Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Life at the ER

This morning I got up early to complete the preparations for the exterminators and to get my mom ready to take to her doctors appointment.  I was stressing and time seemed so short.

I took my mom to the bathroom to give her a shower and did my usual lift, pivot and put in the shower seat.  Only one problem.....she didn't stand.  Normally she will stand and help some with the pivot.  Today she couldn't stand and complained that her hip was hurting.  I was left standing there holding up my not too light mom.  My back will take a while to recover.

Her inability to help with the standing meant that there was no way for me to get her into the car.  I need her to help some to get her up, turned, and slid into the seat.  It is harder to get someone into a car seat then into a wheelchair because of the angle involved.  We had exterminators on the way and with my mom complaining of hip pain I decided to call and have an ambulance take her to the hospital.  I wanted her hip x-rayed to rule out some type of break.  Thus, my day at the ER started.

John waited for the exterminators while I went to the ER.  Over time she did go off for an x-ray.  In true ER fashion we had a nice, long, quiet wait. Finally we got the results back and she did not have a break.  Apparently she has arthritis of the spine.  I told the doctor that my biggest concern was my inability to get her into the car because she can't stand.  I explained that she was going to the doctors for her leg pain and UTI issues as well as medication refills.  I had to cancel the appointment because I couldn't get her there.  They decided to try to give her pain medications to see if it would help her to stand.

At this point John came and relieved me so I could go eat and pick Sarah up from college and grab the other 5 kids as they got off the bus (they couldn't go into the house).  While I was gone they tried to help my mom to stand and she couldn't.  The doctor talked to my husband and said that there wasn't any reason to admit her unless we were looking to put her into a nursing home.  John told the doctor that we just wanted her treated. 

They did check for a UTI and started her on antibiotics.  They also called our doctor about getting her in home nursing and therapy.  They wanted her doctor to come over to the ER after she got off.  Problem with that is her shift ended at 7pm (our doctors office hours are 7 to 7, I love it).  It was close to 4 pm at this point. (In order to get these services the patients doctor has to physically see them.)  Our doctor did offer to do a car visit if we could get her to the office.  The doctor at the ER said they would get her into the car if we could get her out at home.  For some reason, getting her out is easier for me then getting her in.

John took the kids to McDonalds while I waited for my mom to be released so I could take her to our family doctor.  By 5 we were loaded up and heading over to the doctors office.  She was waiting for me and came out to my car.  She called in refills, called in a pain medication and put in for home nursing and therapy.  She pulled me to the side and asked me how we were doing.  I told her that I was frustrated with my inability to get her medical care but we are actually doing well otherwise.  We have hired someone to come in twice a week to give me a break.  She says that we aren't the first ones that she did car visits for and that she thought it was crazy to have to see a patient to get in home nursing.  Typically someone needs in home nursing because leaving home is difficult.

It was a long day but I did get everything accomplished for my mom even if it wasn't the way I had planned.  I have to say that the doctor at the ER was very helpful and really tried to help my mom and us.  He told both my husband and I that he had to commend us for taking care of my mom, he sees people at the ER trying to dump their elderly parents all the time. I can only imagine what all he sees.  My mom cried several times and frequently said that she was ready to go home.  As we were driving over to the doctors office she told me that she thought that she wasn't going to go back home.

She is home.

She is currently tucked in bed with 2 warm cookies Sarah made tonight.

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