Mom at home reverted to Mom of pre-cognitive decline bitter anger. My Thursday morning experience began with interceding when Mom was angrily not cooperating with Dad in addressing with her need to use the commode. After hovering in out of her sight in the hall so Dad would have back up, i eventually stepped and and told her she needed to treat Dad with the respect she gave the nurses. She was furious, and i received some hitting and serious kicking. But i was calm, sand just kept telling her she needed to manage her emotions. I don't think that was the best strategy, but it did make me the target. When i left, she did cooperate with Dad. It was never quite that bad after that, but her lack of cooperation around the toilet needs continued to be an issue. My sister was there before and after her work. On Friday, my sister called the agency a church member recommended to get them out to help with Mom's care.
Before she and i left on Friday night, my sister tried to cajole Mom into using the commode. It turns out that wasn't successful, and after we left, Mom tried to help her self, obstructing and fighting with Dad. He kept her from falling once and then thought he had her agreement in doing the pivot transition they had been taught. They both fell. Dad called me at 7:19, and i calmly told him to call 911, that the EMTs would help get Mom up. He called again, worried that she was seriously hurt, and the EMTs arrived just then. I set a timer, and called about the time i thought we should know what was up. I think we called simultaneously, because i didn't reach him, but had a voice mail from him that they were on their way to ER.
Christine and i went up, telling my sister to stay home and rest. While Mom received various imaging, my dad, Christine, and i sat between someone retching their guts out and a screamer. The UNC ER is miserably overcrowded, and now Christine understands why i want to go to Siler City for straight-forward issues like broken bones. Even if i cut a finger off, i think i would prefer Siler City's small but roomy hospital. They may have started with some private rooms at UNC, but they now have "rooms" in the hall and in closets.
We were there until 1 am, and both a nurse and a doctor took time to talk to Dad about it not being anyone's fault that Mom fell, that he was doing the right thing, and that accidents happen. I was so thankful for their compassion for him.
Mom's denial about bodily needs continued, and i am also thankful for the nurse who acknowledged my mother's desire not to be changed, but also went ahead and did it.
In our weariness, getting Dad home safely took on a slight aspect of the puzzle regarding the fox, goose, and sack of grain. It actually wasn't that hard: i drove our car, Christine drove Dad's subaru and Dad just had to choose which car to ride home in.
Mom has broken her ankle on her weak leg. The splint will essentially be the same as the boot she should have been wearing but got lost at the hospital. She will be able to continue to have her leg recover from the stroke. And this will give the medical team another chance to evaluate sub-acute rehab care, and Mom will go from hospital to sub acute care, which is apparently easier than from home.
I had said to Christine on Thursday night, when reflecting on my mother's hissy-fit when we brought her home on Tuesday, and her temper-tantrum on Thursday (not sharing the physical kicking and hitting), that i felt i was emotionally prepared to deal with Mom's behavior. "She can't betray me any more than she has," i said. And with that behind me, any reiteration of the emotional abuse from childhood - asserting her judgements of my unfitness as a human being - will slide off because i know the statements are completely untrue.
What i am not prepared for is my anger for how she treats my father and the bind she puts him in.
There is also a selfish tired voice in my mind grumbling about all the time i took off last week and how it was "for naught."
We will now be far more prepared when mom comes home again, starting with 24 or 12 hour care and then working to what is sustainable, instead of testing our ability and bringing help in if needed. I had been reflecting on all the therapists and the absence of a psychological therapist in the care team. I called my sister and asked her to get in touch with my mom's primary care provider and the need for psychological assessment. Minimally, Mom needs some help in addressing her denial around her bodily needs. Ideally, assessments about appropriateness of care will include Mom's willingness to work with Dad. Admittedly, the presence of an "authority" (paid caregiver) will inspire more cooperation than she's willing to give to my father.