Tim, Andrea and Gabi made it to Missouri in mid July after a week of unsuccessful house hunting & a loonng drive out from Virginia. The visit already feels like it happened ages ago, but that's because it's been a pretty eventful few weeks since they left.
My mom did seem pleased to see everyone, even if it wasn't always clear that she was exactly clear on who everyone was. Her energy levels were also very limited, meaning that Tim never was able to really visit with her for any sustained period of time because after 10 or 15 minutes, she'd simply doze off in her chair.
Although I had to work most of the days that they were here (to preserve as many of my remaining days off as I could) we still had a nice visit, making it out to the zoo, city garden and Purina Farms. It was fun watching the cousins play together, though by the end I think Gabi was just starting to realize how easy it was to knock Nathan over.
And then. So the day after they left (and of course it was the day after they left) and after I'd already stopped by for an evening visit, my mom is in an agitated mood and rushing around the unit she lives in and she stumbles into the nurses desk hard enough to give herself a bloody nose. Jack was out that evening, so Nathan and I spent the evening with her in the emergecy room until we got the bleeding under control. That was a Thursday night.
Friday, I got a call around noon that they're sending her back to the emergency room for being combative and throwing food at the nurse's aides. The ER docs seemed somewhat mystified about why we were back and what we wanted them to do for us, but one prescribed a different antibiotic for the UTI she was being treated for and recommended a different sedative. This whole experience was especially frustrating because she was supposed to see a gero-psychiatrist at the nursing home that afternoon, but they called for the ambulance before that could happen.
Saturday. For the sake of brevity...more of the same, at a different hospital this time. But this time she was admitted into the behavioral health ward (aka psych ward) for further observation. She stayed there until Friday, then was moved over to the behavioral health senior unit, which has a little bit less of a hospital feel to it and somewhat less screaming.
After a little less than a week there (and minimal improvement in my eyes) she was cleared to go back to Delmar Gardens. We've been back there about two days now and she's still super restless and not very steady on her feet. Especially the ways she walks with her back hunched and her head looking straight down, she remains a very serious fall risk.
The head nurse got her a bike helmet for safety, so it gives her quite a sporty look, but she's so tired now from lack of sleep and rushing about, she spends a lot of time hunched over in a wheel chair, resting her head on a towel and napping.
Next up, assuming we don't have to make more trips to the ER or senior psych...she'll probably do some sessions with occupational therapy to try and help with the posture, we're hoping that the Aricept she started taking will help to stabilize her moods a bit and I'm going to look into whether it would help if we hired some one to sit one-on-one with her for a chunk of each day.
Fact is, the last couple of weeks have been very tough and ultimately, it's hard to tell if her sharp decline of late is the chicken or the egg.