I called and talked to her nurse today. My mother "cooperated" with PT today, but barely let them do anything before claiming exhaustion.
She is still in the hospital, but tomorrow she will be moved to a skilled nursing facility. She is not in any kind of shape to go back to the very nice AL place, and she also doesn't want to go back there. So our conversation went like this:
Mom, you have to do your physical therapy and eat, and cooperate, or you are going to be in a nursing home permanently.
I don't want that, I want to be independent.
I know, but you aren't right now, you have to get your strength back - eat and do your exercises, build yourself up!
I want to go HOME. (The delivery was very ET. I felt for her, I really did.)
I know, but right now you can't take care of yourself - hell, you can't even take care of yourself enough for [assisted living]! How on earth do you think you could manage at home?
I know. But I don't want to go back to that place. (meaning, assisted living place).
I just don't like it. (did not offer a reason)
At this point I got tough, and said: It's the nicest place in the area, you cannot be on your own during the day, you keep falling, and I am not going to run your ass around the county looking for a new apartment every time you decide you don't like the Tuesday night dinner choices. (The only concrete reason she ever offered was that sometimes she wouldn't eat the entrees - they always have other options and will cook whatever you want within reason, but bitching about the dinner menu is her most dramatic complaint.) I'm doing the best I can here, and you need to recognize that and try to make the best of it, because there are no other options right now, this is how it is. But right now, your choice is simple - cooperate and make an effort, or keep getting weaker because you aren't working on getting stronger, and live in a nursing home.
I really am more sympathetic than I sound, I really don't know if she can get stronger. I know she is making a huge adjustment, I have been doing all I can do to help her, but she is doing nothing to help herself. I will move heaven and earth to help her, but I can't rearrange reality to enable her to not try to fight. Reality: she can't go home, I can't make my father be alive again. (I do wish I could, so I could smack him for leaving me holding the bag on this shit.) I can't make her 25, or even 65, again, and that does suck, but I'd like to be hanging out with George Clooney at his villa - or at least win the lottery and surround myself with puppies. In the Immortal Words of Mick Jagger - You Can't Always Get What You Want. Sometimes reality bites, and we can either adjust and do our best and find the best in it, or, what, give up? Right now she's giving up, but tonight I saw a faint possibility that she secretly wants to rally. As Mick so wisely put it - If you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.
She will either decide to live or not. I can't do it for her, and I'm not even going to pretend I can.