Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Mama ER: Arkansas traveler

Unless something significant develops, Mama ER will be loaded up in an ambulance Monday and taken 200 miles east of here to a long-term acute-care hopsittle in Fort Smith, Ark.

Imagine my surprise when my immediate emotional reaction to the news was sadness.

I got used to havin' my mama so close, even though it has been so hard sometimes.

She is just a little bit better, but even a little bit is a lot, considering.

The nurse said Mama was trying to mouth words this morning. I told the nurse she was probably trying to say "Leave ... me ... the ... hell ... alone." I mean, you know, since the nurses never come by to just say hi -- they're always poking her or prodding her or flipping her or hooking up somethign or unhooking something. Or something. The nurse was not very amused. :-)

I saw Mama for just a few minutes; I spent most of the time I had there talking with doctors and a case manager. By noon, she was whupped and put back in bed.

Going back now for just a bit, in case she's awake.

I know why I'm sad. ... But why am I sad??


You're sad because you can at least be with her right now. Look at her. Watch her breathe. See her twitching in her sleep.

By this time next week, you'll hafta depend on others to share those observations with you. You'll hafta trust somebody else. Reporter's instinct says, "Verify with my own eyes."

It's okay to be sad. Really, it is.

Hey, Tracy, mama ER is fixing to be in yer neighborhood!

Between working late and icy streets, and this being the last time I will see Dr. ER until weekend after next, I came on home. I called and Mama ER was up in the chair but conked out. They're working her hard now. Gonna have a speech therapist tomorrow and until she leaves, for the first time since they put in the trach.
You're sad because this is another change and it's out of your control. Even with the talk you had with the docs and case manager, you can't know for sure what is happening. I was the same way -- sad, and even mad -- when the hospital kicked my mom out. I knew she wasn't ready; worse yet, the first time they tried to get her to leave they wanted ME to drive her home,100 miles away, in my car! They had just brought her here by ambulance and they thought I should just pack her up and drive her back!

That, of course, didn't happen. We spent some more time in the Skilled Nursing Unit and then she transferred to the SNU at a nursing home near my house. It was a transition that really mixed me up bad.

One day, one little step at a time. I'm sure Mama E.R. will feel better being closer to home which I would expect would help her rally.

We lifted y'all up in prayer at church on Sunday, so there were a few hundred extra petitions going up for you.

They are not kicking her out, though. In fact, the main doc would keep her here longer -- but the other docs on the team say they've done all they can for her here, and I think that it will do her good to be closer to home, where Big Brudder can be there for her more than I can now. I'm used up.

It's interesting that so many people assume this place wants her out for the sake of wanting her out. Some are starting to add up the losses the place is taking; but her main doc is not, and he is a partner.

The decision to move her was mine and his.
Take care.

I remember when my grandma was dying, I lay with my head on her bed for about half an hour before she told me to go away, she wanted to be alone. It sounds weird, but that really cheered me up. Feisty is good. It means having life in you yet.
Sorry, I didn't really mean "kick her out" as in "get out." I meant it as "it's time for you to make that next step on your way back home." I wasn't ready for that -- I kept thinking she wasn't ready to graduate, so to speak.
Well, I'm not positive she's ready to graduate. I do think it's just dang near time for her to head east. Lateral plus a little.

B! Missed you! Come back more often!
Why sad.
All that effort and it is still unresolved.
That's sad.
That may have something to do with it.
Everyone has a story.
My father, start to finish, took five years to pass away.
All under horrific conditions.
I wore out two cars, three kids, and almost one marriage trying to take care of him while having one of the damndist times at work ever.
Being Sad is OK. It is normal.
Just don't let it go farther than that. Take care of yourself bro.
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