Thursday, January 25, 2007

We're All Done With Therapy

When I say all, I mean both Mother and I are finished with therapy.

Dick and I went at 8:15 for my last session, and then went out to breakfast at Bob Evans. I had some yummy piping hot, nutritious oatmeal (that's what the menu called it). Then we went home - Dick's goal was to make soup, my goal was to finish the laundry.

Neighbor Shirley called to say that the church lady had visited Mother and reported that Mother couldn't eat or drink anything and that maybe I should check into that. It's true that I hadn't visited Mom when Sniders were here. I was glad that Shirley called to alert me.

I went to Bortz to "check into" things. I spoke to the nurse's aide, the head nurse, the nurse practitioner, the social worker, the therapist, the lunch lady, and the lady who cleans up. They all spoke to Mother, and we all concluded that she does not want to continue therapy, and she does not want to return to Concord Place in her current condition. She can be very outspoken at times, and doesn't hesitate to state her desires.

I discharged Mother from physical therapy, which is required by Medicare. This means that Medicare will no longer help pay for the nursing home charges, and she will be a private-pay patient.

She's been sick for the past week - and she can't keep anything down, food nor water, except for a 1/2 cup of chicken broth Wednesday. She feels ill and very weak. Believe it or not, the therapy staff was still taking her downstairs to do what exercises she can - in my opinion, she really can't benefit that much for all of the stress and discomfort it causes her.

Besides the inability to eat and drink much, she has a "pleural effusion", which means fluid around the heart. Her blood tests show that she has had a minor heart attack at some time recently because there are heart enzymes in her blood stream and the tests show evidence of the beginning of congenital heart failure. She has no memory of anything that she would have regarded as a heart attack, though. She remains mentally alert and able to express her preferences and opinions, sometimes vehemently. She wants to stay at Bortz and to stop going to therapy.

The nursing staff has adjusted some of her meds, and they all think that she'll be feeling better tomorrow.

Next week Dick and I will start Vital Step at the MCHC gym - we're really looking forward to it.