So much has happened in the last several months. It feels like it’s time to tie it all together to see if I can make any connections in mom’s slippery trajectory.
- Oct 8th: Mom, using her cane, fell on her way to breakfast, hitting her head. A staff member witnessed this, and alerted the HSD who then escorted mom to breakfast. While she hit her head, EMS was not called.
- Oct ?: While I can tune this date up, mom hasn’t made a purchase on her credit cards since October. It’s because it’s too painful for her to walk through the store.
- Oct 27th: I learn from the community that my mother is using a walker, and her wrists are swollen.
- Oct 31st: Mom’s PT recommends injections for her knee.
- Nov 7th: Mom’s psychiatric nurse practitioner lowers mom’s anti-anxiety meds. He addressed my concerns 110%, yet my anxiety took a hit! 😳
- Nov 17th: Mom was found by the med tech on her living room floor. The community called EMS. She didn’t need to go the the ER.
- Nov 18th: My eldest and I zipped down to see mom. She was exasperated that EMS was called over her fall, though she didn’t argue that she was unable to get up off the floor. I see mom’s wrists for the first time. It wasn’t just a little swelling in her wrists, but edema in her forearms, hands, and fingers. Mom let me clean Elvis’ box, which was an ammonia factory.
- Nov 23rd: Community Thanksgiving. We left mom’s new walker (she’s been using a loaner) with the wellness office and then let ourselves into her apt. Mom steered her walker to the left, and into every thing. She didn’t see things in her way. She was unable to navigate the dinner buffet (my DH filled their plates). While the edema in her forearms to fingertips isn’t as bad, she now has a tremor. Her bathroom sink is a mess with a soaked washcloth in the basin, and toothpaste rinsing all over the faucet.
- Nov 28th: Mom forgot we were going to our daughter and her fiancé’s for Thanksgiving. When reminded we’d put it on her calendar, she asked, “What calendar, where?” Her hair was unwashed (for the first time), and her clothes were dirty. Her walker continues to be difficult to steer and use.
- Dec 21st: Community Christmas dinner. Mom’s tremor was less noticeable, her hair and clothes were clean. The note she left of the door for us was 80% illegible.
- Dec25th: I notice mom’s tremor while holding her hand.
- Dec 26th: Dr. O made a house call. Mom’s blood pressure was lower than he wanted, and so he took her off of one of her BP meds. He noted her tremor, but short of a neuro work up, it’s not diagnosable. Knowing what’s causing the tremor will not increase the quality of her life, so we won’t walk down that path. Mom fell asleep in the middle of the appointment.
- Jan 3rd: An X-ray at the sports medicine clinic reveals both of mom’s knees are bone-on-bone. The right fibula show breaks across the top of the bone. If not breaks, serious degeneration. 11-months prior x-rays were not wonderful, but not devastating. We now know where her pain and mobility problems are coming from.
- Jan 6th: Chest X-ray results show mom has emphysema and sever atherosclerosis. She does not have congestive heart failure, however. The cause of her edema is still a mystery.
- Jan 10th: Mom falls while picking up Elvis’ dish. EMS is called. She doesn’t go to the ER.
- Jan 15th: After discussion with Dr. O and the HSD, I remove Elvis from mom’s apartment. Mom can’t safely take care of him anymore. It’s also getting dicey for Elvis’ safety. Each time I’ve been in mom’s apartment in the last 2-months, his water dish was very low, if not empty.
- Jan 16th: Mom falls again.
- Jan 18th: Mom’s lab work shows mild heart failure. “Not uncommon is someone her age.” Dr O explains.
- Jan 20th: Mom falls again.
Yesterday I reached out to mom’s ortho guy for a knee brace. Otherwise I see only obvious, but ultimately unfixable, connecting threads here. Only advancing failures across multiple areas. That analysis is for another post.