Saturday, April 13, 2013


Good morning!

Day 1 of Mom's transition continues.  She's exhausted, but still able to defeat her only kid and caregiver, me!

I woke several times during the night.  Listening for stirring from her bedroom.  She wore her bed alarm.  Somehow, someway she defeated the bed alarm, did her thing, and placed herself neatly back into bed.  How?  I don't know.   That's just the way Mom rolls.  No matter how keen one's instincts she can outwit the best.  She's heard the same tune for the past twelve hours - "Call me if you need to go to the bathroom!"  I'll Mom-proof the bed alarm today.

Being a caregiver is rife with alarms.  Time for medication.  Time for nutrition.  Time for the bathroom.  Time for getting dressed.  Time for the visiting nurse.  Time for the physical therapist.  The beat goes on...

What's equally alarming rests in our healthcare system.  As Mom lay on a stretcher six weeks ago getting poked and prodded, my alarm bells went off as the doctor told us nothing could be done for her.  They could immobilize her poor leg and send her home.  My alarm bells clanged loudly in my head.  "You're going to send a woman home with a broken bone?  Really?  We won't make it  from the driveway to the house!"  I stood my ground and told the doctor that the scenario he presented would not play in Peoria.  No way!

The doctor consented to 24 hour observation in the hospital.  "Well, at least that's something."  The next morning the nurse reported that my mother continued to complain about pain.  Now they ordered a CAT scan for the next day, so 24 hours turned into 48 hours.  At the end of the 48th hour, the CAT scan revealed a much more serious break than originally thought.  Surgery became the order of the day.  I thought, "And you wanted me to take her home?"

As I bounced back and forth from home to hospital and back again, my little man Dickens sensed a difference in the house.  We made it through those 48 hours.  My alarms worked overtime to meet his feeding schedule, walking schedule, playtime and juggle my life in the middle.  He worked his alarms to help keep me on track.

Alarms are useful things.  They heighten our intuition by screaming loudly in our heads, remind us of important tasks, and bring to light errors in a healthcare system gone mad.

And THAT, to me is what's truly alarming!


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