, “I hear you and Dr. G are planning for me to stay in a facility off of the Island, and I am here to tell you that I WILL NOT leave this Island!!!” Without going into the entire conversation, I reiterated why she couldn’t go home (medically), and then made the mistake of tossing in that the house was completely unsafe for someone who is a fall risk. That caused all sorts of heel digging and BS on mom’s part. Her friend, who has been with two of her family members where I am now with mom, stepped into the conversation, and deftly talked mom down about 8 pegs. She pointed out to mom that it is one thing to be resigned to taking a falling and dying, but it is completely another to fall and become profoundly disabled due to that fall. This woman is a genius. Mom paused and took in the idea of such an outcome. I would never have thought of such an eventuality. But then, mom’s friend’s family member fell and broke her neck… Within 10 minutes, I was able to say “It’s not forever,” which lead mom to say, “If I’m OK with going to another community for the time we have to wait for the test and its results, will you get off my ass?” Absolutely.