Heaven and Hell
I arrive at Mom's residence to take her to an appointment with her orthopedist.
She's talking about bougainvillea again. I'm amazed at how this word sticks.
"That's my bougainvillea," We had it in Bakersfield," she says.
"Yes, we did," I say, saying to myself She remembers the oleander.
"Wasn't it nice to see Bill?" I ask, to remind her that he was here.
"It's time," she says.
"Time for what?" I ask.
"I think I should get the hell out of here and go to heaven," she answers. "It's more peaceful there."
"Yes, it is," I say weakly. I never know what she is going to say next.
As I wheel her to the orthopedist, she's still talking a blue streak.
"What does it mean when they say that your house is not an option? I thought it was all fixed up for me."
I remember that Bill and I were discussing in her presence where to place her when she can no longer stay in assisted living. The skilled nursing facility was a disaster, and I told him that I sometimes think of having her live at my house because it might be better and less expensive than a SNF, but that really it's not an option. John and my kids would not tolerate it, even if I could arrange for a caregiver to stay with her 24/7.
"Yes, the bathroom is all fixed up for you with bars and things, but I don't think you'd like to sleep at my house," I say, thinking frantically of how to answer this one. "Usually you want to go back to your place."
"But here the bad man comes in all night and hassles me," she says.
I know she means rape.
I don't know why this "bad man" thought keeps coming in her mind. Every time she sees a male, especially dark-skinned, it's the "bad man."
The conversation moves to management the bad men out there, and she forgets about wanting to know why she can't live with me. Whew.
The orthopedist orders physical therapy for her, range of movement exercises. He wants her to do outpatient but I tell him it has to be Home Health Services. I will not take her to PT 2-3 times per week, and Rehabnet didn't think she was worth their attention the last time I took her there. They saw no progress in four weeks and discharged her.
He's also concerned about her kyphosis (bent over back). He gives us a prescription for a back brace to hold her up straighter, but I don't know if I will fill it.
I just don't know if she can stand to have a back brace.