Flight Back Home

Friday, July 15th

Last Saturday, the day after we returned from Oregon, my mother was psychiatrically hospitalized for the third time since her stroke last November. Yesterday morning, I met with the treatment team at her psychiatric hospital. They do not think she needs long-term psychiatric placement. They believe her memory care community is the best placement for her and that she’ll just likely need regular “tune-ups,” returning to the psychiatric hospital when she refuses to take medication and her mental health deteriorates.

Luckily my parents’ house sold, with escrow closing yesterday. This morning I met with a financial planner to invest the proceeds from the sale on behalf of my parents and schedule regular withdrawals to pay for their care. Long-term memory memory care is expensive.

OR Trip
Oregon was beautiful and offered a relaxing break.

Flight Back from PDX to SNA – July 8, 2016

Before returning our rental car at PDX, we stopped for gas. While making a pit-stop, I received a call from my mother’s memory care community which I let go to voicemail. Inopportune time to take the call, as my purse hung on the restroom door handle out of my reach, and I didn’t want to dribble, squat and waddle over to answer my phone. Instead, I’m sharing the impolite (and perhaps amusing) imagery that came to my mind as the phone rang (to temper the vulgarity of the scene, my ring tone is Take Five by Dave Brubeck – yes, I love jazz).

The voicemail confirmed that once again my mother refused to take her medication and threatened violence against the nursing staff at her memory care facility. Once again, time for psychiatric hospitalization. This is getting old. Really old.

I fear my mom may need long-term psychiatric placement. Locked psychiatric care 24/7. Do not know what is available. Time to reach out for help. Time to research geriatric psychiatric residential placement for mom. Fuck.

That’s all I have to say on the matter. I do feel myself coming to tears. I fear, too, ending up like mom. Crap.

Shit.


Now I’m just spent. I did have a good time this week in Oregon. It was a nice break from my life, from my responsibilities, from the mess and clutter that is our house, from the mess and clutter that is my life.

We went to the wedding of one of our many nieces last night. They wed under Cathedral Bridge (St. John’s Bridge). The bridge is built with stunning Gothic arches and a backdrop of trees along the river. Then we had an incredible dinner at Plaza Del Toro. Very upscale and gourmet. So delicious. Loved it. Wish we had that kind of food in our neighborhood.

I look forward to getting away again and again and again. I need these breaks, these respites.

 

Time for Geriatric Psychiatric Hospitalization

ems-gurney

Tuesday I took my mother from her stroke rehab to the hospital for a swallow test. When we returned to her stroke rehab afterwards, she refused to get out of my car. She went so far as to throw my car into park when I was driving toward the entrance. I warned her that her behavior was dangerous and that if she continued she might end up psychiatrically hospitalized.

To get my mom out of my car, the stroke rehab facility had up to ten different staff members try to cajole her out of the car and back to her room. Two Orange County sheriffs were called to see if she would listen to them (not really their job).

Finally the paramedics came. A handsome young paramedic took my mother’s vitals and monitored her heart rate. She refused a wheelchair and pointed to their gurney. After a three hour standoff, the paramedics wheeled her back into the rehab facility on a gurney.

On Wednesday, my mother’s rehab doctor called and informed me that she refused food, drink, medication and all stroke rehab treatment (speech, occupational and physical therapy). He recommended a psychiatric evaluation and checked for a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can result in confusion, a delirium-like state, agitation, hallucinations and behavioral changes.

After her psychiatric evaluation, she was transferred to a small inpatient psychiatric facility with expertise in working with geriatric patients. Maybe my mother will finally get the help that she needs. Unfortunately, psychiatric hospitalization relies heavily on group therapy, a format which she cannot benefit from for she cannot talk due to her stroke.