02 June 2015

Balance has Shifted

Well, that was a roller coaster of not fun.

Kevin's mom remains in the hospital.  There is rumor of her returning home soon but nothing has been confirmed.  We have learned not to trust rumor, until we hear it directly from the nurses and doctors.  We are still working on family members freaking out other family members needlessly.

(while writing this, Kevin said that they're sending her home today. It's 5:30 pm so we will see)

They did surgery to remove what turned out to be a foreign object, like a fish bone.  It wasn't Diverticulitis after all so that was the one good thing.  However, it was a life-risking surgery due to her diminished capacity.  She pulled through, much to everyone's surprise.

Nothing like watching your husband trying not to be an eight year old, heartbroken boy while saying "See you in a bit" when he really means "Goodbye, Mom."  Also, his birthday was the very next day so we all had this niggling thought in the back of our minds how awful that would be.

The current challenge is an old one.  She has been in the hospital long enough that she's beginning to complain.  Yesterday's complaint is that the nurse (who was curt, in the m-i-l's defense) wanted her to walk and the m-i-l told her no because she had a visitor.  In the past, we've found that she begins to complain and misbehave after a long stay.  Misbehave as in not walking when required or doing something alone she knows she needs assistance with. Complain as in that she can't sleep because the bed isn't good, the nurses are suddenly not as nice as before, or the food sucks.  It's a HOSPITAL, we often say.

Usually we end up being the parents in these situations.  I am usually direct and blunt. "If you want to go home, you need to do this. You must not want to go home very badly."  I luckily wasn't present for the "But I have a visitor" situation.  Kevin is a little more diplomatic but even that is waning.

Although this hospital is far away, it is a much better hospital than what's here locally.  It sucks a little because the best option is the furthest away. But it's good that for once, Kevin is the closest to where she is.   They provide good, consistent care and they are really good with Kevin's dad, who can be challenging. (If I hear "Are you in my way?" being said to the nurses while they're trying to work, someone else is going to need hospital care.)

They've also provided good boundaries for when she begins to act up or when there are simply too many visitors. They are exceptional at explaining what is happening, what could happen, and all options possible.  They're the first hospital who routinely lists all her health issues at each shift change and not just the one that has caused her to be there.

So, that has added education to what I've begun calling my Grey's Anatomy medical degree.

I had to stop reading Being Mortal because of the above, which has it's own irony. (and I found it in poor taste as Hospital Reading)  Now I'm finding myself anxious to return to it.  Kevin asked regularly "What is it saying now?" so it's been helpful to him as well.  I'm going to see if he will lend it to my sister-in-law in his diplomatic way.

There has been a slight shift in the power structure, it occurs to me.  Like I said before, we have become the parents in a lot of ways.  However, it's also changed between Kevin and his brother.  Kevin has taken more of a lead in this latest adventure.  He's the secondary contact person at the hospital, he's been making the phone calls, and making more decisions.

I feel a little badly that he's carrying this on his shoulders but more relieved than badly because it's gone so much more smoothly this way.  Let's just say there is less drama, if you will.

I've been taking care of the parents dog, flowers, and house during all of this.  While I need to return to work, I recognize that this is good timing.  Although, the same thing would have happened if I had been working.  While the siblings-in-law do stuff for the parents, the scale is definitely not balanced when it comes to caring for their parents.

Kevin made me cringe, laugh, and feel good all in one statement the other day: "I know you take her shopping and you do a little cooking and that's all great.  But Surely has been taking care of the house, the dog, and everything else."  When the siblings demurred, Kevin took a verbal swing with single statement of "She cleaned sh*t out of the toilet."  OMG, I love that guy.

So, I realize this is meandering and that's because it's how life is right now.  She came home late last evening and couldn't get up out of her chair, even with my f-i-l's assistance.  Kevin had to go over twice to help.  This is our life right now.

1 comment:

Swistle said...

It sounds stressful.

Good for Kevin, speaking up like that.