Daughter's Eulogy

Monday, June 11, 2012

Good For Mom

During the past weekend, Ron and I have been praying for Mom M to be able to handle her room change scheduled for Monday.  The social worker asked me to meet her at 12:30PM on Monday.  We would both plan on taking mom up to stay in her new room on the 2nd floor.  Needless to say, I was not looking forward to making mom move.

On my way to help Mom M, I received a call from Ron saying that Mom L was been discharged from the hospital this morning.  Ron mentioned that they were going to have mom go home and would schedule Home Health Care to assist her once she arrived home.  I told Ron to call our doctor. Mom L. going home is unacceptable; she is definitely not ready. I suggested he ask for Mom L to be transferred to a rehab facility for her to have the necessary therapy she will need to walk properly and for her to get back to her normal activities as quickly as possible.  He agreed and placed a call to our doctor who is also Mom L’s doctor.

In the meantime, I drove to help Mom M.  When I arrived Mom’s current nurse told me that mom was in the lunch room.  I did not want mom to see me because she would stop eating and want to be with me.  So I told her nurse that I was going to go up to her new room, organize her closet, and hang her paintings.  I wanted mom’s room to be as nice as heavenly possible before she came up to see her new room.

My buddy, the maintenance man was there bringing up mom’s stuff.  He has helped me with four moves in the past few short months.  He is a very kind and patient man. He has to be to work with me as I am a Gemini; I change my mind several times.

Mom has the middle bed of a three-bedded room.  The woman in the first bed as you walk into the room was there the whole time as we were pounding nails in the wall and moving mom’s things into her drawers.  She was lying in bed and did not say Boo.

Just as I finished putting the final touches on Mom’s room, Mom and her nurse from the 1st floor passed by the room.  Mom was so happy to see me. 

Mom said, “Julienne how is the room?  Will I be OK here?” 

“Mom, you are going to be great here.  There are so many more nurses to help you.”

“Julienne, I have a hard time eating by myself.”

“Mom, you do not have to worry about that anymore.  The aide up here will help you.”

“Really. . . because I need help.”

“Mom, I know that is why you are up here.”

Diane from hospice came in to greet mom.  “Gilda, I am so happy to see you.  I am going to take good care of you up here.  How do you like your room?”

“My daughter says she likes the room.  I hope I like it.”

“I am sure you will.  The people up here are so nice.”

Mom’s dementia has progressed since last Friday.  She seems frightened. Thank God that he gave me the wisdom to hire hospice last week.  They have already been a godsend.  I have heard they are like angels and now I know why.  Everyone is so comforting to mom. They listen to mom.  She makes the choices. 

Mom has decided she no longer wants to take showers; instead she wants to be sponge bathed.  Since that is her wish, they will honor her wish.  Hospice calls me after every visit with her.   Their main concern is to make mom comfortable.  She knows they are her helpers and they are there especially for her.  She loves Diane, her hospice nurse.  What a wonderful thing! 

While we were still in mom’s new room she said, “Julienne, my feet are hurting me.”
When I knelt down to look at her feet, mom’s ankles were black and blue and swollen.  Diane said she would contact mom’s doctor and have him take a look at her today.   When I took off mom’s shoes she said her feet felt a little better. I cannot imagine how the aide put on mom’s shoes because they clearly no longer fit.  Mom said that the aide hurt her when the aide put her shoe on.  I told mom that I was going to take her shoes home so they could not put them back on her.

By the way, I failed to tell you that mom is back in a wheelchair.  After reading about her swollen ankles, you probably realize that she could not possibly walk right now.  When I saw mom in the wheelchair, I had asked where they put mom's walker.  The walker was still downstairs, but upon bringing the walker to me I was told that mom would probably not be using it any longer.  The walking stage was over for mom.  I asked mom if she was OK with having me take it home.  She shook her head to let me know she understood and I was OK to bring the walker home with me.

Diane was still with me.  She suggested putting mom’s feet up in the wheelchair to alleviate some of her swelling.  Diane put the footrests on mom’s wheelchair.  I told mom not to worry about being barefoot for tonight since she had her footrests now. I told mom that I would go and buy her new shoes in a larger more comfortable size and bring her new shoes tomorrow.

Mom wanted to see where they put her lift chair.  I mentioned that I had the chair placed by the nurses’ station where all the activities are going on.  I also made sure her chair was near a wash room.  Diane said she would bring her there while I was collecting all the items mom said she no longer wanted.

A few minutes later Diane came back in the room to tell me she brought mom into the activity room.  Bingo was being played and mom was too late to get in the game, but Diane had placed her right next to the activities director so she could watch her. 
I thanked her and went to the activities room.  

The activities director introduced herself.  In between calling the numbers and helping two other residents, the activities director made time to talk with mom and introduce her to other residents.

When I went to hug mom, she would not let go of me.  I said, “Mom, you will be OK.  You are in good hands.”

“Julienne, I wish you would stay with me for a few days until I get used to my new place.”

“Mom, you are going to be very happy here.  I feel very good that they are going to take very good care of you.”

“Tell me again, Julienne, what is wrong with me.”

“Mom, you have dementia.”

“That’s right, I remember some others ladies had this.  Will I get better?”

"I don't know, Mom.  I hope so."

"I knew someone that did, Julienne."

"That's great.  I hope you feel better, Mom."

The whole time we had this conversation she was squeezing my hands.  I kissed her hands before I left and said, “Mom, I love you with my heart and soul.  I will be back tomorrow.”  She shook her head up and down.  She knew I would.

As I was leaving The Community* today, I asked if the CEO had a moment to talk with me.  I thanked her for realizing that my mom needed to be placed onto the second floor even though I had disagreed with her last week. I did not want to believe my mom’s illness would keep progressing so fast.  Mom truly needs extra care.  The CEO was so glad that I stopped by to talk with her.  She was so glad that I realized they were only looking out for mom’s best interest and safety. She said very few families ever thank them for putting their parent or loved one on the second floor. 

I walked to my car feeling good about what I accomplished today for mom.  When I sat in my car, I called Ron and cried. 

Thank you, God, for being there with me every step of the way.  I know you are carrying me because I could not exist without your love for mom and me. 

Side Note:  Tomorrow I will blog the rest of my day which is all about Mom Lentz. I thought my day after I left my Mom Mascitti would wind down.  I had no idea what I was in for!!!   (I am just too tired right now to keep writing).

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