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13 November 2010
My drive home was interrupted by a cell phone call from a friend who was wondering why I hadn't posted an entry yet today. I had been in a situation where I was unable to get to a computer or even a wi fi connection on my iTouch since yesterday morning. I did send a message to Facebook via Twitter, but unless you check FB or Twitter frequently you aren't likely to have seen it.
So let me say, first, thank you for caring (and noticing!) and let me then start at the beginning and bring you up to date.
In my last entry I talked about my "friend" who had called for medical advice. In fact, the "friend" was my mother, but I didn't want to say that because there are several people who know her and who live in her neighborhood who may read this journal and I felt that what she needed more than anything else was rest. If anybody (including me) came to "help" she would wear herself out trying to be a good hostess. My mother will get up out of her coffin to make coffee for the mourners, I am convinced of that! And there will be no embalming because she won't want to "bother" the mortician! (No, she's not dead, but just sayin')
So the story was that the other day she had been vaccuming her house and got tired and began wheezing. She didn't tell me, on the phone, that she also had chest pains. She forgot to take her nitroglycerin, but she did go to bed and slept through the night. In the morning she was still wheezing and that's when she called to ask for my opinion. I told her to call Kaiser immediately. The advice nurse told her she needed to go to the emergency room and made an appointment with her to see a doctor. She called to tell me that. Then an hour later she called back and said she had stopped wheezing and she thought she'd take a nap instead. I didn't think that was the wisest thing, but she wasn't going to be talked out of it.
In the morning, she called to say that she was wheezing again, she felt nauseous and dizzy and she had called her friend to come and take her to the ER. That she agreed to go and had actually CALLED someone to take her, rather than driving herself (it's only a mile), told me how serious it was.
I didn't know if I should go down there or stay at home and wait for word from her when she got home. My friend Mary and several other friends from my wonderful CompuServe group said "go," which was all the push I needed. I had a show to review last night, but I sent off an e-mail to another critic and told him he'd have to do it for me.
I packed up the puppies in their big cage, lots of towels, all their equipment (I thought), my iPod to listen to my book in the car, and fresh coffee and headed to my mother's.
I was past the point of no return (over half way) when Walt called to let me know he'd just found the bag that had the formula and mixing equipment in it sitting on the kitchen table. I could do without everything except the formula, so I was now on a hunt for puppy formula. After several unsuccessful trips through strip malls looking for a pet supply store and a stop at a vet clinic, I found a "Pet Arcade" which had Esbilac for "only" $30 a (small) can. But the puppies had to eat, so I had no choice. (When I later decided to spend the night, I was glad that I had plenty of food with me.)
It was a couple of hours after I got to my mother's before she got there. She and her friend had lunch at the Kaiser cafeteria and waited at the pharmacy to get an inhaler to help her with her wheezing. In the meantime I'd called the ER at Kaiser, which confirmed that she had arrived at 7:45 and had been dismissed at 11:15 (which was encouraging--at least she was alive and had left the hospital).
Two doctoors wanted to keep her in the hospital overnight for observation, but she refused. Instead, they sent her home and told her to take a nap, but I was there and she insisted on chatting. She did sleep for about 20 minutes, but that was all. She really looked so drawn and...old. I know she's 91, but she is very proud of the fact that she doesn't look it and nobody believes it when she tells them how old she is. I think they would have believed her yesterday.
I decided I wasn't comfortable leaving her alone last night, so I said I would spend the night, which I think she was glad about. I said I'd cook dinner, and she told me to fix spaghetti (for which she had a jar of sauce) and she made the salad, which took MUCH more effort than the spaghetti. I could not get her to sit down.
The thing I'm most concerned about now is that her memory is not good. She had a headache so she took an aspirin and then an hour later said that she had a headache and she was going to take an aspirin. She told me that she had to take some medication at 6 p.m., so I set an alarm so that she would remember and when 6 came, she couldn't remember asking me to set the alarm or what she was supposed to take. She is supposed to have a blood test this week and she can't understand why they need to test her blood because they just tested it, for Pete's sake. Fortunately we are going to have cousins day on Wednesday and we will take her for her blood test to make sure she gets it. She is also supposed to see her own doctor this week, and I can already tell that the "Oh, I'm fine...I don't need to bother her..." story is starting to play in her head.
I asked her why she hadn't pushed her LifeLine when she got chest pains, but "they weren't that bad and I didn't want to bother them" was the story I got.
It is obvious that we need to ratchet up the search for some sort of senior living facility that she will feel comfortable moving into, if only because I'm so afraid that she's going to kill herself because she doesn't want to bother anybody with what shefeels are minor problems, or overdose on medication that she forgot she's already taken or underdose on medication she either forgets to take or doesn't think she needs any more.
I fixed breakfast for us this morning (she DID let me do that) and the wheezing seemed to be gone but she's coughing a lot. The doctor suggested she might have a touch of the flu and since she was also feeling achy this morning, I think this is probably what it is. Did she get her flu shot? Of course not. She was just a couple of blocks from Kaiser, but she didn't want to take the time to do it. She'll get it when she sees the doctor this week, she says. AFTER she has the flu, of course.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I could tell she was sick when she didn't ooh and aah over