Saturday, July 14, 2007

i don't really have time to be back....but i feel compelled to here it is....

it's been an emotionally topsy turvy week for me.
my mother had fallen and from initially worrying about brain bleeding, to broken hips it turned out to be luckily nothing worse then some finger fractures......painful, but easier to deal with than hip fractures or head injuries.
.......if the patient would leave on the splint.

over the past few days my mother has been acting kind of loopy. now, anybody will tell you that loopiness is part of being who my mother and i are, but i'm talking a different kind of loopiness. it was the kind of unreasonable loopiness that will make you tear off the splint several times a day with a mischievous defiant gleam in the eye. the kind of loopiness that keeps you wanting to do unnecessary activities that could cause you to fall.......and she did fall again yesterday. the kind of defiant loopiness that would push away the furniture that you put in front of the stairs because she kept climbing the stairs without asking for help. it was the kind of loopiness that had her seeing people at the end of her bed during the night (although she has at times seen folkses before......and wait....she wasn't on pain pills that night...). it was the kind loopiness that caused me much stress, drove me nuts and made me loose my temper when she would unwrap herself for the umpteenth time last night................despite the fact that i had duc taped her bindings around her splint(apparently not all fractures warrant a permanent hard cast. and i had called the orthopedic office and they laughed and said duc tape would be okay) it was the kind of loopiness that caused me sleepless nights, exhausted days because i couldn't even leave for 30 minutes without something happening. it was the kind of loopiness that caused tension between me and my spouse who is still travelling a whole bunch. it was the kind of loopiness that even caused my children stress. i'm talking enough battiness here that my oldest and i looked at each other and asked each other...... what happened? how can a fall change her so completely. she was not like this just 10 days ago.

yes, she has some dementia. when she speaks she can't remember certain words that she wants to use. sometimes certain decisions are unreasonable. she might ask the same question over and over. she does not balance very well anymore. sometimes she laughs for no reason, but mostly because she finds her frailties ridiculous........but she wasn't this loopy.

well......finally today i realized what was wrong.
but, first let me backtrack. a fall can cause pain. her head hurt for several days, internally as well as externallly (she has no concussion). her hips hurt enough to where she couldn't put weight on them or move her legs.....and, of course, hand fractures hurt. she was in enough pain to warrant a prescription with a narcotic that also causes drowsiness. she was to receive 1/2 a tablet every 6 hours as needed. 3 or 4 nights ago i gave her her first 1/2 tablet at bedtime. she slept soundly woke up well rested and with no pain. she had no pain the whole day. I only gave her another 1/2 tablet the following night and the following night another 1/2 tablet.....1 1/2 pain pills over 3 nights. last night she felt she didn't need the pain pill anymore and i didn't give her one.

and today she is completely different. she is her normal self who for the most part acts pretty reasonable. not once has she pulled off her bindings. i am so relieved. yes, she is still fairly active, but in a way that is normal for her. i am not stressing out about it.....that much. my children are calmer. they have their normal grandmother back. my husband and i had a looooooong talk this morning. he reeled in his stressed out, exhausted wife and soothed a hurting foam.......mind and body. who knew that 1/2 a pill taken every 24 hours could cause such loopiness in a person? .....could cause me so much stress? could cause a family to go through stress?


ps: i should have known better. i've had 2 c-sections and, of course, narcotics were prescribed for pain. well, they don't make me feel loopy. some pain pill prescriptions are okay. they knock out the pain and enable me to rest. some, however, make me feel paranoid. i remember after my last child was born laying in the hospital bed at night......WIIIIIIIIIDE AWAKE.......staring intently at the door and thinking: "anybody comes through that door....i'm gonna hurt them". Yeah, as if a recently stitched up c-section patient is gonna get out of the bed and knock somebody upside the head......but that's the mood i was in. they gave me a different prescription to take at home....reluctantly i took it (recovering from stomach surgery is extremely painful)
only to wake up from a dream in which i was strangling a person who was trying kill me. i woke up finding my hand fisted in front of face.
the next day i just took an extra strenth tylenol.


SJ said...

Awww you are such a good caregiver.

Medication can have unforeseen effects esp on older people.

Hmmm remind me to never walk into your room when you are under medication... good that we have a ocean or two between us :D

foam said...

well, this week was a test of my caregiving abilities. a few years ago i cared for her when she had 3 broken ribs, multiple arm fractures...
and it wasn't as hard as it was this week.

if you actually did walk into a room i was in i'd probably just end up giving you a hug :)
i'd save the knocking upside the head for later..:D

SJ said...

based on recent comments I walking into your room might mean something else now...

foam said...

oh, maaaaaaaaaan, i knew better than to post that comment on your other site..
and this one..
i knew better, i knew better.. tsk..:)

okay, let me reverse the above.
should you enter any room i should be in, i'll just go right ahead and knock you upside the head. oh and forget about that friendly comradely type hug ...
i'll just pat you on the head instead and serve you hot chocolate instead of that bloody mary. :)
i'll save that for other folkses ... and the hug too.

SJ said...

The effect I have on women...

foam said...

yes, it's rather devastating...:)

SJ said...

Thats coz I am devastatingly charming.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I am glad to see that you are back and so sorry to hear about your Mother.

My Mom had a really bad reaction to pain pills after she had an operation. She was convinced that her Sisters had trapped her in a basement and were planning on putting her in a nursing home.

She did a lot of other weird things, we all laugh about it now but it was scary as hell at the time.

foam said...

if you think so.....................
remember, i get to have the last word since i'm older and all that.....

foam said...

hey, whimsy!
i guess i might be back. one thing that blogging can do is provide a bit of stress relieve. especially since much time is spent at home presently.

sounds like those pain pills made your mom paranoid too. i can't imagine why folks would want to take them for recreational purposes.

and the above comment was meant for sj, of course.

SJ said...

what last word?

foam said...

poor baby,
(he's touched in the head) last word..

SJ said...

You mean a last word like THIS.

foam said...

NO! no, no....
not like that but like THIS....

and i need to get ready to take my mother to the orthodontist's..

foam said...

isn't it about time you changed your shirt? you've been wearing that red one an awful long time.

Mayden' s Voyage said...

Hey friend...
I ended up at a wedding reception on Saturday night- and I thought of you so many times.

In an apparent miracle last Wed I got a call from the school system telling me that my son had been chosen in the lottery and was accepted to Durham School of the Arts! Which is a traditional schedule, not year round.
So...that left my darling girl going to the year round middle school on her own- except that she is #1 on a wait list for a charter school we applied to last fall!
The long story short is that she has a great chance to get into the charter school- or I will homeschool her this year!
No school today! Yeahhhh! :)
I am SO happy...utterly, joyfully, upside down happy!
We have 6 more weeks to play.

I'm glad things with your mom are turning around- I know there will be ups and downs along the way- but I admire you and the way you care for her-
Well done- and thank goodness for husbands who know how to reel us in :) (and spool out the love when we need it most! ;)

SJ said...

See I told you... The Effect... now someone wants me to take my shirt off .

How did the orthod't visit go?

kate said...

My Mom had a huge reaction when some of her drugs interacted. She thought she was being kidnapped and that the hospital was being taken over by terrorists. She REALLY believed it. The docs thought the cancer had gone to her head, but once some of the meds were stopped, she returned to herself!

I am so sorry you guys have to go through this! I remember to keep 'feeling' and dont bottle up your emotions. Actually the stress is probably a really good indication that you all are really processing this difficult emotional time 'normally'!

It was good to read your post today Foam! =] My spouse is traveling too... its tough to hold it alllll together!

foam said...


wouldn't it have been funny if it was the same wedding i had planed on attending.

i'm so very happy that the school situation has resolved itself in your favor. i'd be homeschooling too if i had a child who might be on a different schedule then my other child.
last year, i went back to work on the 3rd of august and my children went to school on the 8th. luckily this year we will be going back later....

i don't know who that someone would be..
i just want you to wear a fresh garment. :)

did i say orthodontist? i took my mom to the orthopedic office this norming. my children go to an orthodontist. my mother had a permanent cast put on because despite being off that narcotic pain pill she still kept picking at the duc tape i wrapped around the original half cast. but it went very well at that office. the folks there are really wonderful with senior patients.

thanks for telling me the stress is normal. and, you know, it's not really the fracture that's stressful (although initially worrying about hip fractures, brain bleeds), but my mother's dementia that is causing me stress. last week i was going to make appointments to talk to her doctor about this issue. i will do that this week i guess.

i know you had a hard time with your mother and your brother....

Jay said...

Sweetie, you need some big hugs.
Being the caregiver like that is extremely demanding and puts a lot of pressure on you, and by extension your family. You get so run down just taking care and worrying about someone else that you forget to do the same for yourself. I'm glad that things have returned to normal for you - I hope you get rest and peace.

Wizened Wizard said...

Parenting can be so hard sometimes. It takes strength and humor - which I know you have - but it's especially hard when there is nothing you can really do (like immediately mend a fracture).

I hope things improve and that your mom is soon out of pain and back to what passes for loopy normalcy.

Nice to know you're around, even if you aren't really "back". And thanks for your bit of commented wisdom on my last post. How foolish of me to not consider my piece controversial.

X. Dell said...

This is good to know. Apparently there was a side effect to the pain killer that affected your mother's neurology. I'm hoping that she doesn't experience too much pain though.

Still, I can sympathize with the stress that you're undergoing now. My best wishes to you.

SJ said...

Glad to hear that it went well.

See you can't tell mondays from tuesdays, orthodontists from ortho pedicians or is ti you can't tell your kids from your mom - your dingbattiness could have caused you to say "change shirt" instead of what you actually meant "rip that shirt off". Or you might just be being coy.
Or you could be ingesting some of your mom's medications on the sly.

foam said...

i'm not the one on meds.
however, what with all your surgeries (which i always hope the best for, of course) you must have been on some interesting meds...
so, suffering from lingering side effects?,
thanks for the best wishes. now if my momma would just quit calling me momma at times....
she seems to think it's funny. i don't.

wizened wizard,
sometimes i wonder about the humor part.

you're a sweat pea.
you know that?

X. Dell said...

Methinks your mother and I share a similar sense of humor.

Anonymous said..., my friend....
don't you ever DARE call me momma.
punishment would be severe...

Infinitesimal said...

hi foamy.

you are a kind daughter, and we all love you.

Infinitesimal said...


i think that when a mother calls her daughter Momma, it is just referring to the day in her mind, when she held you in her arms as a newborn, and thought of the entire future of your life... thinking so far ahead to the day when you would be helping her... to eat and walk.

That may be why she thinks it is funny, that she thinks back to this day when you were so small, and now all the time has past and her thought that you would care for her has come into being a reality.

It may be amusing to you in a way, when you are her age...

I don't think it is dementia, but I don't know the situation, I just was giving you my idea on the topic.

foam said...

hey, infi..
yuo are probably right that her calling me momma is not dementia. she really is just poking fun at her frailities (she does have some's a fact). but, she really knows how to push my buttons with this one. but, man...i just can't help myself that it drives me nuts. probably because i really hate seeing my resourceful, strong, intelligent mother become weaker over time.

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