Thursday, November 16, 2006

@#!#$%^^&!! (the stroke, part 2)

It's been a week since my mom had a stroke. The day after she was wide eyed and bewildered, couldn't talk, sit up, or follow basic commands. As the days passed, ability trickled back, but not in its most useful order.
Strenth came first. She still wanted out of her hospital bed and was soon strong enough to fight anyone who dared to hold her back. She fought dirty, and wasn't above belting me or scratching my throat to show her displeasure. Then there was the stealth approach. She'd close her eyes and act like she was sleeping, but as soon as you looked away she'd be out of her bed and/or tugging at her I.V. and feeding tube. My dad said he'd stepped away for one minute and she yanked everything out.
Her speach returned before her judgement did, but she was capable of negotiations. One night she turned to me and suggested we "go downstairs to the casino and get some drinks." When I told her there wasn't a casino, she suggested a bar. Another time she said the building was on fire and we should get out. I brought some magazines from home to help jog her memory, but she just gathered them up, tucked them under her arms and said "Let's go." The worst incident was when I ignored her request that she "just get up to have a look around" (remember she was a high fall risk and was ordered to stay in bed by the doctors). I said no. She started to get up anyway. I tried to push her back but she was as strong as I was. A nurse jumped in to help and sent me down the hall for backup.
I returned with extra nurses and it took three of them to keep her in place, all while she thrashed in bed, enraged, babling "C'mon just a look around I wanna look around just a look around O.K. etc..?" Another nurse looked at me and said "Is that your mom?" in a gee, you're fucked tone. Yep. That's my mom. Hell, that's probably me in a few decades.
By day six she was calmer and more coherent, but still didn't exactly know what was going on.
Since this started I spent most of the day at her side and we had this conversation 100 times:

Namowal: Do you know where you are?
Namowal's Mom: [looks around, shrugs]
Namowal: We're at the hospital.
Namowa's Mom: The hospital?
Namowal: You had a stroke
Namowal's Mom: [incredulous] a stroke?

It was also on day six that they discharged her from the regular hospital and sent her to a rehab joint. She gets several hours of speech and physical therepy to bring her up to speed. Now way more lucid, she occasionally still lapsed into dreamland. One minute it was a normal conversation, the next minute she was a college student trying smoke a stump of tubing like it was a cigarette. It's unnerving, but each day it gets better.
One more thing. She doesn't surf the internet or use a computer, but if she finds out about this blog, she might get pissed off about the last two entries, perhaps misinterpreting them as having fun at her expense. I hope it's clear that the tone of these posts is more "This Sucks!" than "Ha ha ha". With my luck there's probably internet access at the rehab place and internet access is part of the program and she's probably typing "stroke" into the Blogger search engine and my blog just came up. Whoops.
If this is my last post, be assured that she recovered fully, got wind of my blog, and strangled me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally get the "this sucks" and not the "ha ha" vibe- your meaning is coming through.

and it's good to hear that she's recovering.