Monday, May 23, 2011

More Grandma Drama

Sorry it's been a while since I posted.  Friday afternoon, grandma had me pick up some cranberry juice for her, saying she had a bladder infection.  She gets them frequently, and has a standing prescription for Macrobid from her doc (which she had filled and kept on hand after the last infection), so I didn't think much of it.

Saturday morning at 6:30 am she calls me extremely disoriented.  She thinks it's daytime, that we've gone somewhere recently (we haven't) and describes our imaginary trip in detail.  I ask her to go to bed after taking her temp (99.6) and taking a Macrobid.  Two hours later, she calls again and has now completely lost all her marbles.  She tells me she's been throwing up, and can't get up off the floor.  So, I called 911, dressed in about 11.6 seconds, and raced to her house.  When I got there, she seemed fairly lucid, except she thought it was 1940 something and I was some neighbor she used to have.  She doesn't remember either phone call with me, being on the floor, how her lip is now swollen and bruised, or having a bladder infection.

*Just a side note here - why the hell do the cute EMT guys come when I look like I just rolled out of bed?  One of her EMTs was adorable!  I still had sleep in my eyes, hair thrown up in a haphazard bun, wrinkled hoodie and yoga pants, and not a stitch of makeup.  I was mortified!*

The EMTs, bless them, packed her up and had her out in just a few minutes - even though she was resistant and insisting on driving herself (yeah.....I don't think so).  As I was waiting for the ambulance to pull out, I laid my head on the steering wheel of my car and had a good cry.  The female EMT must have seen me, she came over and had a quick chat with me, trying to make me feel better.  I explained to her that I wasn't scared or overly upset, just frustrated with the changes grandma is going through.  She was wonderful, and I really appreciate that she took the time to pat me on the back and give me some reassuring words.

When we got to the hospital, it was fairly quiet, so grandma got a bed right away and IVs started.  She received 2 bags of fluid right away (extremely dehydrated), and they ran all sorts of tests - blood, urine, head scan (due to the potential fall and disorientation), scan of her lungs (to rule out pneumonia) and a few others that I can't remember.  Honestly, they didn't find anything but the remnants of her bladder infection.  She's pretty darn healthy for almost 89.

She did NOT want to be released because she was still confused, but without anything really wrong with her, they sent her home.  I wouldn't allow her to be on her own, so she came to my house and stayed with me.  From the moment she got home (around 4-5 pm), she slept.  When she woke Sunday at 11-ish, she started insisting on going home.  So, once we fed her breakfast and I oversaw her medications, we took her home.  We talked this morning, and she seems to be her old self again, thankfully.

It is astonishing to me how something as simple as a bladder infection can cause terrible disorientation in seniors.  This article describes how easy it is for a senior to go from completely normal to confused and disorientated in a snap when it comes to infections.

I'm so angry with my family for putting her care on my shoulders.  Don't get me wrong, I will always be here for her and would do anything to keep her on this earth, but I'm 37.  I have my own health problems and a child to raise.  They will call after she's been sick or in the hospital and then get mad at me for not caring for her properly.  Not a single one of them has offered to help me.  As far as I am concerned, every single one of them can go to hell if they don't like how I care for her - I'm doing the best I can with what I have to work with.  I love her so much - all they care about is her estate.

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