A brief(ish) synopsis: Took mom to lunch and shoe shopping. She was very, very weak, ate barely any of her lunch, but wanted new shoes, because the ones she has do not fit her swollen feet. After an exhausting (for me, we parked her in a chair) hour at DSW Shoe Warehouse we had success and from the sale rack, yet!
A triumph. We left the store, and I told her to head for the handicap ramp (she's on a walker, moves very slowly and deliberately, and a snail can outrun her) and I would go fetch the car and then come help her. I was parked right nearby, but her walking speed and distance endurance is extremely minimal. I was just thinking earlier that morning that I needed to talk to her doctor and see if she can order a wheelchair, because it would make shopping so much easier. But that was my thought before today.
So, I left my mother making her extremely slow but steady and careful trek toward the handicap curb cut as I fetched the car, so I could pull it up to said curb cut and get out and help her in.
I am backing out of the parking space not two minutes later, and I see a cluster of people. In the very brief minute or two it took me to walk the few feet to the car and back it out of the parking space, my mother had fallen. Her walker got caught on the edge of the handicap ramp itself, and down she went.
A cluster of people were gathered around her, including a couple of medical professionals who witnessed the fall (I didn't see it) and said that she went down hard and it appeared that she had hit her head. 911 had already been called, and a pretty blonde teenager handed me her cell phone so I could talk to the 911 operator. Meanwhile, a crowd of total strangers was taking amazing care of my mother - they even had the presence of mind to grab windshield sun shades from their cars to hold over her, because the temp was in the mid-90s and it was the hottest part of the day. The ambulance came, she was transported to the hospital, where head to toe x-rays and a CT scan or two were performed.
My mother skinned her knee, and not even that badly. Truly amazing - she's 82 years old, maybe 92 pounds on her heaviest day, has osteoporosis and crashed down on concrete, and her only identified injury is a scraped knee. Lucky doesn't begin to describe it. But her physical condition overall is deeply troubling. Her blood work is perfect, her vital signs are pretty good, but she is extremely weak and has no appetite. Her extreme weakness needs further investigation and an evaluation of how to handle her care, and she was admitted. She fell around 1 this afternoon, I left her in her room in the hospital at 10 tonight. The new ER at the hospital is fabulous, dahlings. We watched Young Frankenstein and then Blazing Saddles on the flat screen TV in the cubicle.
If we're lucky, they will figure out the issues and how to fix them. Otherwise, I think the ALF was just a brief stay, and she's going to have to be in a nursing home. She needs more than ALF care right now. She will either rally from this condition, or...not.
Honestly, right now, I have to be prepared for the Not.