Tomorrow is the day I break through any denial that my mother needed help. Yet, I still feel somewhat guilty and know better on a professional and concrete level – she has had at least 4 small strokes! This one just hit her harder and has impaired her ability to speak clearly and remember what happened recently – but, not her long-term memory, ambulation or her ability to self-care. Yes, she will need some stay-by assistance in the shower and her medications managed.
When I saw the admission papers, filled out by a doctor who doesn’t know her and probably spent less that an hour total with her over a 10 day period, say that she was “non-ambulatory because of her cognitive status”, I really thought I was going to lose it. Because if this was a “fact”, it would mean that cute little apartment on the second floor, that I spent three hours setting up phones, cable and renters insurance, would not work – and move-in is tomorrow! Yikes – it makes one want to run to the airport for the next flight to an exotic country!
Once I settled in and the delightful retirement counselor at the assisted living said that another doctor most likely would say she was ambulatory. I didn’t quite rest until I talked with another wonderful person, the discharge planner/case manager on the rehab unit who said, “Of course your mother is ambulatory and she is doing very well.” Then I breathed a sigh of relief – but it is truly a “three ring circus” trying to make sound decisions for someone you love in the midst of grieving the loss of the person who was and is no longer.
The discharge planner said she would have a word with the doctor that said she was not ambulatory. I don’t think that physicians understand what this means in terms of choices for families or maybe they just don’t know their patients very well – as the relationship is only short-term before they write these orders.
Now the questions flow through my mind– will she adjust? Will she resist staying? Will she like her apartment and the furniture we chose? Will she continue to love me?