The Queen and The Grape

grapes-4788_640This story is not fiction and the names have not been changed to protect the innocent.

April 1, 2014, April Fools Day. I wake up to three calls on my cell which came in between 2:03 a.m. and 2:21 a.m. That’s not normal. The first thing that went through my head is “Mom.”  Sure enough, I call to retrieve my voice mails. They are from a nurse at Sutter Roseville Medical Center; Mom was taken into the emergency room (ER).  The nurse says, “She fell on a grape and broke her knee.”

Who, When, Where, Why, WHAT?

That was not what I was expecting to hear at 5:27 a.m. The nurse was nice enough to ask if I wanted to speak with Mom I replied, “She most likely doesn’t have her hearing aids and she won’t be able to hear me. Any way, I’ll be up in about am hour.”  I rushed to call Mark and Jim (brother and other brother) to let them know and to say I would keep them informed once I arrive at the hospital.

I made it to the ER entrance in 58 minutes 36 seconds. I check in at the ER desk and say, “My mom was brought in last night around 2 a.m.” Before I finish my sentence, the nurse says, “Oh, you’re here for Mrs. Kreis, the grape. Go back to bed 25.”

I round the corner, expecting to see a cast or something being applied but no. All I hear is Mom groaning like a kid who just had her toy doll taken away. They were in the process of putting on a catheter and was asked me to wait outside. I had no problem with that.  They finish and within 15 minutes the orthopedic surgeon arrived to discuss the issue and let us know what was going to be done.

Apparently, Mom’s days and nights are mixed up. So at 9 p.m. Sunday night, Mom was grabbing something to eat which involved grapes (don’t know if they were green, red or black). One of the little buggers fell onto the floor and, as Mom turned around, her foot planted right on top of one. Her foot went right out from under her. She came down onto her knee, then hip and her face decided to attack Taffy’s food dish causing a shiner Mike Tyson would be proud to wear. Okay. So her medications have made her bones brittle. When the knee hit the wooden floor it snapped her femur in two. The injury was so severe that Mom needed surgery.

Before Mom goes to surgery, I had a few minutes to talk with Mom about what happened:

9:00 p.m.: Mom takes her spill and is attacked by Taffy’s water bowl.

9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.: Mom takes “three hours” to crawl 15 feet from her kitchen to her dining room where the phone is. She moves a little, then grabs a book out of the donation bag and places it under her leg for support. She finally grabs a scarf off a dining room table and throws it over the phone to pull it onto the floor.

12:00 a.m.: Mom finally makes a 911 call and has fire and paramedics arrive.

2:03 a.m.: My phone receives the first call.

This could have been avoided if Mom had called and activated the “Life Alert” device that she ordered, received four weeks ago and still sits in the box.  My brothers and I visited Mom two days after it arrived and actually took it out, plugged it in so all Mom has to do is call “Life Alert” and then it’s up and running.

Why she never got around to it? Her depression has been causing her to sleep a lot. For her, activating Life Alert that wasn’t on her priority list of things to do. It’s now on my list. Of course with the depression and now this, being put on the spot about this isn’t a great idea right now.

Just 43 minutes after I arrive, they’re rolled Mom back to the surgery center and I brought her clothes, the pillows the paramedics grabbed to support her and my stuff to the car. I then headed to the Family Waiting area and sent a mass text message to inform everyone. The anesthesiologist spoke with Mom’s cardiologist to confirm she’s had a stress test recently (two months ago) and that her heart can take the surgery and that they’re okay with her Coumadin levels.

According to the surgeon, Mom’s recovery will be six to eight weeks with “no weight” and then another six to eight weeks with “light weight” and finally two to four weeks of “full weight.” All in all, we are looking at about a five-month recovery period with Mom being in a facility for about half of that. WOW!! Mom is not going to like that when she is coherent.

The three-hour surgery finished at four-and-a-half hours and everything went great.  The doctor was able to totally avoid the false knee area and checked to find no damage. The extra time it took was due to the size of Mom’s leg and nothing else.  The surgeon expects Mom to be in the hospital about five days and then she’ll move to a rehab facility.

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About Richard

My name is Richard (@kreisr1), I am a Tri-Fecta caregiver, for my mother who has COPD among other health issues. I co-care for my brother in-law who has epilepsy and co-care with my wife's for myself, I deal with Chronic Back Pain. entire life and now after living alone, in a care facility and a group home setting we had to move him in with us to provide him with the care he needs.  Finally, with my wife who is also my co-caregiver I care for myself, I have had chronic pain (mid-low back) for 21-1/2 years thanks to a drunk driver.  I write my own blog, pickyourpain.org where I share my pain with humor, as I see thing, "Pain Without Humor is Just Painful."  I am involved with caregiving.com in several ways, as well as participating in several of the weekly caregiving.com blogs, I also am involved in their Twitter chats, I also host the following groups, SPOT (Stamp Procrastination Out Today), A Task A Day, The Men's Group, Healthy Caregiver and several others.  I am also the moderator for the Caregiving.com Quiz Show and have a seat on the bi-monthly Hot Topic's show. I'm here to not only improve Roberts life, the lives of those I touch on caregiving.com and pickyourpain.org but to find a way to improve my own live.

4 thoughts on “The Queen and The Grape

  1. Avatar of ThedogmamaThedogmama

    First of all, I hope Mom’s recovery goes smoothly and she amazes them all with her healing properties! That being said, April Fool’s Day is going on your list of favorite holidays. Guess you can add Taffy to your morning to-do list again, and leave grapes off Mom’s shopping lists for the foreseeable future! Ya know, ya just can’t make this stuff up! Best to all of you.

    Reply
  2. Avatar of RichardRichard Post author

    TheDogMama, Oh Lord Thank You right about then is when I needed a good laugh and you gave it to me. Yes Taffy is on my to-do list again for a long time and she can stay if she needs to and she can bring mom with her if she wants. As for the grapes, that word is being removed from all computers, cell phones, shopping lists, and any other place it may be found in print in moms house. I think I’ll get there just ahead of her at the store and cover or wheel the grade displays to the back room and then return them once mom passes by. What else one do? Thank you

    Reply
  3. Avatar of EllysGdaughterEllysGdaughter

    Dear Richard! What a story you have!!! I would love to add Bananas to your list of words/fruit to be removed! When I read your post the first thing I thought of, what if Elly slipped on a banana peel, especially the extra ripe ones that are in the basket. She forgets she wants to eat one every day so they get too ripe . . . I could just imagine a similar scenario to your mom’s! You are doing so amazingly well and hopefully you may experience just a little bit of respite as she recovers in the new rehab facility. Taffy should be trained to provide emergency care, by the way. . . I do pray for your mom’s healing and recovery of her mind especially with all the upheaval that her body has undergone. Meds are a strange manipulator of the personality, I do like the penguins. Keep laughing, we will be laughing with you in this trying time :)

    Reply
  4. Avatar of RichardRichard Post author

    EGD, Yea I’m laughing on the inside on this one. This one is pretty hair raising even though in the beginning I was laughing about things (as usual) and then dis-trustful mom came out and that changed the way I’m looking at this one. Thanks for reading and responding to my blogs. Keep the times rolling

    Reply

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