Saturday, August 20, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 08/19/16: Mom's Early Morning Fall, Cardiologist Trip, Perfect Timing and Dinner

1.  Around 4 a.m., my phone on the stand beside my bed in Mom's basement rang. At first, I thought it was an alarm clock, but I didn't remember setting this function on my phone. My head cleared a bit and I answered.  "Bill, come upstairs. I fell." I dashed upstairs and Mom was sitting up in the dark near the head of her bed. "Get some rags. I spilled my water." Okay, I thought, Mom wants things cleaned up before I help her on her feet. So I toweled up the small amount of water and helped Mom to her feet. She had scraped her arm and it was bleeding so I got a square bandage while Mom dressed the injured area. Mom seemed all right. Mom had awakened to use her commode and the night light in her room had burned out and she sat on her commode wrong and she tumbled, along with the commode.  I was very happy that Mom went back to bed and slept some more. (I didn't.)  When she woke up and came out to the living room, I quizzed her about what was sore and Mom assured me that basically she was all right.

Christy is researching the purchase of a heavier, more sturdy commode and we have replaced all the burned out bulbs in Mom's night lights.  We have also reviewed with Mom how her Medical Guardian works and have urged her to press the button on the necklace she wears if she falls so that Christy and/or Carol and Paul will receive a call that Mom needs help.  Up to this point, when Mom has fallen, she has scooted herself to a phone and called one of us rather than using her Medical Guardian service.  My sisters and I are trying our best to persuade her to just push the button.

2. Carol arrived for her every morning visit around 6:45 and we worked together to soak and launder the bedding Mom's blood had stained and Carol kept an ear on Mom while she showered and started to get ready for our trip to Coeur d' Alene to see Mom's cardiologist. Christy and I accompanied her and listened as the doctor expressed concern about the fact that Mom has fallen four times since June 14th, ordered an echocardiogram to be administered in about 10 days, and explained to Mom that she has overlapping maladies and that it's difficult to treat one thing (say, the swelling in her ankles and legs and feet) without creating a risk elsewhere (for example, increased diuretic could lower her blood pressure and risk dizziness) and that the goal is to keep things stable. Mom's heart is out of rhythm, but she doesn't experience symptoms, so he decided not to take any action -- like sedating Mom and trying with electricity to shock her heart back into rhythm.  So, with an adjustment to one of her medicines, she will continue to do what she has been doing and stay the course. Mom's heart condition most likely will not improve.  She can, however, realistically expect, for the foreseeable future, to maintain stability, especially if she can eliminate her episodes of falling.

3.  After getting up at 4 a.m. when Mom fell and with Christy, Mom, and I making our trip to Cd'A, today was the perfect day for Carol to prepare and bring dinner over to Mom's house.  The dinner was out of sight -- grilled chicken and vegetables over fettuccine and a green salad.  Our family relaxed together, recounting the events and details of the day. Before long, Molly arrived and conversation turned to her wedding preparations, so I retired into the living room for some quiet time to myself.

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