It seems appropriate to drop a quick update on the situation with Mom.
She had surgery for her hip on Thursday — a screw and rod rather than a replacement, and it went smoothly thanks to the care of the surgeon and anesthesiology team. However, by that time, the pain meds were having quite an adverse effect. She would rally from time to time, but was very confused and spend much of the time staring blankly at the wall.
Sunday morning I was convinced she’d had a small stroke. Her mouth was drooping, and she was having problems swallowing when I tried to feed her the applesauce and other soft foods she’d previously eaten for me (although not for the aides). A scan showed this wasn’t the case.
Obviously, she was unable to respond to any efforts at PT.
Yesterday, we seemed to have rounded a corner. When I came in, she was sitting up (with help from the therapists) and not only ate, but also fed herself.
More importantly, her feisty personality seemed to have reappeared.
Thankfully, that’s still true.
However, today when I walked in, she said conversationally, “My daughter has a bag just like that.”
When I responded I was her daughter, she was adamant that I wasn’t, although she was not quite sure who I was — someone who was supposed to come see her, maybe the therapist.
When I helped her take a drink and encouraged her not to drink too fast, she responded that she’d been drinking for sixty-two years.
“Ninety-two, you mean,” I said.
No, she was 62, and not a day older. And her oldest child was 24, her youngest almost 23, with the middle one being somewhere in the middle of the two.
She’s also sure as can be she never broke a hip in her life.
This is a little worrying. She’s been off pain meds for at least three days, and surgery was five days ago.
On a positive note, she did mention that “Everyone keeps telling me I need to co-op-er-ate with the therapists.”
“Or what?” I asked.
“Or I won’t improve.”
“And if you don’t?”
“Then I will be S. O. L!”
In some ways, it’s nice to have Mom back in spirit, if not dwelling in reality. And I’m sure glad she understands the importance of doing PT.
She also seems pretty chipper, happy to chat about anything I brought up.
I don’t even mind her not recognizing me because whoever “Kym” is to her, she clearly holds a place of great affection in my mother’s mind.
Also, my father had Alzheimer’s for many years before he died, and he had no idea who I (or anyone) was for at least a few of those years.
I just wonder if the thirty years Mom has misplaced will come back and what it will mean if they don’t. And like watching my father lose his own memories, it makes me ponder the essence of what we deem to be reality.