Not Giving Up

Well, obviously I’ve missed by five-day a week PostADay goal these last two weeks, but I’m not giving up. It may be a bit messy in the weeks coming up as well, but eventually I think I’ll get back to regular posting. I’m going to try to do short things this week, as I will continue to be busy caring for my mother, just not as busy as last week. 

As it turned out, she wasn’t released on Tuesday the eleventh, but Wednesday. That was the same day my sister returned, so we had someone to stay with Mother at home that night and every night since. We’ve also got a cadre of home health nurses and physical and occupational therapists coming by. When we had the opportunity to have that back when she had the rod put into her leg, it sounded unnecessary, but I’m finding that I’m really valuing their assistance this time.

The biggest concern we were having since she came home is how much she has slept and how weak she’s been. She gets tired so easily, falls asleep sitting at the table and then would fall out of the chair if someone wasn’t there to catch her. Today we learned that when you lie around and do nothing, you lose whatever strength and conditioning you had at a ratio of about 1 to 3. So for every nothing day, you have to spend 3 days working your way back to square one. This ratio is even worse for someone who is elderly and had medical problems — something like 6 -12 days of recovery work for every day of downtime.  My mother has just spent two consecutive weekends, both four-day stays, in the hospital, doing nothing beyond getting up to go to the bathroom. And in the second stay, she didn’t even do that because they put in a catheter, fearing she might fall if she tried to get up.

The PT’s are working slowly to help her regain her strength and endurance, as well as balance and ability to do everyday things. They also help with the neuropathy the chemotherapy has produced in her legs and hands. And they told us we should not let her sleep for hours, but wake her up after short naps to do something active, however little that might be.

We are also noticing a shifting of mental ability — at times she’s totally clear and sharp. Other times, not so much. But today I think there was more sharpness than I’ve seen before. And it is likely that as the swelling of the brain from the blood-pressure spike decreases, and her fatigue lessens much of her confusion will ease. At least that is what we are hoping (and in my case, praying for).

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