A few weeks have now passed. Thankfully up and until this point, nothing of consequence happened. Just the normal day to day activities of her rehab. Though the highlight of her day was when I came to play Skip-Bo and chat; it was one of her favorite card games.
So the visit was ending. I gave her a couple hugs and told her I would call her later to say goodnight. An I waved to her as I exited the room and walked down the hall, suddenly feeling a bit apprehensive. I was almost to the exit when rehab nurse called to me. In that oh so special tone that reflected some bad news coming. She said can she speak to me about my grandmother before I leave. Sure I said. But, can we do this somewhere private and not out in the middle of the hall for all to hear. We went into the administrator’s office. And then my heart felt like it was coming into my throat and she hadn’t even said anything yet. She proceeded to tell me how her rehab was going. It wasn’t, since she didn’t always want to go. Though the couple fo times she did. There were incidents. She had burned a few things on the stove, not the least was a spatula that was melted on to the burner. Aside from the incidents, she could not remember simple instructions. She then told me they had a psychologist come and evaluate her and gram had approved. I looked at her sternly and said excuse me. Again, you folks are taking liberties with her care without informing the family (ME) as per instructed. But, I will address that later, please continue. She then told me, because she scored so low on some comprehension test (I do not recall its name off hand), she could no longer stay at Manor care and could never return to her home. My stomach did a flip flop when I heard that. I looked at her with the straightest possible face I could muster. What exactly am I to do? She said that there is a list of homes that she will give me to begin looking into. But, also stated that I had about a week before this must happen.
I was sitting there with my mind racing and thinking what the hell am I going to do. She continued to ramble on and I just stopped listening for a few minutes. Then, I looked up at her, with my eyes a bit moist. And said to her, so who is going to break the news to her. As I do not think I can do it. And without barely a pause, we can tell her, we do this all the time, so not a big deal. My heart I think skipped a beat. An I interrupted her, absolutely not. She deserves more compassion than that. We are about to tell her she can never go home again. That is probably going to be the worst day of her life. And I will break it to her. So for the record, not a living soul here in Manor Care is to mention it to her anything about it, not one bloody word. I will accept no excuse if this is violated. But, for now so I can process. Would you please see she gets something for queasy tummy and pain. I am taking her out for a dessert right now. Oh you can’t do that, it is too late in the day, and she will need her meds. I just looked at her. She will be back after she is done her dessert and you can give her the pills she needs. but, for now, I am taking her to Perkins for dessert. While you prep her, I am going outside for a quick smoke.
I came back in and there she was in her wheelchair ready to go. The rehab nurse said could you sign her out please. I just looked at her. And said we will be back in a bit. I wheeled her out and off we went to Perkins. once we were there is was a bit of a challenge to get her into the wheelchair. Because despite her Fentanyl pain patch, it was not touching her pain as much as it should have been. But, go her into the wheelchair and into Perkins. It was nice to go there as so many just loved her there. One of the regular waitresses was working the other side of the restaurant from where we were being seated; but, said loudly and with a big smile, she will be taking care of us. We ordered and if you notice the picture in this story; that was the dessert she ordered, despite saying to me she not sure she is that hungry. But, she indeed ate every last bite. Oddly, we didn’t talk as much as usual. Just very small talk and ate. Then we finished up and on the way out a bunch of waitresses came up and gave her hugs. After, returning to Manor Care and getting her all settled again into bed. I was a bit surprised that not a single nurse said boo to me. So I guess they finally go it into their heads that I mean to be on top of everything with Gram. But, before I left, I called a Pharmacist friend of mine. I asked what can you tell me about the Fentanyl patch and why it might not be working. Well, I found out that in order for it to work properly, it needs to be on a warm part of the body. And since gram has such circulatory issues and her extremities are usually cool to the touch. That would be why the patch on the arm is working next to never. So after my call, I went back over to the nurses station and informed them that they needed to place it on a warmer part of her body. Well, they can’t do that without a doctor’s order. I said call him or the one on duty, I will wait right here until this is resolved. Wow, how quick sometimes things can get done with the proper approach. So Gram had her patch adjusted and I returned home.
I think I will end there. As the next part will most definitely be a story I will be writing through tears. The telling of the news of her not going home.
Miss You Gram
Lots of Love