I am picking up where I left off, Clara fell in the shower….I was cleaning her up so she could go to the hospital, and she was going to end up going to the hospital soiled anyway, now with a broken leg. I was wet and soiled and told Andy that I was going to hurry up and change my clothes before the paramedics arrived and let Zack know what was going on. As I hurried out of the bathroom Clara’s phone rang. Thinking it may be 911 calling back I answered it. It was Clara’s daughter that lives nearby. She said, “What’s going on, I got a call you are taking Mom to the hospital.” I told her she fell and broke her leg and she responded anxiously, “Please don’t tell me that.” I’m thinking, ‘what do you mean don’t tell me that?’ It was what happened, I told her I had to hang up and change my wet clothes before the paramedics arrived. We live off of a dirt and gravel road and it had been snowing and we could see the paramedics and ambulance drive past the turn off to our driveway. Zack ran down our long driveway to wave them back, and the ambulance got stuck in the snow. The paramedics made it down rather quickly and started assessing Clara right away. Another one asked for her current medications and conditions, and I was glad I had her updated medical information in that vial in the refrigerator. Her daughter came in and asked what happened. When I explained it she said, “Why didn’t you call me? I would have come over and helped you.” I knew she was upset about her mother, so I didn’t reply what I was thinking. I couldn’t believe that she believed that she would really do that. I also felt like calling Clara’s doctor and saying, ‘See, I told you something was wrong and you didn’t listen, and now look what happened.’ I still had so much anger towards Clara’s doctor for not taking my concerns seriously. I was so glad that Andy had earlier shoveled a clear path to Clara’s door and down our sidewalk. As a result Clara could more easily be carried out by gurney. I was able to dress her from the waist up, but we wrapped her bottom half up in a blanket. I felt horrible for Clara and as she was wheeled out, I knew the chances of her ever returning through that door were slim. We drove over to the hospital and it was an absolute zoo. Clara was sitting in the ambulance bay waiting for a place to be put; everything was full on this snowy Sunday afternoon. We were not allowed back to see her and were limited to the waiting area. Clara is not good about speaking up for herself and I mentioned that to someone because I wanted Clara to have something for pain. In time the nurse said that only one person could go back. I yielded to her children although I really wanted to be by her side. One daughter went back, and then another was able to go back. It wasn’t long before they needed me to provide information on Clara’s medications so I got to see her. She was in and out of it. It was heartbreaking for me to witness. I went outside of the cubicle and told Clara’s assigned nurse that while she was brought in by ambulance for a broken bone, we were planning on coming to the hospital before that. I pleaded with her to ask at least for a chest x-ray and explained her chest congestion has increased significantly over the past few days. The nurse seemed to listen when I said that even before the break, something was very wrong with Clara. I went back to the waiting room, and Andy went back with his sisters. This went off and on until an orthopedic came in and asked some questions about her medical history none of them knew. Andy came to the waiting room and waved me back, and he introduced me to the doctor as his wife, and his mother’s caregiver. In my view, it looked like her daughters flashed a look of objection to that title. I tried to be considerate of what they were going through, but I thought I’m not going to correct Andy because there was nothing to correct. I asked him if they did a chest x-ray and he said they did and there was quite a bit of fluid around her heart. Later he told me privately there was an unknown mass in her left lung that would have to be looked into once she was stabilized. X-rays revealed Clara broke her femur in half, that news was not a surprise to me. However, I did not realize that the femur is the biggest bone in your body. In order for Clara to heal, surgery would be needed. A rod would be placed in her leg and attached to each side of the broken bone with screws. The problem was she was not stable enough for surgery. She was on Coumadin, a blood thinner and her blood was too thin for surgery, in addition to the chest congestion. She would need a couple of days and would be kept as comfortable as possible with pain medication. At that point they were waiting for a bed to open up on the floor for Clara to be admitted.
Andy told his sisters they could leave; we would stay with her until she was put in her room. One left, the other one stayed even though she had to get up 5:00 am for work the next day, she just wasn’t ready to leave her mother yet. When Clara was transported to her room, she left, and Andy and I followed her up. Clara was still in and
out of it, and as she got to the floor, the nurse was asking us some questions. It was now quite late, and we told Clara we were leaving and would be back the next morning. Clara said, “I’m sorry I caused such problems.” I had to hold back the tears as we assured her that we were sorry for what happened and what she was going through, she had no reason to apologize.
My entire account is available at http://www.createspace.com/3469034 or at Amazon.com, just type in the title of my book. I appreciate all of your comments and wish all caregivers the strength they need to cope each day!