Reality of taking care of 91-year-old mom with own health challenges really hits home

Darlene Vann / Headline Surfer®By DARLENE VANN
Musings
Headline Surfer

EDGEWATER, Fla. -- Some of you may have noticed that I have been absent of late.

I am sorry if I disappointed you by not writing, but let me tell you why. In late June, my mom fell and ended up in the hospital. Nothing was broken but she was very confused. After three days and still no diagnosis for why she was this way she was sent to Port Orange Rehab for therapy to get her strength back.

Oddly, the same day she had this fall she had driven to the lab and had blood work drawn and also went to the bank. She is 91 years old, but up until the fall she was totally independent. We are all confused as to what took her mind and her strength in a flash. She spent three weeks in rehab and I was back and forth as often as I could manage. I washed her clothes and the rehab people lost them any way. I had to buy her a completely new set of underwear since none of them ended up in my wash and were never seen again as were some of her practically new clothes: Just disappeared.

Oddly, the same day she had this fall she had driven to the lab and had blood work drawn and also went to the bank. She is 91 years old, but up until the fall she was totally independent. We are all confused as to what took her mind and her strength in a flash. She spent three weeks in rehab and I was back and forth as often as I could manage.

I washed her clothes and the rehab people lost them any way. I had to buy her a completely new set of underwear since none of them ended up in my wash and were never seen again as were some of her practically new clothes: Just disappeared.

And Just before this happened I had somehow acquired an inflamed achilles tendon and was in extreme pain walking. Parking at the rehab is awful and I had a devil of a time getting to the building, then walking down three halls to mom’s room. I wasn’t supposed to be walking, but had no choice.

At the end of three weeks she came home to my house on Hospice because she still had very little strength and was not eating. I have hired people to be here overnights so I can sleep, but I am the only person at home with mom during the daytime hours.

I started out using a walker but that had to turn to a cane due to not being able to carry things to her like food and drinks. A couple of weeks ago I managed to injure that leg again. I am scheduled for an MRI in a couple of days,  which I am pretty sure will lead to outpatient surgery. How I am going to manage this is beyond me but I need to get whatever is wrong with this leg fixed. My other leg has a bone on bone knee that is protesting loudly because I am depending on it too much.

All this has been a nightmare for me. Seeing my mom struggle to get up to use a bedside commode, trying to help when I can barely stand myself, is very hard. She has eaten very little since she has been home and is weaker every day. Next step will be diapers, which I know she will hate. She is aware of her surroundings and what is happening to her so that will be another blow to her and I can’t figure a way to avoid it. It tears at my heart for her to be so dependent like this for her every need.

I so wish I could fix it somehow -- to make it better for her, but I can’t. I have to give props to all caregivers, be they relatives or professionals. This is a big job and for extended family members, relatives an emotional one as well. It is very hard to concentrate on anything else, but I also have to take over paying her bills and trying to keep up with my own, on fixed incomes.

Needless to say the last thing on my mind has been writing for Headline Surfer much to Henry Frederick's dismay. I am in contact with him and he is so very understanding and I thank him from the bottom of my my heart for that. You can see why there no columns from me for quite a while a while.Hopefully, my regular followers will understand -- that this will be hit or miss for the time being. 

I thank all my readers for their understanding and patience with me. I will write when I can get a stolen few minutes here or there until I can return to writing two to three times a month again.

Editor's Note: Darlene Vann has been with the internet news outlet since its April 7, 2008, launch as NSBNews.net before the brand change to Headline Surfer® in 2012,when the sought-after registered trademark became a reality.

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2017-04-09 05:56:09 -0700
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Short Bio

Musings By Darlene Vann
Darlene Vann is a resident of Edgewater and has been with the 24/7 Internet newspaper from the onset. She likes to write about the lighter side of life, but sometimes feels compelled to tackle some of the tougher issues. The blog, "Musings" (and its contents), is the sole copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, and cannot be reproduced, copied or published in whole or in part elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the publisher. NSBNews.net, VolusiaNews.net and HeadlineSurfer.com are owned by NSB News LLC. All three domains fall under the umbrella of Headline Surfer, a registered trademark.