Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mom's Good But Death Is All Around

I've been out of commission for the better part of three weeks. A sinus infection has taken hold, causing constant headaches and fatigue.

In the interest of resting and keeping the contagion under wraps, I stayed away from Mom's place and missed three of my regularly scheduled visits. All the residents are coughing and sniffing, and it's likely that I picked up my illness from them.

Last Friday was my first visit in a while. I covered for my brother who couldn't make it that day.

Mom was coherent and showed incredible signs of complex thinking. When I got there, she remarked, "I don't know why I don't usually know you when you are here." It was good news that she knew me, and also interesting that she knew on some level that she hadn't know me on previous visits.

My brother had a good day on Sunday and I had a similar time yesterday.

A couple of weeks ago, she complained about a belly ache and I got her some Mylanta from the nurses. A few days later, she told my brother her tinkler hurt. Instantly we thought of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and considered that was affecting her spacey behavior.

I stopped by the nurses station to find out what the results of the test were. Since she had been so good, I was expecting them to confirm the UTI and that she was on antibiotics. Nope. The test was negative and no additional pills.

While we were speaking, I inquired about a couple of residents I hadn't seen in a while. The Slapper had been confined to a recliner because she had fallen and was increasingly unsteady on her feet. It was clear that she was going downhill fast. I learned that she passed away.

Another woman, who had only been there a few months, has also passed away. She was completely sane and I had talked with her at length in the recreation room. She was outgoing and will be missed among that little community.


A Single Man said...

H was in a facility years ago for awhile...skilled nursing/hospice. While he was there we got to know some of the other residents and it was very odd to have them there one day and then not there again.

H asked me if he was going to be like them and die there. I, of course, said no...not really knowing if that was the case or not.

Hopefully, folks dieing around your mum won't bother her (if she even notices).

Gavin said...

I don't think Mom is aware enough to notice that anyone is gone. She doesn't even realize she has her own room!

Since I'm there twice a week, and most residents don't receive regular visitors, they all know me. As I've written before, I make an effort to know them too since they must be lonely.

My brother and I have both noticed the number of residents is going down. Not sure if it is due to death, illness require transfer to a hospital or nursing home, or financial constraints. It really is quite a transient community as most folks go there at the end of life. They die, and new folks arrive to take their place.

citygirl said...

It's good you stayed away while you were sick. I always worried about wiping out the entire population of my mom's home if I was sick (so I stayed away too).

Interesting how they have little rallies of coherent thinking.

I saw alot of people move on or pass away at my mom's home too. It's kinda sad eh? Especially shocking when they're in pretty good shape and pass away.