When I went to the hospital this morning and walked into mom’s room, mom exclaimed, “There’s (my name)!” She was more lucid than she has been since Friday. Her speech was more fluent. She asked questions, and understood my answers. I explained to her what had happened, and she seemed able to follow the sequence of events. (She still has no memory of what happened, or of being in the ER.) She recognized visitors and conversed coherently with them.
Her kidney function is slowly but surely returning to normal limits for her age. Her blood pressure is a little high now, but that’s OK. She’s a little “wet” from all the IV fluids they’ve been pumping into her to help her kidneys “catch up,” which is to say, fluid is going in a little bit faster than it’s going out again, and that extra fluid tends to build up in the lungs. She’s a little wheezy, but they’ve been giving her breathing treatments, and that’s helped.
She feeds herself, although she’s not very enthused about eating since she’s lost her sense of taste for everything except sweet. This is due to aging. Her poor little taste buds just wore out. But in addition to regular foods, they’ve been feeding her nutritional supplements like Ensure Plus and Boost which have a sweet taste, so it’s more pleasurable for her to eat than her trying to force down tasteless foods.
The blood cultures are still not back, but she’s been on antibiotics for three days now.
She still has word finding difficulties and some difficulty getting words out. This all gets worse as the day progresses and she tires. All she wants to do is sleep. They still have her on the remote monitoring and have the soft restraints on her arms because she’s pulled her IV out twice now (Saturday and Sunday), and they don’t want to risk her doing it again — they’re running out of good veins!
The problem remains that her back pain is chronic, will worsen, and there’s nothing they can do about it except dose her with pain killers. She’s a fall risk, and sitting, standing and walking are what aggravate her pain the most. When she leaves the hospital (possibly by the end of the week), she will go to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) for a while, at which time we are going to have to consider long term care.
Her house was built in 1964. Her en suite bath is too small for two people to maneuver in (her and a caregiver). (We learned that with my dad.) Both bathroom doorways are too narrow for a walker or wheel chair to fit through. (We learned that with my dad.) The hallway to the bedrooms is narrow. There’s a problematic turn from the den into the bedroom hallway that an ambulance stretcher can’t navigate. (We learned that with my dad.) Her bedroom is at the end of that hall, and the EMT’s had to carry her in a blanket sling out to where the stretcher was in the den. The only way she’s going to be able to stay at home is if we rent a hospital bed and put it in the front bedroom, and hire 24/7 care. We are facing some hard choices.