Friday, June 18, 2004

My mother Alberta, or Pat, is in a nursing home. She will soon be 92 on July 13th. I take her out to get her hair done once a week. We usually go on Tuesday, but I was out of town so made I it for Thursday this week. She is usually so eager to get out and after the hairdresser I take her out to eat.

When I got to the nursing home Thursday, Mom was sound asleep in her wheelchair. I called her name and she looked up at me sort of blankly. I said, "Are you ready to go get our hair done?"

She said in a very low voice that I could hardly hear, "I guess I am supposed to, huh?"

I said, "Well, we were supposed to go Tuesday, but I was gone so I have one for today which is Thursday."

She said, "What day is it?"

I said, "Thursday. Do you want to go or are you too tired?"

Again in a very weak and low voice she said, "Too tired. I guess I'll wait 'til Tuesday."

So I went alone. I'm not even sure she realized it was me or just thought I was one of the nurses waking her up to take her vitals again...

Over 10 years ago when Mom's third husband was living she had some surgery done on a tear duct. For some reason that eye lid over the tear duct is now severely inflamed. So I talked to her nurse and asked her to have the doctor look at it and maybe prescribe some drops or something. Her first comment was, who is her eye doctor? I told her who it is but I said he is in Las Cruces which is 75 miles away and I cannot and will not take Mom there as she is almost totally incontinent now and even though she has protection and I have a rubber sheet in my car I can't take her that far and be gone for that many hours with her incontinency. I just want the doctor here to see what he can do.

Recently Mom fell somehow and fractured two ribs. No one saw her or discovered that she fell but she complained about her side hurting so I took her for x-rays and sure enough she had two fractured ribs. I was then gone for two weeks on a trip. When I came home I asked how her side was and she looked at me puzzled. She had no memory at all that she had been in such pain with the ribs. Then just two days later she fell again and this time the nurse found her on the floor. She bumped her head and got a small cut over one eye. Face turned black and blue and she bent her glasses real bad so I took her to the optometrist and he straightened her glasses. I worry about the time that she will have one of these falls and really break her hip or some such thing. She is failing daily now and for a lady who never looked her years before, they are really piling up now; the age is coming through.

[Posted for Delphine]