Diana talks about directives, part 11

Sept. 26, 2011
Lisa Newburger, L.I.S.W.-S./a.k.a. Diana Directive provides humorous ways to deal with difficult topics. Check out Diana’s webpage at www.discussdirectives.com.
The news was pretty bad. Mom has something called aphasia. She can’t talk like you and me. Something about not finding the right words. Also, she can’t walk. They are teaching her to walk all over again. I don’t get it. How does someone forget how to walk? They explained it as something happened to her brain. She might be able to regain the ability to walk and talk. She is just so pathetic. I was told that she needed to be moved to a nursing home for rehabilitation. Well, mom definitely knew what that meant. She actually growled at me. I think I liked it better when she was nasty and verbal. Could she be faking it? No, the docs and speech therapist think it is for real.They didn’t give me much time to find a nursing home for her. What do I know about nursing homes? Isn’t that where people go to die? Do they ever come out and go back to their lives? Will I ever get MY life back? I found a place that didn’t smell like a bathroom. So, a couple weeks ago, I moved her to Sunny Acres Nursing and Recreational Facility. Who are they fooling? It is a nursing home, not a recreational facility ... but they do have bingo.Dad was of no help. He is always out golfing with his cronies. I think he is glad that mom ISN’T coming home. We don’t know if this will be permanent or if this is temporary. Mom was angry with being moved. Well, she is right. Do you know how few good looking men work in nursing homes? It is all WOMEN… You think I have I-S-S-U-E-S being around women? You should see mom. But the sad part now is that she is not in control of things. She tries to talk and is really struggling to find the words.She was admitted to the facility, and the admissions person wasn’t very friendly. She was upset that I had to come after work to do the paperwork. I wasn’t going to take more time off to do it during the daytime. So, she had to stay late. Whatever happened to “delighting the customer?” Do you know how much stuff I had to sign? We must have killed 20 trees just trying to sign her in. They asked me about whether or not to make mom DNR. What’s that? Do Not Ridicule? Do Not Readjust? The nurse told me it meant Do Not Resuscitate. So if mom’s heart stops, should they do CPR or not? I have no clue. I couldn’t decide. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want my mom to die. I just don’t want her to be brain dead and alive. She would haunt me forever in that state.She has a roommate, Nicole. She had had a stroke and is in worse shape than mom. But, Nicole talks. She doesn’t just talk … she talks nonstop. Nicole can’t do anything but lie in bed … and talk.If you have ever had to place your mom in a nursing home, please email me at [email protected]. I feel all alone and really could benefit from hearing about your experience.Editor's Note: To read past installments of "Diana Directive," please click here.