Monday, 27 May 2013

On the train

Monday, 27 May 2013 17:10
Sticking to Plan A: Riding the Downeaster to Brunswick, then Zipcar to Augusta. It's a nice break from the three-to-four-hour drive from Somerville. We have hotel and transportation plans booked only to cover tomorrow morning's funeral, followed by the gathering that my Aunt Jan would like to hold at a nearby hotel, plus miscellaneous day business in central Maine.

I packed several days' extra clothes, just in case I need to stay longer. Should that happen, Amy will make her way back home alone and I'll proceed to wing it, as I have been much of this month, and as I had hoped I was done with last weekend. I don't know at this time of any sure reason I'll need to do this, but I know very little right now.

It's nearly 5 PM as I sit on the train (which hello just started moving) and I still haven't heard from the hospital since our conversation this morning. And as such I have no logistics to figure out about whether or how we're going to get mom to the funeral, and nothing to pass along to Ricky. I wish I wasn't dependent upon him for this, except that I must pick up dad's urn from the funeral home just as it opens, only 60 minutes before the service starts, and then proceed directly to the cemetery. Peter trashed the car I dollar-sold him a while ago. Ricky's her only ride.

Let me tell you, every new professional meeting mom for the first time is very impressed with how deeply, deeply fucked this all is, especially since their first reaction is to invariably be charmed at this sweet old lady who loves to talk and make friends, even when the sun's down and she's off her rocker. I console myself with the fact that in less than 18 hours dad will be in the ground no matter what and so one variable will have played itself out.

Resolution: Mom's health is more important than her attendance at a ceremony. Furthermore, our hope that attending the funeral would ground her in reality is based on out-of-date information; I have reason to believe that her dementia may have causes wider and more serious than grief for her husband. Therefore, unless I am told otherwise by the medical professionals caring for her, I'm going to assume that she won't be able to attend tomorrow morning.

(no subject)

Monday, 27 May 2013 11:08
Word of the day: Sundowning. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundowning

Had a frank conversation in the light of day with the management at Sunbury. (Last night's incident all went down between 10 PM and 2 AM. Information was… incomplete, at best.) With luck she'll have a proper psychiatric screening and a route to treatment this week. With a lot of luck she'll be able to move back into Sunbury and settle there, with the help of knowledge and medication. I don't know how much more luck is in the bucket right now.

Even though during the day she's more lucid in phone calls than she has been in years, at night she wanders the halls in utter confusion, unaware of where she is or why. She asks where her husband is, and wonders why she brought the cat into a strange vacation home with her. She never recognizes any of the caregivers, managers or neighbors she's been seeing every day for over a week now, though she acts friendly towards all.

Last night she was discovered by another resident sitting in the hallway with her head bloodied, telling a story about chasing her cat around the building. She didn't know where her apartment was, though her door was just yards away and wide open. Her bedroom contained some knocked-over furniture, and more blood. The cat was sitting on the bed (and I'm told it never leaves her apartment anyway).

"I don't think this is going to work out," the manager told me.

They'll let her check back in after the hospital's done with her, and they say they've had other residents with rough starts who managed to settle, with help. But in her current condition, she can't stay. The hospital's set her up with a busy day today of evaluation, so all I can do is wait to hear more. I've asked the home's caregivers to make sure the cat's bowls are full.

I've told the hospital about the complicating factor of tomorrow's funeral (90 minutes away from her current location -- actually closer to two hours, at the speed that Ricky drives), but made it clear that her health comes before ceremony. We will make a separate trip to visit dad's grave later with her, if we have to. It's too late to reschedule the funeral at this point. Frankly I have to wonder if this injury is self-inflicted somehow; she's been insisting for days (when the sun is up) that she doesn't want to go.

They are aware of the complicating factor of my great distance. I have yet to tell them of the complicating factor of Ricky. Or to tell Ricky about any of this, but I have to, lest he try to visit the home and find out that way. I'll call him now.

I'm going to have to tell clients that I'm getting literally zero work done in May, and I really don't know when I'll be able to return. I still hope to go to Austin for a Perl conference next week.

(no subject)

Monday, 27 May 2013 09:02
Mom fell in her apt last night and got two minor cuts on her head; went to hospital. Doctor subsequently alarmed at the level of dementia she showed, and relayed to me that the retirement home manager he spoke with essentially said "She's with you? Awesome. Don't bring her back." So she stayed at the hospital overnight.

Doctor let me speak with her in an attempt to get her to calm down. She wanted to know why I spent so much time helping other people, but when it came to my own mother, I just completely ignored her?

She may or may not be literally homeless now. I'm not calling anyone until I finish drinking this coffee.

Dad's funeral is tomorrow.

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