Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I arrived at the Kline at 10:30 this morning to find Mom asleep after taking a Benadryl about an hour earlier. Mom's rash has been itching her a lot lately and she's been getting some relief from a topical cream, but NP suggested taking Benadryl at night to see if that helped, also. Well, last night it was the last pill to come in and since Mom had already brushed her teeth (she takes her pills in yogurt) and doubled her morphine, she decided to wait until this morning to take it. The good news: it helped a lot with the itching. The bad news: Mom was conked out all day. Seriously, all day-she woke up in thirty minute intervals, to use the bathroom and to eat fractions of her meals. She attempted physical therapy, but couldn't get any farther than sitting on the edge of the bed and doing some stretches: standing up, her legs would almost buckle and someone would have to hold her up.

She also had a little bit of disorientation, which I truly think was due to the fatigue and sleepiness. Everything she was saying made sense, she would just forget who was in the room. Her oldest friend was in town visiting over the weekend and just left today; about an hour after she left, Mom asked how long she was planning to stay in her house. Since it was just me and Mom, I asked her if she meant Gary and me in our apartment with the baby and she shook her head and said she was asking her friend, but then remembered that she had left. Things like that.

We'll have to wait and see if she is equally weak tomorrow not taking the Benadryl during the day-she agreed that was a bad idea. She has physical therapy scheduled with an actual PT instead of walking with the aide, so we'll have a better idea of where she's at.

And now, a digression: Last Wednesday we got the unfortunate news that Mom's amazing PT had been let go. This is a woman who had gotten Mom walking without a walker, using the white cane for the blind to fly up and down the hallways. She had built up her balance, core strength, leg strength, stability and was really responsible for all of the autonomy Mom had gained over the summer. When I think back to six months ago at my bridal shower, Mom was able to sit up in a wheelchair for about an hour. The last time I was here, three weeks ago, she was sitting up on the side of the bed, unpropped, for all of her meals, walking to the bathroom with a walker and standing alone at the sink (we'd spot her, but that was it) to wash her hands, wash up and brush her teeth. That was 100% due to her PT. We've all had a week to process her being gone and just can't quite come to terms with it. She is such a talented, knowledge and compassionate therapist; we sorely miss her. And I think tomorrow we'll miss her even more: Mom is clearly weaker than she's been in a long time and I trust her former PT so much to know what's appropriate and to find ways to help Mom in the state she's in. The replacements are all lovely people, but I know we're not going to get any more meaningful therapy. Oh, well, I'm hopeful Mom will at least get a nice massage.

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