After feeling like shit on Friday, I drove down to see my mom and spend Friday night and Saturday with her. The drive is a whole other fun story that almost involved me getting to witness and hopefully avoid becoming part of a head-on crash between two other cars. (That fucker was a lucky bastard is all I will say.) But I made it down to see her just in time for dinner.
My dad met me at the car, gave me a hug, and said “you have no idea how happy this makes your mother that you are here.” Going inside, I can see why. She looked like hell. She didn’t get up from the chair – you could see she was exhausted and uncomfortable. I went over and gave her a huge hug and told her to put on some weight. “I only lost 30 lbs” was her response. My dad’s response was “speaking of which, you are now eating supper.”
She barely ate dinner. And told my dad if he made her drink any more Gatorade she was going to get sick. My dad fretted around her. Filling water glasses with crushed ice and water not from the fridge but from the tap. Making her eat a banana later. Making her go to bed when it was clear she needed to go.
And as we talked, I assessed what needed to be done. Get mom to eat more. Clean up after my dad. Keep mom entertained.
I was a bit worried this morning (Saturday) when she got up. She was feeling nauseous. She was not eating or drinking. If she vomited once, she explained, she had to go back to the hospital as it could set off the whole dehydration thing again. Some anti-nausea medication and some food helped her feel better. I felt like a pusher. I knew food would help. So I kept pushing her until she finally ate.
We ran a couple errands after breakfast and came back for lunch. She had been talking about chicken salad sandwiches the night before, so I offered to make one for her. Dad had gotten some roasted chickens from a deli counter the night before, so there was plenty of chicken for things.
I should mention that my mom’s greatest challenge right now is her diet. She is not allowed to eat any dairy because of her medication, but because of her diverticulitis, she is unable to have a whole list of things that includes nothing with too much fiber – no beef or pork – no apples, peas, beans, whole wheat, anything with seeds, etc.
Chicken salad was doable however. So I made a big batch of it – and gave her a sandwich of it. She inhaled it.
We watched the last three Harry Potter movies. And as she caught up on the first two, I did all of the dishes – and cleaned the kitchen which was a HUGE mess. I cleaned off the dining room table which has been my dad’s dumping ground for everything. I did all of their laundry including folding it. And I waited on her – making her eat snacks and drink lots of water. Once the house was pulled together, my mom’s stress level was much lower. All of it was driving her nuts. I could understand why. While I am not a neat freak, the kitchen was out of control as was the dining room.
We watched movies together. We talked. And I took care of her.
Dad came home and immediately commented that my mom was looking better. Having the food helped. All she has been eating is baked potatoes with no butter on it – and a bit of chicken here or there. It was all she felt was safe. Getting some veggies in her that were on the “accepted list” as well as some protein was good.
Dinner was interesting. I made pasta and tried to sort of how to make a sauce that wasn’t just olive oil and garlic. Pesto was out because it has cheese and nuts. Tomato based anything was out because of the seeds and she was iffy about it. So, I punted. I sautéed some garlic, onions, carrots and orange peppers in olive oil. Added the chicken and some chicken stock. Then once heated, sprinkled some flour on top to thicken it up a bit. Then added fresh basil. Score. Worked well. A creamy sauce without dairy. My mom devoured it with some crusty bread.
“You should ask Emmy for some dinner ideas before she leaves” was what my mom told my dad. My dad thanked her for saying his food sucks in a polite way. I told them there was leftovers.
My dad while we were alone thanked me for taking care of everything. Hey, it needed to get done was my feeling. Plus, she’s mom. She never gets sick like this. We all should be taking care of her.
And this is also what I’ll be informing my brothers too. Because they need to get their ass over here and help out a bit. Keep her company but help her. She can’t do anything but sit around. Dad is working full time. Give the woman a hand.
May have to get out the verbal 2×4 for this conversation.
As for Dad, he is still freaked out. Her mortality was a bit too real for him earlier this week when she passed out in his arms. “I thought I lost her – right there” he has said to me several times. I think that is the other reason he was happy I was here – she would not be alone. He is afraid for her to be alone given what happend with her passing out three times.
Oh, and why did she have that happen? Why was there two bouts of dehydration in less than 48hrs of each other? The ER docs at the first hospital released her too fast. She wasn’t fully hydrated and her electrolytes weren’t right yet. As a result, she crashed again. The second hospital admitted her and it took them almost 16hrs to get her stable again. The first hospital had her in the ER for only half that time.
They may have to do surgery yet given the complications she has had. If this happens again, the complications and risks are greater while doing the surgery would fix it. We find out next week if that is what they decide.
I leave to go home Sunday morning. I wish I had more time to be with her, but I’m glad I was able to give her what time I had. I can only hope this upswing continues.