caring for a grandchild, Caring for a parent, crises, Dementia, Self-care

Crisis III: The Big One

We got home from the hospital Friday morning and were met by the hospice intake nurse. Mama, after just two days, three nights in hospital the second time (eight days the first time), was pretty strong and doing well. Maybe she got cocky? Not like her. Maybe she was confused? Clearly. I don’t know, but she fell.

I left her in the bedroom to get her gown on, everything else was done. I went downstairs, got ready for bed, and was just settling in with a book when I heard her fall and scream. I grabbed my phone and raced upstairs, trying to get Siri to dial Rebecca. I didn’t think she needed to be at the house overnight this time, and she had no sleep the last night in the hospital. Why does getting Siri to do the work go perfectly when I’m calm? Anyway, I finally got her, then called Hospice as instructed—also had Siri trouble with that one—then called 911 as Hospice instructed and again with the trouble. All while trying to calm my hysterical mother and make her semi-comfortable.


I don’t know what happened, but she told the ER doctor a couple of theories, one of which involved her shoes sticking to the rug. She didn’t have her shoes on. She asked me if her walker was in the hall where she fell. It was in the bedroom. She never leaves her room in stocking feet or without her walker. Never. And I think she had something in each hand, so she wouldn’t have been able to hold onto wall and cabinet.

I guess it doesn’t matter. She fell. And we were back in the ER for the third time in three weeks. She has breaks in her right wrist and shoulder. She was sent home in a splint and a sling. The slogan at the hospital of the Sisters of Providence is becoming permanently emblazoned on my brain.


She can’t walk, toilet, or eat by herself. She can’t get in and out of bed or a chair without heavy lifting. And she is, as soon as we get the goods from Hospice, on a triad of bowel aids. This is 24-hour care. It was taking both of us to get her up and down, but I can now do it myself. She doesn’t quite trust Rebecca for some reason…yet.

She has been, for the most part, so very brave and pleasant. It’s amazing the difference that makes in caregiving. The hospice nurse came today and said it will get more painful and urged us to keep up with a regular schedule of the half tab of pain med we got at the hospital. Mama hates medication and will fight it. We will prevail.

Rebecca missed day one of the Portland Market for her store. I’m insisting she go tomorrow. I am insisting I do my Gigi Grandson Gig Monday and Tuesday. I’ve requested seamless caregiving for those two days from the agency we use and we are looking into other temporary-for-now care options.

Elliot just called me: “Gigi! Bring more apples! Gigi’s apples!” You betcha, little guy.

It’s been a spectacularly beautiful day. I haven’t been outside, let alone to a mountain.



9 thoughts on “Crisis III: The Big One”

  1. I read every one of your entries even if you never know that I was here. Thank you for allowing us to take this journey with you. Thank you for being honest and open. Thank you for being you. I know everyone who reads your blog are holding you in their hearts with love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, Gretchen, words are not coming… I’m so sorry. Drugs are good, in the right situation — words it’s taken me sp many years to say. I’m glad for you all if they are helping now… Thinking of you all with prayer and peace. One day at a time, dear one.


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