Sunday, October 03, 2010

A happy update, for some change of pace

Hey everybody - just a quick not to say that things are going well here. Grandmother is home, and much improved. She's making me a little crazy because she gets up and walks away without her walker (which they've given her because her balance and leg strength are still chancy), but other than that, she's being a model patient. She's got a little bit of forgetfulness (which is frustrating UJ to no end, because of the repeated questions), and she's pretty tired all the time, but 20 days post TIA, her improvement is pretty remarkable, in my opinion.

I'm still staying here, for a number of reasons, including my own piece of mind. Ok, mostly for my own piece of mind. She's doing so much better, but she's still "kinda wobbly" (as Thumper would say), and both she and UJ seem a little overwhelmed by all the VNA / OT / PT appointments and evaluations, her new medication list, and all of the things that go into a recovery like this. Even though I know just about zero about recovery - as I have never achieved it myself - recuperation and readjustment following hospital stays and times your body has not behaved itself are pretty much my speciality, so I'm glad to help, however I can.

Right now I am concentrating on making sure that the right questions get asked, making sure that someone remembers the answers as well as I think they should (Hint: write everything down!). On insisting that the visitors treat my grandmother with respect - you wouldn't believe how many of the people just come in and start poking at her: How about you introduce yourself? How about you ask for permission? How about you remember that the patient is a PERSON? That they leave their contact information and a schedule of upcoming appointments (even if it's tentative, at least give us a day you might be coming back).

I've talked UJ through installing grab bars in the tub (even though it's upstairs), and reminded him that the PT suggests a bigger shower chair and a handheld shower hose (both are now purchased). I have explained how much better a pill box system would be than their old "Let's look at this list 16 times a day" system, and then watched UJ try to explain it to Grandmother this morning. UJ straightened the brick walk in the back yard and installed a handrail on the two steps out there (even though I tried to get him to use concrete so it'd be smoother, I got vetoed there). I've finally talked them into rolling up the rugs so she'll stop having to worry about them (That's not getting done for a few days, though, so I still have to watch her getting caught on the corners till then). I sit in my chair and anxiously follow her up the stairs with my eyes when she goes up for bed at night ---> She's supposed to wait for UJ to be behind her, but when he carries the walker up to put it at the top of the steps, she starts right up anyways. Another of my suggestions, that she take the pull out couch down here, was swiftly shot down and will not be entertained. I put the cream on her back every day, and watch as the rash she got from the unusual hospital detergent starts to finally fade.

Besides that, Grandmother shouldn't be left alone until they hook up the lifeline thing (even SHE remembers the "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial: it was the first thing she said when they suggested it), so I'm still being useful that way - at the very least UJ can run to the supermarket and get something for dinner without worrying that she'll be hurt and unable to get help. Yesterday he went to mass, giving me the whole "I have my cell phone, you know how to dial 9-1-1, these are the signs of a stroke, are you sure you'll be alright?" speech, even though I am 31 years old. I understand his nervousness though: I don't know how I'll manage when I go home, because he hates the phone, almost as much as he hates asking for help, so if I'm not Right Here, then I know that he won't call and say he or she needs something.

So I'll stay for now. Even though I miss home, and my people, and my big comfy bed, and Lil Girl days, and my non-tivo tivo. But I don't want to leave till I'm sure they can manage, or until I absolutely have to (because I can't manage anymore), which ever comes first. (Although I am definitely going home for a shower tomorrow, come hell or high water.)

Hope your weekends have gone well, and that your Monday finds you ready to face whatever comes your way.

1 comment:

Crazed Nitwit said...

Seriously? Patients are people? I knew I missed something in nursing school!