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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

Mom in hospital

Had to take mom back to the ER last night & they admitted her this time.  Did an MRI & a doppler this morning.  Keeping her again tonight.  I haven't been able to catch the doctor yet.

Easter weekend is awful for such things.  I remember well that my dad was in the hospital on Easter weekend & we had a time getting him into a nursing home because of everyone being off.

Mom is having a time articulating.  She can say several sentences and then get stuck on a word & it's all down hill from there.  (BTW, diagnosis was TIA strokes)  The more upset she gets, the worse it gets.  I don't know what to do about bringing her home.  She has to have speech therapy 3 x's a wk. and I don't know how much to trust her alone.  For that reason I hope she'll not fight me about doing some rehab at a nursing home.  That also means I'll have to put her in on Easter Sun. and I'm supposed to have dinner here for DS#1/family, FIL and his "friend".  Somehow, the friend makes things more uncomfortable instead of relaxed.  Don't know why.  Anyway, poor mom will be in the hospital or home.  The speech problem is  so frusterating for both of us.  Sure wish I had a sibling living here.

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8 Replies
chick06
Senior Contributor

Re: Mom in hospital

I will have you and your Mom in my prayers. I am an only child, so I do everything. Mom and Dad are both going down so fast. Mom is trying to stay strong but my Dad is really taking all the strength from her. He can not be left alone for anytime at all. If it was not for my girls being so devoted to their grandparents, I don't know what I would do. I am going to have to get someone to come and live with them in the future, but right now we take one day at a time. Again sorry to hear about your Mom.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Mom in hospital

Linda, thank goodness you got her admitted and they can start addressing  the clotting condition that is causing the TIAs...I was pretty sure that was what you were dealing with, from your excellent description.  Evidently, the speech center of the brain is what's being deprived of blood supply periodically/transiently (the "T" in TIA is for "transient," which means it comes and goes.)  That will improve with control of her condition. 

The hospital will be trying to get her out the door ASAP, since they get paid only so much for her disagnosis, and the shorter the stay, the better it works our on their balance sheet.   That said, she needs to have the right regimen in place to prevent a major brain accident. 

Ask them to please work with you, given the holiday and how that slows up admissions at rehabs.  She should not be left alone yet...think: she starts a pot boiling and then flakes out again.  Seriously discuss this concern with her doctors and the transition person in charge of her discharge. 

One thing I learned from nursing school is that most every hospital now begins planning discharge at the moment of admission...that is, they are focusing on what has to be accomplished in order to send her back out the door.  Care revolves an enormous amount around that objective.   If her case warrants nursing home/rehab placement, it is part of their duty to find that arrangement, or some options, and present them to you as a family.

Unless she is deemed incapable, which requires court action, the final decision is up to her.  Be careful not to let the hospital staff assume that because you are a work-at-home woman, you have 24/7 to stand and watch over her.  That gives them too easy an out.  Be frank about how many hours a day you must work outside your home, how many other healthcare issues you deal with routinely, hauling folks to appointments, etc. 

I  had to dispell the "she's always home and can manage this alone" notion in the MCV social worker when Mike's elderly uncle needed round-the-clock care.  She heard I was a stay-at-home mom on the same farm, and in her mind, I guess we were all cooped up in one house.  When I laid her out about not leaving a functionally-deaf child asleep and driving a half-mile away in the middle of the night, when Mike was gone to work, to cath the uncle ever six hours, it just did not compute with her. 

I finally just had to say, "I will not risk my young child's life to render care to this man, who is no relation to me."  Then, everyone got busy figuring out how he was going to receive the care he needed, without forcing me to be a neglectiful parent.  If you are too nice, you will get put into that sort of untenable situation.  Please, do NOT be too nice for your own good and your mom's.

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wt510151
Senior Contributor

Re: Mom in hospital

Sorry to hear about your Mom being in the hospital, but they are able to care for her condition so much better than at home. If you can, write down all of medicaitons that are given and at what time when you are present. Also write down if she is given therapy. Mistakes do happen and you don't want to have to pay for their recordkeeping ones. As Kay said, they will get your Mom to sign anything to get her out of the hospital, even if she is under the influence of drugs. Stand tall and don't let them bully you. If you don't understand what your Mom is going through, ask a nurse. They should know and should tell if the doctor is absent.

Can you postpone the holiday meal, given the circumstances? You should not be stretched in so many directions. It just puts unnecessary stress on your body and mind.

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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

Re: Mom in hospital

Had hoped to delay her release until Sun. but the doctor called this morning & said she would be discharged today as they weren't doing anything but observing her.  And because she was in for observation it wouldn't count for the 3 night medicare stay.  Thanks so much.  He didn't really think she should be by herself so we had the option of admitting her to a home or - - .

Yup, I brought her here.  Don't know how long I can handle it but I'm giving it a shot.  Just hate to see her pay out of pocket when she is perfectly normal as far as mobility.  She is still having a time speaking & can't read either.  Speech therapy is ordered 3 x's a week.  Which I'll drive to.  My brother has offered to come home but I'd rather keep that option open for when I really need it.  Feel so bad for her.  It's so frusterating.  Oh, I had DH send his dad/girlfriend to his brothers' for dinner.  DH feels very guilty & I'd be glad to have just him.  But don't want his girlfriend to go back gossiping about mom's issues. 

Isn't it odd that strokes affecting the vocalizing occur in so many people that are chatterboxes? 

I'd really like to sound off about the hospital to someone over there.  Care was good but I feel we were just dumped because it was a weekend & a holiday as well.  Social services wasn't there so not a lot of info on facilities, prices & care.  Here's your papers - good luck!

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Mom in hospital

Welcome the the future of healthcare in America...stabilize them and send them home. 

To be honest, she will need the therapy for speech, since the effects have lasted longer than a minor TIA event, the way I understand them.  It is ironic that a person whose speech was so important to her is now having to cope with a limitation on that power. 

Frustration comes when one "expects more than can be delivered."  Hopefully, the therapist will be able to help her adjust her expectations to her present skill level, and expand them as the therapy helps her regain what she can of her communication skills.  I would be tempted to ask if she could be taught to use sign language...it may employ some different neural centers than the ones controlling speech and reading. 

Good call on the dinner guest list.  You and your mom need time to adjust to her "new normal," without gawking eyes and gossiping mouths. 

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wt510151
Senior Contributor

Re: Mom in hospital

Is the therapy going to be near the hospital? Go there and talk to social services armed with your questions. It is better late than never. Do you know if the doctor even saw her? Observation just doesn't cut it with the type of care she needs to prevent another TIA or stroke.

I hope that your husband isn't too peeved that the holidays cannot be enjoyed with his side of the family. Make the most of the time with each other. We just never know when God calls.

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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

Re: Mom in hospital

Things much better here.  Yesterday she had a really good day; recovering well & not much problem with verbalizing.  Took her to church but a friend told me she didn't look real well.

Left a little early as she didn't want to talk to anyone.  Today she is speaking well but is getting a bad cold.  Wants to go home & I think she could but I'd rather her stay with all the coughing she is doing & concern with her larnyx & stroke.    Tomorrow she is supposed to go to speech therapy if she's up to it.

Doctor's office called today & I figured it was about mom but instead they said my x ray I had done on my neck showed bone loss & (whatever) any way I need an MRI.  Aaargh!  What else! 

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Mom in hospital

Linda, so glad she's improving.  It's a very good sign that her speech is picking up daily. 

If that cough stays with her, do not wait to get her to the doctor...many people - especially the elderly - can pick up illnesses in the hospital.  These hospital-acquired infections are a bigger issue than many in healthcare would like to admit. 

Hope your MRI turns out fine...did  they do a bone density study on you?

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