Monday, February 28, 2005


Oops. Looks like I'll have to start blogging more often now that frog has linked to me. THANKS FROG! I mean that. I do!

Mother fell down recently. She had another "fainting spell" which her doctors call vasovagal syncope:

Fainting may occur if the vagus nerve, which supplies the neck, chest, and intestine, is stimulated. When stimulated, the vagus nerve slows the heart. Such stimulation also causes nausea and cool, clammy skin. This type of fainting is called vasovagal (vasomotor) syncope. The vagus nerve is stimulated by pain (such as intestinal cramps), fear, other distress (such as that due to the sight of blood), vomiting, a large bowel movement, and urination.

Mom's episodes have almost always happened after a bowel movement (and if you have trouble reading about old people's poop, this may not be the blog for you). This time, for the first time, it happened after she peed. She hasn't had one of these fainting spells for 10 months, which we all view as a huge victory. Before that, they happened pretty regularly.

So what happened is this: Mom was just sitting on the toilet, peeing, and then woke up (we don't know how much later) in the shower. In the shower! Her shower is right next to the toilet. Imagine if every time you sat down to do your business, you knew there was a chance you'd wake up in the shower. Or wedged between the sink and toilet, with your ribs bruised. Maybe unable to get up. Afraid.

She says she felt okay afterwards, but "a little sore." She didn't call anybody, didn't buzz the attendants at her assisted living facility (okay, the in-room buzzer wasn't working, but maybe I'll blog a rant about that another day), nothing. She just went back to the living room and continued watching TV. Went to bed at her usual time.

The next day was Sunday. When my sister called her, Mom said, "I don't think I'll be going to church today." When my sister asked why not, Mom said, "I don't want to tell you."

This is how it goes every time. She is ashamed to tell us she's fallen. We have to press for details. And you can bet we don't get them all.

After my sister squeezed the story out, she took Mom to the E.R., where Mom was given a lot of tests, including a head CT (?) and x-rays of her foot. She had fractured her foot. She didn't need a cast. They gave her crutches. CRUTCHES. She is practically blind, she's fairly unstable even using her cane, and they gave my mommy CRUTCHES. Hospital revenue must be down. Maybe they figured she'd use the crutches, fall on her ass and come back for another round of tests later in the day. Maybe she'd even be admitted! Ka-ching!

Anyway, this was a couple of weeks ago. Mom seemed to love the extra attention, honestly. She had her meals delivered to her room rather than joining her pals at the dining hall for lunch and supper. She's well enough this week to go back to the dining room again. She's pleased. She also went back to church last week. For now, everything's pretty much back to normal. Except Mom's still a little scared to use the bathroom.

1 comment:

frog said...

I'm glad you're planning to post more, but sorry to hear that your mom fell. Mlah.