Dad Needs Help

In June of 2002, my mother suffered  a second stroke that was much worse than the first one she had in 1995. My dad called to tell me mom was being taken to the hospital in really bad shape and asked if I could meet him at the emergency room. When I arrived, mom was not responding and her vital signs were very weak. Her doctor said if she made it through at all, she most likely would have problems walking or speaking. Family members were called, and over the next few days we all took turns sitting at my mother’s bed side so she was never alone.

Finally, mom slowly started to show signs of life but she was very confused and disoriented. She thought soldiers were being propelled down the side of the hospital and were trying to come into her room. She would ask us to go tell them to go away because she was scared they were going to try to break-in and do something to hurt her. She wouldn’t believe us when we told her no one was out there. She would become very upset because she thought we didn’t believe her. So, in order to keep her calm, we would all act like we were telling imaginary soldiers to go away and leave our mother alone.

After about a week and a half in the hospital, mom was moved to a skilled nursing facility for physical therapy designed to help her regain her strength so she could walk. She hated every minute of it and said she wasn’t going to do it. My dad told her if she didn’t do the therapy she would have to live in that  nursing facility for the rest of her life. That scared mom into action and she threw herself into trying to get well.

While mom was in the nursing facility I did all I could to help keep mom and dad’s house running. I would clean their house, do the laundry and cook food so dad would have something to eat when he got home from visiting mom. I could tell dad appreciated what I did to help out, and I was glad to do it, but there was still a tension between dad and I that we both tried hard to ignore.

Dad stayed with mom during the day. Shantel and I would stay the night with mom three nights a week. My brothers, Danny and Stephen, would split the remaining nights to sit with mom. Bill was working graveyard shifts at the time, but he would sit with mom on the weekends as often as he could.

When mom was finally well enough to come home she still required a lot of help. She also had to continue to have physical therapy at home which was arranged for her five days a week. She still hated doing the therapy but knew she had no choice. Even after mom was declared well, she had to use a walker to get around. Bill and I bought her one that had a basket to carry her things and a seat so she could sit down when she got tired. We told her we thought she might like to have it so she could go shopping at the mall. Mom loved shopping, and as soon as she was able, that was her very first outing.

Mom never fully recovered to where she was prior to the second stroke, but for what she had been through, she managed to get around pretty good.

Next up: Dad Needs Surgery!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gotham Girl
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 22:21:46

    Drugs and the elderly. My dad went through the exact same thing when he was in the hospital. So scary for them! xoxo


    • beyondcinderella
      Feb 25, 2012 @ 02:09:23

      Yes, frissy, and I have learned a lot more about drugs and the elderly since my mom has been in the Care Center. Thanks so much for your continued support and for always leaving a comment!


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