The Home Health Nurse was here to see Mom this morning. I stepped out of the room to answer the phone while she busied herself with Mom’s vitals and some small talk with Mom. This small talk is designed to see how much clarity Mom has, although Mom doesn’t know she is being tested. When I come back, the nurse says, ‘your mom says she’s going home this weekend. Is that right?’ (sigh) ‘Mom, I don’t think you’re quite ready just yet’. ‘I agree’, the nurse quickly replies. Almost too quickly. Then she tells mom that she is too confused to go home. Mom has enough clarity to be embarrassed by this. My heart goes out to her. It is sad. She replies with her typical response , ‘well, I’m 83 years old! And all my friends are confused too’. This almost makes me giggle.
Halfway through the day, the Physical Therapist arrives. She hasn’t seen Mom in over two weeks due to Mom’s hospitalization. The PT asks mom about the walker. Mom explains that she hasn’t been using it. ‘I’m weaning myself off’. So I listen for the next ten minutes while the PT goes over and over why it’s important for Mom to use the walker. Then she takes Mom into the kitchen to do a few leg exercises. When they are finished, Mom begins to walk back into the room without her walker. The PT reminds her to take it, and as Mom turns away from her and looks my way, she rolls her eyes. (Mom!! Stop it!) Then Mom says, ‘so I’m suppose to use the walker?’ Bless the Physical Therapist’s heart as she spends another 10 minutes going over it again. Mom finally admits she will ‘not go out in public’ with that walker. By this time, I’ve had enough. I step in and say, ‘Mom, the experts at the hospital said to use your walker; I said to use your walker; your PT says to use your walker. Can you just trust us and put your pride away for now? If you fall, I’ll be planning your funeral most likely’. This is the first time I’ve shown any exasperation with her, and I feel badly about it, but her pride is seriously going to be the death of her!
Mom has a justification for everything. I can’t walk because my legs hurt; I can’t do that exercise because I had knee surgery; I hang my head and don’t stand up straight because my head is full from allergies. I AM walking around the circle 3 or 4 times (um, no you are not. Is that a lie? Or do you really believe you are?). Please just accept what they say and let the professionals help you. Stop making excuses! Everyone wants you to get better. The nurse. The PT. Me. We’re all on your side! Stop being so stubborn.
She hasn’t been out of the chair since the PT left. It will be very interesting to see if she grabs that walker. If not, I WILL be reminding her every single time. I hate conflict. I really do. But I think I am going to have to prepare for some battles. And that’s okay because we need to win this war. Mom, we’re all on your side — there are no enemies here.