Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A New Reality

The last 2 weeks have been quite a blur. Grandma Ann arrived happy and sunny and settled in to her new room. Within a day, it became obvious that we had been seriously misled about her condition. She is not able to get around with a walker, she is wheel chair bound and bed ridden. She cannot roll over in her own bed and arrived with a bedsore.

We were told by her assisted living facility that she was "just fine," a little confused, but did not have dementia. It turns out, her dementia is quite advanced and interferes with her ability to even get good medical care since she cannot accurately report her own symptoms. She fell her first day at our home and we took her to Stanford Hospital for a complete work up. She had a CT scan, x-rays, MRI, blood work, etc. The doctors in Mississippi have not forwarded us the medical records yet, and would not even return calls from the Stanford ER doctor. He found some disturbing things on the x-rays, signs of earlier falls and a hematoma on her brain, a series of compression fractures along her spine, the beginning of a bedsore - which means she was suffering unreported falls while in Oxford and should have been moved to a nursing facility months ago.

She was also living in a 3rd floor apartment, even though there is no way she would have been able to get out of bed by herself to escape in case of a fire. This is against the law in California and I suspect it is the same in Mississippi.

This has been most stressful to Bill, because we do not even know how much money she has left. There is also evidence of financial abuse that occurred in Mississippi that we are still piecing together. We are very glad we got her out here when we did, because at least now she is safe in the rehab facility where she is at, and we are able to check in on her every day, sometimes twice a day. She spent 2 days with us at Thanksgiving, and was able to go to church with us yesterday to watch the kids make the Advent wreath and then she wanted to go out for Chinese food for lunch. You know I must love my mother in law, because I hate Chinese food! :) We are still working on getting her a prescription for an oxygen unit that is portable so she can go around with us and do things when she wants to.

The good news is she still remembers me and Bill, though she forgets that we had a baby. But she is always excited when she sees the baby again. She is sweet and feisty and pleasant. I just wish we had made her move out here two years ago when she became suicidal at Azalea Gardens. She used to call me and tell me she hated Azalea Gardens and was going to get a gun and kill herself. I now think that that depression and thoughts of suicide were probably a result of her dementia. At least they did have her on two anti-depressants.

Her new GP here has increased her anti-depressants and hopefully that will begin to help her feel better soon. It is very hard to see a once active lady bedridden and unable to stand up to get into her own wheelchair. Bill saw her 3 times year before last, and then he did not see her at all in the last year once he started his new job, and she has taken quite a turn for the worse in just one year. He was never informed by the assisted living facility that her situation had become so critical. They were clearly not qualified to take care of her and just let her get worse and worse - but kept taking her money.

The way they treated her is infuriating, and is another legal and financial situation we'll have to deal with for her, since she cannot do it herself.

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