Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mother vs Emergency Medical Services

So, mother woke up on Saturday morning and for whatever reason (like she turned both of the air conditioners in her apartment off before she went to bed, got dehydrated and overheated and panicked....I'm just sayin...) her blood pressure went up dangerously high.

She pressed the emergency button and the nurse came to check on her, gave her the morning dose of blood pressure medicine and decided to send her to the hospital for good measure. When the ambulance arrived, mother had already started to feel better and she REFUSED to get in the ambulance.

Now on the one hand, it turned out alright because we would have spent the day in a hospital emergency room for nothing. On the other hand, a person REALLY should get into an ambulance and go to the hospital when a medical professional calls one to come get her.

When I arrived at Green Grove, she was sitting in her recliner getting all sorts of attention, retelling her story over and over. Of course the story was a little different each time she told it because she really couldn't remember what happened. We had a long day sitting around until the house doctor arrived. I looked at magazines and played Scrabble on the iPad (gosh I love that thing) and she talked and talked and talked and talked. One minute she told me how lucky she is to live at Green very blessed. The next she told me how loud the air conditioners are and they are making her ears hurt and how the "old" people around there just like to stay in their rooms and she doesn't have enough people to talk to.

We looped through the funeral plans and whether or not all of her affairs are in order because she is "ready to go." I was patient as I could be but did finally have to get snarky so as to get that particular topic of conversation out of the loop. About the 10th time she asked about her affairs, I assured her that they were in tip top order and that she could go anytime she feels like it. That prompted an indignant, "Well, I'm not planning to go anytime soon!!!" (But she didn't mention it again.)

I have to laugh because she was up and down all day, but when a visitor came in she got all quiet and shrank down a little smaller in the chair, pulling the quilt up a little higher under her chin. When they called to say the doctor was coming down, she said something about the living room being a mess, jumped up, started carrying doodads into the bedroom and at one point while folding a towel, actually reached over and, standing on ONE foot, pushed a partially open drawer closed with the other foot. (The foot on the side of her body she said hurt so bad because of arthritis.) By the time he got to the door she was back in the chair under that quilt.

The doctor's advice..."stop getting so worked up." Go Figure!

Before I left, I laid down the law about the air ended up being 105 yesterday with the heat index. I taped the thermostats down so that she can't move them. Since the noise bothers her then she's to turn on the one in the living room at night and the one in the bedroom during the day. One will cool both rooms just fine. I put notes on both and stickers with arrows pointing to the "off" setting and the "cool" setting. Then I talked to home health services about making sure she kept them on AND I put a note on the door so they would remember to check when they come and go.

Then, I told mother that if she so much as THINKS about not following my instructions that it will not be pretty....if she gets cold she can cover up....but turning the air conditioning off is NOT an option.

So, as I left, she asked, "How much money do I have?"

I wonder if she's thinking of making a break for it?


  1. Your adventures with your Mom are too funny!! I got a chuckle out of your post. I am not too far behind you. My Mom and Dad are 86 and 89. As feisty as your Mom is, she might just be hanging around for a long time. You better be prepared! Love & blessings from NC!

  2. Mom 1, EMT's 0. Why am I not surprised? "Thinking of making a break for it" just cracked me up. I just got a visual of your Mom driving a blue convertible Thelma and Louise style :) Kathy

  3. What a touching and funny story! It reminds me so much of my grandmother!

    Kat :)

  4. Couldn't help but laugh at that story although I'm sure you weren't laughing at the time. Just had an EMT emergency with my dad yesterday...unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it), I'm 1000 miles away and my baby brother is the one who has to deal with it.

  5. What a day huh!?!

    I'm sorry but I just had to laugh. She really is a riot. I can just hear you saying right now "ya, she's a riot alright!"

    Have a great Sunday!

  6. I was in hysterics after that last line!
    She is quite the drama queen now, eh?
    Makes me miss my mother because she was well on her way to being the same.
    Never a dull moment.

  7. Glad your mom is okay... it has been blistering around here! I had to chuckle at your comment that everything was ready for her to go!

  8. Remember all these episodes because they will be precious many years from now when she has gone on...


  9. priceless.

    oh the things children endure! i do agree, these will be precious memories someday. good tales to pass on... some of my grandmother's finest antics were as she grew older...

  10. Please write a book! You would make millions... and I could say "I knew her when"!

  11. Crackin' me up! I SO can relate and know what you're going through. Mammaw still lives at home alone, but isn't far enough along to require full-time care. She does have a "babysitter" during the day and that's working great! I promise I'm not making fun, I just know how it feels to go through what you're going through! My mammaw's teeth have broken off at the gumline within the last year. Now she's telling us that she's 77 and is cutting teeth and can we believe it?! hee hee

  12. However, if the ambulance was going to take her to the Orangeburg hospital, she was smart not to get in....just sayin' ;-)

  13. I know what you are going through doesn't feel funny but when you share your stories on here I have to chuckle because we are going through the same kind of thing with my grandmother.

  14. The way you tell this story, I can just envision your mama...sitting in the chair, with the blanket pulled up to her chin! Bless her heart! She sounds like a handful and I know you love her so much!!! This would definitely be my mama also:)

  15. Your mom is funny and I know that it is hard for you. My aunt has the same thing but still thinks she can live by herself. She can't but she can't remember why:(


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