Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WHAT?

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Here is a link to a Funny post (although sad) from the "Life in the Fast Lane" Blog. Thanks to Dr Rob for twitter linking it. :)

The post is funny, but I do feel for everyone in that situation...especially the urology patient!

I had an experience in the nursing home.....where I was in a similar situation with a woman who is EXTREMELY hard of hearing... although..obviously not a dire one like with the man in the story.

One of my mothers friends also lived at the nursing home.. on the same floor, but opposite wing. They had lived in the same apartment building and shopped together for years. When my mother saw her moving in...she immediately began to help this woman unload her things and assisted her with bringing them up to her apartment. So that is how they became friends.

After awhile, Mom's friend began to fall and because of the frequency and her inability to get up, etc., it became necessary for her to go to the nursing home.

* A little side note. I am always find it interesting how we are all connected in some way... or will be in the future. Not that it means anything... but it's interesting. For years... I worked with this elderly woman's sister-in-law at the hospital. Her s-i-l trained me and I had the privilege of working with this nice woman for quite a few years before she retired. Who would've thought... that years later my mother would become friends with her s-i-l or that I would be wheeling Mom over to see her friend in the nursing home and also see my co-worker again..while we were both visiting them? Funny how things come full circle like that in ways we can't imagine.

Those connections always intrigue me.

So anyway... I would periodically wheel Mom over to see her friend. Her friend was always happy to see her... but sadly..Mom wasn't herself and sometimes came out with inappropriate responses to her friend's comments or was unresponsive and I'd have to prod her.

I still don't know if her altered mental status was because of mini strokes, depression or Alzheimers. And sometimes Mom connected with her... but ever so briefly.

Although... I have to say that the last time I brought her to visit her friend... Mom was responsive, appropriately connecting and making eye contact with her friend. Her friend even commented on how good she looked and I agreed. I was actually very optimistic that day that things were finally going to turn around with Mom's mental status which in turn my enable her to do more for herself. It was a good day. It was a good visit with her friend.

But that wasn't to be because Mom died 10 days later.

I am digressing.

The connection of this post to the post I linked to, is that this friend was so hard of hearing... you had to SHOUT. I still wasn't always sure she heard everything and thought she was just pretending to understand sometimes. And I had written on a pad a couple of times, but usually just tried to shout it out.

I was concerned with one of the early encounters mom and this woman had because of how mom was and wasn't responding to her and I didn't know if she realized Mom had an altered mental status which caused her to behave as she was and I didn't want the woman to feel hurt and think she had done something wrong.

So the next time I went back for a visit... I went to see Mom's friend first. I can very much relate to how the doctor shouting in the post felt...and it is VERY awkward feeling. Of course his topic would be mortifying to shout out(you do what you have to do), but never the less... it was embarrassing and uncomfortable to shout out Mom's medical status to this woman and reassure her how much Mom valued her friendship.

"WHAT? WHAT HAPPENED? I CAN'T HEAR YOU. OHHHH ... I SEE..."

It was probably a 5 minute very loud conversation that felt like an eternity.

I can relate to the frustration at having to yell all your words. This woman's room was at the far end of the hall. When I left... you could hear a pin drop...like in one of those old E.F. Hutton commercials. I felt like staff was staring at me as I walked down the hall...well they were. Of course they understood. The residents seemed oblivious. And I am pretty sure they heard me at the nurses station down at the end of the second wing... as well as through the floors and upstairs. Well the contrasting silence caused me to think that anyway.

It was one thing to loudly speak an intermittent sentence or two... but entirely another when you have to speak in paragraphs.

I haven't been back to see this woman since Mom died and she probably knows...but I feel I should go see her and talk with her myself. Maybe the heartspeak between the two of us will speak more loudly than the need for many spoken words.

Today is Mom's birthday and so I find myself thinking about her a lot more these last couple of days. She would have been 86. I know she lived a good long life and is not suffering now.

I miss her.

Happy Birthday mom!

4 comments:

rlbates said...

Lovely post, SeaSpray. So is the answering machine one. I'd probably be taken in by it too. :)

SeaSpray said...

Thanks Ramona. :)

Oh..I would've too. :)

precordialthump said...

Hi there,

Just letting you know that the Life in the Fast Lane blog has moved, so the new link for the 'awaiting the chop' post is:
http://lifeinthefastlane.com/2009/06/awaiting-the-chop/

Cheers,
Chris

SeaSpray said...

Hi Precordialthump - thanks for letting me know and I corrected the links. Also blogrolled you. I look forward to more of your comments in Dr S' blog. :)