Friday, July 15th

Last Saturday, the day after we returned from Oregon, my mother was psychiatrically hospitalized for the third time since her stroke last November. Yesterday morning, I met with the treatment team at her psychiatric hospital. They do not think she needs long-term psychiatric placement. They believe her memory care community is the best placement for her and that she’ll just likely need regular “tune-ups,” returning to the psychiatric hospital when she refuses to take medication and her mental health deteriorates.
Luckily my parents’ house sold, with escrow closing yesterday. This morning I met with a financial planner to invest the proceeds from the sale on behalf of my parents and schedule regular withdrawals to pay for their care. Long-term memory memory care is expensive.

OR Trip
Oregon was beautiful and offered a relaxing break.

Flight Back from PDX to SNA – July 8, 2016

Before returning our rental car at PDX, we stopped for gas. While making a pit-stop, I received a call from my mother’s memory care community which I let go to voicemail. Inopportune time to take the call, as my purse hung on the restroom door handle out of my reach, and I didn’t want to dribble, squat and waddle over to answer my phone. Instead, I’m sharing the impolite (and perhaps amusing) imagery that came to my mind as the phone rang (to temper the vulgarity of the scene, my ring tone is Take Five by Dave Brubeck – yes, I love jazz).
The voicemail confirmed that once again my mother refused to take her medication and threatened violence against the nursing staff at her memory care facility. Once again, time for psychiatric hospitalization. This is getting old. Really old.
I fear my mom may need long-term psychiatric placement. Locked psychiatric care 24/7. Do not know what is available. Time to reach out for help. Time to research geriatric psychiatric residential placement for mom. Fuck.
That’s all I have to say on the matter. I do feel myself coming to tears. I fear, too, ending up like mom. Crap.

Now I’m just spent. I did have a good time this week in Oregon. It was a nice break from my life, from my responsibilities, from the mess and clutter that is our house, from the mess and clutter that is my life.
We went to the wedding of one of our many nieces last night. They wed under Cathedral Bridge (St. John’s Bridge). The bridge is built with stunning Gothic arches and a backdrop of trees along the river. Then we had an incredible dinner at Plaza Del Toro. Very upscale and gourmet. So delicious. Loved it. Wish we had that kind of food in our neighborhood.
I look forward to getting away again and again and again. I need these breaks, these respites.


27 responses to “Flight Back Home”

  1. Thank you. Prayer greatly appreciated. The meds will stabilize her. She has problems when she refuses to take them.

  2. I can only pray things get better- more stable with your mom!

  3. Thank you for the love (aka positive energy) and prayers. I send the same your way, hoping for the best for your parents.

  4. That I’m doing. I’m grateful to have a husband who helps out so I can rest.

  5. It’s scary. Our health is so precious. Not to be taken for granted.

  6. your plate is extremely full Kitt. This is my biggest fear after losing my brother this year, dealing with anything that happens to my parents because I live 2000 miles away. Sending positive energy and prayers your way.

  7. I know how emotionally stressful it can be when a parent is sick and trips to the hospital never seem to stop. I guess you need to take more breaks whenever possible to de stress and keep going

  8. Bless them for it…I’m actually terrified of what might happen were I to have a stroke. I’ve been very lucky as far as physical health.

  9. Terrifying. Our healthcare system fails too many people. Luckily Medicare pays for 2 weeks of psychiatric hospitalization. The long-term care, though, is paid from my parents’ savings. They are privileged to have savings in their retirement.

  10. I’m glad you have access to this. My partner’s sister -in-law was in the hospital for 60 days. She has lupus and and had to have corrective surgery on her spine. He had to fight for everything — the doctor’s wanted to discharge her after a five days.
    My partner had to fight the system every day to make sure that she was stabilized before she was discharged.
    Had they sent her home; she would most likely have died because 7 days into her stay her doctor’s discovered she was harboring an infection that required a second surgery.

  11. The psychiatrist and social worker said that her placement in high end memory care was appropriate. She has vascular dementia. She will probably have to be periodically hospitalized, but I was told that Silverado Memory Care is the Rolls Royce of care, setting the standard for individualized care.

  12. That’s great!!!!!

  13. Kitt, your courage and fortitude is an inspiration. Are there no community based structured residential facilities that she can live in to avoid hospital stays?

  14. My mother has much to adjust to: her move to a separate memory care community from my father and the debilitating effects of her stroke. Luckily her psychiatric hospital is near to her new memory care facility, making stays easier. Thank you for the virtual hug.

  15. Dementia takes many forms. Short term memory loss is but one. Your friend is blessed to have you visiting regularly. God bless you, too.
    For those interested, dementia per the Alzheimer’s Association:

  16. Thank you! Both my sister and I are at risk of stroke as both our mother and maternal grandmother had them. I should do as you do and exercise more. At least I take Lipitor (diet wasn’t able to reduce my cholesterol enough) and fish oil.
    The psychiatrist at Thursday’s treatment team meeting reassured me that my mother was in the best placement. He said he doesn’t want my mother in a psychiatric placement. They described Silverado Memory Care as the Rolls Royce of dementia care. Her current primary diagnosis is vascular dementia. Dementia secondary to stroke. As you know, that stroke complicated predating mental illness. Without the ability to communicate verbally, she no longer has the coping mechanisms she once had. Time to learn new ones, and to rely more heavily on medication.

  17. Yes, that I have. Thanks.

  18. She’s still in the psychiatric hospital, but will go back to memory care once she’s stable. As Medicare pays for 2-weeks, that’s how long her stays are. They take good care of her at her psychiatric hospital. I’m happy with the standard of care there. There’s a psychiatric nurse who meditates with her, which she loves. My mom got through cancer treatment using meditation. Helps with pain and with anxiety. She used visualization to imagine antibodies attacking cancer cells.

  19. I am glad you had an enjoyable trip. I am confident that you will find the emotional and physical strength to make some hard decisions. Until then, sending positive vibes your way and a virtual hug that you can use whenever needed.

  20. Paladin Avatar

    Thanks for the sensitivity training with a few expletives, Kitt. Quite understandable.The past week has been very chaotic everywhere to mention the least and it seems like the only good advice I am receiving lately is from the Panda Express fortune cookies.
    Hope you will find a way forward to deal with your mother’s situation and maintain your own balance. The 92 year old Alzheimer friend I see once a week in a assisted living facility and scooting around in his wheelchair is far more blessed with his short term memory loss without dementia.
    God Bless!!!

  21. Oh Kitt, I’m so sorry. If you can, please let us know what you find out about geriatric psychiatric residential placement for your mother….
    I completely understand your fear of ending up like her (despite your tremendous understanding of what has been happening) I have fears of ending up in a similar situation someday myself – as we know, a stroke can rob us of our reason and render us in a similar situation.
    On a MUCH brighter note, I’m glad your parents house sold and that you enjoyed the wedding & dinner @ Plaza Del Toro! The pictures I saw of the wedding were beautiful.
    You’re in my thoughts & prayers always!

  22. Things change all the time. I am sure you’ve had a better course of treatment than your mother over the years.

  23. Prayers to you for strength and peace Kitt. You’re really going through it. I’m glad your Mother is able to go back to her regular “home”. Congratulations on getting the house sold. At least that can take a little stress of you. xo

  24. Thank you, Micki. It’s tough. Strokes can destroy a brain.

  25. My stepmother was in a similar situation and was eventually placed in a geriatric “lockdown” unit. My heart goes out to you with lots of love, prayers and healing vibrations. Hold fast, beautiful Kitt. XOXOX

  26. Avatar

    Blessings and Grace; Receiving, your ‘powerful-release message’.Your true-commitment to your parents-wellness; Job well-done.
    Thanks for allowing comments your note; Mrs. Kitt OMalley,; My humble comments; I feel that present-day, global universe, human beings, consciousness is a state in which that/any-individual/ can ether take-two-basic-directions of life..
    One is direct toward unfolding, and eliminating ‘inner self’ obstructions, self-doubt, and the other is away; refusing to face-up; be more self-accountable, and willing to change; to a new-positive, change in attitude, openness;a commitment to create a better inner self/soul.
    Today, human conditions can be adequately-explained as a struggle to give- up the first approach and go- away from ‘center’ ;the other/way; Human-being today are still- oblivious of making the right choices;
    Everyone is still in search of happiness?
    be in peace, and faith and hope; ‘With warm – -Heart of Love;

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