Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Colorado Summer & Home 2008 ~ Part Two

Our visit with our daughter Katie & her husband Ryan was wonderful. We celebrated July 4th with fireworks and Dairy Queen treats. It was a beautiful Colorado day, and warm evening. Kate and I went to the "Ball Park Market" in downtown Denver, we enjoyed pink lemonade, and wandered through the many offerings by the antique dealers, and others selling items they had created. It was such fun, and we each came away with a few treasures, of course an item we purchased for each other. Golf is always in our plans with the kids. Even though I don't golf, I am the "best" golf cart driver this side of the Mississippi :). Ravenna (the kid's gold club) didn't let us down. We had two wonderful rounds...especially me, with a perfect score!

My husband Scottie and I often comment on how we are so lucky to be able to enjoy our children like we do. It's easy, comfortable, and we all relish in precious moments spent together.

And off the the mountains we go~ Frisco was waiting for us.

Mom continued to improve at home. She told my sister Marcia that she was very worried about going home because she was afraid she would fall again. Mom's physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and PCA Pam, came in and out, providing services that would all lend to as close to whole health as Mom could come. I was in moment by moment contact..it was hard to be so far away..even with the positive outcome we all hoped for!

Summit County kept us very busy. We spent most day outdoors, going to concerts, art fairs, markets, wandering through Frisco, Breck, Vail, and Beaver Creek to mention a few...Scottie bike early, and daily. We sat outside our condo by Ten Mile Creek, and talked, and talked, and talked, read books, napped, snored, and relaxed. Kate came for a week, and he husband, Ryan joined us for a long weekend. Mom was always, always in the forefront of my mind. She lived there, and that's okay..she was improving.

And then Dad called~ "Mom had fallen" and Dad was scared. I could hear Mom moaning in the background. She had gotten up very early Saturday morning and didn't want to wake dad. Mom fell in the bathroom, and amongst other things, she landed on her right wrist, was in excruciating pain, and thus at my suggestion to Dad, she earned another ambulance ride, which had become the ride of choice due to the medication she could receive in her home, making her more comfortable and transporting much easier for everyone, especially Dad. This always bothered me, as during this time Mom was alone...but ever the polite and gracious woman she is, she made sure everyone in the ambulance was greeted. The x-rays told the story~~Mom's right wrist was shattered and would require surgery. Mom was wrapped up and told to see an orthopiedic surgeon on Monday. Mom and Dad were given the option of Mom staying in the hospital overnight, but Dad felt adamant about bringing her home so that he could care for her. He always felt that way...and so, he brought her home. My anxiety of being so far away and not being able to just run over and visit, change dressings, and be close had dramatically increased, and did so throughout the day...Scottie and I could never go very long without wondering if all was well..if Mom was even close to maintaining. Her recent falls were so traumatic, they all had a violent content to them because of her lack of balance, the loss of control over the ability to stop herself, to even know to keep still until she had asked for help in moving from place to place, and because of inanimate objects that she hit when she fell. Sharp corners, handles, tables that moved, rugs, her walker, and many other things were obstacles to Mom's safety. Everything was potentially dangerous, but most of all her zest for life, and her overstimulated brain from DBS, that didn't give her a chance, unless someone was there to stop her from getting up alone sometimes.

Dad called early Sunday morning, and Mom was not doing well, and either was Dad. It had been a rough night. He had trouble helping Mom to the bathroom, which is completely understandable, and Mom's pain was unbearable, and most importantly she was running a temp. Dad called the ER and was told to bring her back. Again..thank you, thank you, Mom went by ambulance and was admitted to Methodist Hospital. She had pneumonia, and with treatment, she improved, and was well enough to have surgery on her right wrist. She had 9 screws and a metal plate put in...but not until Marcia and I talked and of the options given by the orthopedic surgeon this seemed the best so that Mom could best use her hand again, including writing...her beautiful flowing handwriting, and draw..all the outfits of her youth. She loved that.

I am much to far away from home at this point. Mom struggled mightily. For many days she drifted in and out of the anesthesia, pneumonia, and fever haze. Marcia promised to let me know when I need to get on a plane..when I needed to come home, when... But something kept reassuring me that all was well, that she was still in good hands...being loved, and cared for. Some of my friends had visited her, all of her friends were in touch, my aunt was keeping me updated... There were some very bad days, even days when Mom was not communicating~ I prayed she was busy getting well, recovering.

Mom did well, and I know it was only because as usual she put 100% into whatever it took to "be well, to "get better." She was scheduled to go back to Jones Harrison for "rehab" to regain her strength before going home~~this was to coincide with Scottie & I returning home. We arrived home late Thursday evening, after bidding farewell to the mountains, our kid's, and friends. It was the first time I remember being in a hurry to get home. I grew up vacationing in Aspen, and thus it continued in our family. Mom was set to move the next day, following PT and lunch. I could not wait to get to the hospital~ I just could not wait to see Mom, to hold her, and to give her all the love I had stored up while I was away. My heart was aching, conflicted, wondering, and full to bursting to see this incredible woman, friend, mentor, my Mom~

I was waiting in Mom's room with Marcia for Mom to come up from PT. I couldn't wait! But, Mom was brought up early because she wasn't doing well. Something had gone very wrong. Mom barely acknowledged me..like she didn't even see me... like there was no energy to see me. I was very worried. The transfer to "rehab" was canceled immediately, and Mom was put into hospital pj's, an oxygen tube was put in, and she was tucked in bed. Mom had aspirated into her lungs during PT. The pneumonia set in again..antibiotic's were started.

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