Breathing easy

Mom was released from the nursing home last Wednesday, October 13. I attended the care conference on Tuesday morning, and after listening to the head therapy person tell me that Mom surely had 3 or 4 more weeks of therapy in store for her before she could leave, I slid Dr. G’s “get out of jail free” card across the table. When I went to see him the week prior, he’d given me a note on a prescription pad saying that she was to be released the next day.

With that, the healthcare professionals present around the table practically threw up their hands, as if to say, “Well…that’s THAT.” They got up and excused themselves and got back to work, presumably with the other patients who WEREN’T being released the next day.

Her release went smoothly. I stopped at her place that night to deliver fresh groceries and turn on the climate control. The next day, I stopped by at the appointed time. Her stuff was packed already. She signed the final release papers, I asked the nurse to fax them to Mom’s doctor, and I put Mom in my car. Moments later, she was back in her apartment…and boy, was she happy to be home. Mostly because she didn’t have to share a TV, I think.

I braced myself for the worst; one of the last times she was released from the hospital, I was over there every day for a week taking care of her. Sunday afternoon I actually spent hiding in my bedroom, hoping no one (especially Mom) would ask me to do anything for them.

But she’s been good. I haven’t even seen her in a few days. This morning, she did try to talk me into making some phone calls for her, but I shot back: “What’s the matter? Is your dialing finger broken?” Lord knows she’s not in the best shape, but the woman has all her mental faculties and the ability to dial the phone.

The only hang-up so far is that no one from the home healthcare company we contacted has been over to see her yet. Usually, when she’s released from the hospital, they contact her within 24 hours. This time, her paperwork seems to have gotten hung up in her doctor’s office. We’ve called four times since Thursday.

Tomorrow, I’m taking Mom to get her hair done. Say a little prayer that she’ll be able to get up the six steps. Last time, her stylist had to come down and do her hair on a bench outside the salon….

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About Kathleen

Kathleen Heuer is a serial arts advocate and volunteer. She is the mom of two beautiful girls, wife to a brilliant nuclear engineer, and referee between her golden retriever and her hissy 18-year-old cat. For more, go to http://about.me/kathleendheuer.
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