Not black and white…

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Well. I spent the last 7 nights in the hospital with mom. Not tonight. It’s not that she’s all the way better. In fact, last night was maybe the most difficult night to date. Mom is not herself, she may be making sense to her, but not to anyone else. And there was some screaming for help – which, as awful as it was, also offered a tiny bit of comic relief. I had not seen that many nurses run to her room to date.

Mom’s doctor and many of the nurses are hopeful. They have taken off all the monitors and removed the catheter which ought to calm her down. She’s eating. She’s tolerating physical therapy. They are altering her meds and the doctor thinks that as her sodium levels get to normal she’ll be back to herself. If they are hopeful, I will be too.

My sister, who has spent time herself in a hospital bed in the last few years, says now is the time to let her be on her own with the professionals, at least overnight. Steve agreed, and I have to say I agree as well. As I did what I could last night I realized that she might honestly do better with caring professionals. So I am sleeping at the house tonight instead of in the hospital recliner and I have to say it is a major relief.

I had time to take a walk this afternoon. Mom and my sister live 1/2 mile from Penn Square (, a really nice shopping mall in OKC. So I walked outside and inside! I spent my $20 birthday money on this wonderful silk scarf that I found on sale.

Mom’s condition is not black or white – it’s not that she’s great or she’s not. It’s more shades of gray. Her back is healing well, her systems are functioning, her mind is likely to return to normal. But right now things are rocky. I’m going to focus on the positive and look to tomorrow to being a better day.

Sent from my iPad

11 thoughts on “Not black and white…

  1. becky, i don’t think it’s that uncommon for elderly people to experience the same after surgery. my mother’s elderly aunt (90s) had to have gallbladder surgery and she too was not herself for a bit, but recovered nicely and went back home to live independently after a short rehab stay.


  2. My mother had a sodium deficiency last year and it wreaked havoc with her body and her mind. Once they got it under control, she returned to the person she had been before. It was so hard to deal with so my thoughts are with you. I hope you get a good night’s sleep tonight knowing she is in good hands and will be well taken care of.


  3. Both my mom and my mother-in-law went through this after their significant illnesses / surgeries. They call it ICU dementia. They are in a room with people milling around night and day, lights on and off at all hours, people initiating conversations at 1, 3 and 5 am, strange things happening, etc. It is like a dream, and (like you!) they feel they haven’t slept for days at a time. A few good nights of normal sleep will do wonders for them (and you). The fact is that you can’t really help what is going on now, and when she gets to the point where you CAN help, you won’t be any good to her if you are dead on your feet. Take a hot bath, watch a TV show and crash.


  4. Its amazing what you can do, when you have to. Later you will think “how did I do that”? I think we are all built that way. Please, please take care of yourself.That’s the best thing you can do for your mother right now.


  5. The post by Mary Ann is right on!My 82 yr mom and 93 yr mominlaw both had surgery this year. Things are crazy until they can come off their meds and better yet sleep in their own bed.Their livers just can’t process the medicine like you or I can which adds to the ICU dementia. At one point my mom was running down the hall at 1am yelling mamosas for everyone! It’s hard – – – but not to worry, it will get better.


  6. My mom had double knee replacement and the drugs made her wacky . My sister,who is a nurse of 20+ years, said the first week was really bad. So hang in there…it will get better. Enjoy okc… My son lives there…fun city.


  7. Wow – I feel your anxiety! My mother was dying (though I didn’t know it) when I lived in Tokyo! I flew to Philadelphia as often as our budget could handle and spent many days sitting with her. I was working on a mindless bit of hand piecing, and she loved the grandmother’s flower garden bits. I had cut many,many hexagons and when she was lucid, she would pick “flower” and center combinations for me to piece. I think of her every time I see that quilt. The piecing kept me sane and her entertained….


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