9/8/12 5 PM: We visited Mom at dinner time. She was asleep at the table in her wheelchair (as usual - she sleeps a lot). She was groggy when we woke her & went back to sleep as we were talking to her. She did seem enthusiastic about getting the Sunday paper tomorrw.

9/9/12 9:30 AM: The nursing home called. Mom was having chest pains & groaning. They called 911.

9/9/12 11:00 AM: The ER is checking her condition. She has fluid on her lungs & may have had a slight heart attack. She is in heart failure. More will be known after tests. The doctor said to take their number to check on her but no need to stay there. She seemed very weak. We advised her nurse that she will not admit to pain and he should use her physical signs to determine her comfort level.

9/9/12 4:20 PM: Mom is still in the emergency room They are finished with their ER stuff and waiting for a room. We will go see her as soon as she has a room.

9/9/12 7:00 PM: Mom was moved to room E616. It is a "corner suite" and has a beautiful view of the park across the street. She is still barely responsive and doesn't open her eyes to talk. Her answers to questions are with one word and weak. Usually "yes" or "uh huh". Her blood pressure is elevated. She is usually around 120/65 but now is 175/110.

She is settled for the night. We'll check in on her tomorrow.

9/1012 5:00 PM: Mom is more alert but still weak. She doesn't like to talk. The nurse said she had some agitated times last night. She may be sent back to the nursing home tomorrow. She has elevated heart enzymes but she is not a candidate for any invasive procedures. She will be medicated for her condition.

The dinner was served by a guy announcing "Room Service". She had a beautiful plate of salmon, carrots, & mashed potatoes. She tried to eat her ice cream first as usual, but I encouraged her to try some of the good stuff. After a few bites, I noticed she had downed her sherbet & started on her ice cream. I don't think she will suffer from eating desert first at this point.

I used my phone camera. Here are some pictures of the view from her window.


9/11/12:Louise Bower visited Mom at noon. She brought a lap blanket one of the laides from church had made.

We visited Mom at dinner. She was asleep. We woke her just as they brought her dinner tray. Look at the presentatiion of that Key Lime Pie!! It makes you wish you were sick. Mom didn't respond to dinner. She kept her eyes closed and moaned. She pretended she didn't have the strength to feed herself. We moved the pie and ice cream to the front of her plate and she downed them both with open eyes and some effort. She is very weak and it is difficult to get her to respond with more than a grunt or one word.

Her doctor called around 3 to say the cardiologist had seen her. They had adjusted her heart medication. Their plan is to send her back to Treemont tomorrow.

9/12/12 7:PM: Mom is back from the hospital She was trying to get out of bed when we got there. I asked where she was going & she just said "Uh.... "   BUSTED.   She was much more alert than when in the hospital.  We got some ice cream for her from the nurse. The nurse said when Mom got to her room from the hospital, she said "Oh look, my M&M's are still there".  Jan had sent a package of snacks. Opening them was quite a challenge (LOTS of tape). The Asiago Cheese Crisps were pretty good (Thanks!). I left some for Mom. Below is a picture of Mom with her ice cream and a brownie. Sorry about the blurry pictures. I need to bring a real camera.


9/13/12 3 PM: Today was uneventful. We must have come at pre-dinner nap time.  Mom opened her eyes slightly, acknowledged us and went back to sleep. After several tries, we decided it was best to leave her alone. Anyone sleeping that good deserves to enjoy it.

9/17/12 3:30PM: Mom is more alert than she has been. She acknowledges what we tell her but is not real talkative. She's always "fine" and seldom remembers what she ate at her last meal. Her good friend from the apartment (R.C. - the guy she used to go to for an oxygen fix & watch TV) moved to a nursing home in Denton.  Anne has surgery in the morning so we may not be back to visit Mom for a couple of days.

We left as Mom was about to get her soup. They serve soup as an appetizer weekdays. It is very tasty & Mom looks forward to it.

9/20/12 1:30 PM: Mom was asleep (as usual). She had her hear washed & set yesterday. We set up an appointment for her to get it cut next Wednesday. After Mom woke, she said she needed to get lup. A CNA came in and said there was a bingo game starting in 1/2 hour. Mom tried to get out of bed & her alarm went off. She waved at it and said "Oh pffst". I think she's heard that sound before. It is difficult to get her to answer in more than one or two words. I think she is just being difficult. She did say "Those people keep walking up and down the hall", so I know she can make a sentence when she wants to. She was in a hurry to get to bingo, so she CNA moved her alarm to her wheel chair and headed off with her.

9/22/12 1:30PM: Teresa & Zach were visiting today. We all went to visit Mom. She was still in the dining room. The CNA said there was arts and crafts at 2:00 & Mom lit up. We took her upstairs to find a place. While we were waiting, we asked if she had talked to anyone. She said she was waiting to hear from Nita. I called Aunt Nita who informed me she ahd talked to Mom yesterday. Mom told her that Bea had just called.  Mom got to talk to Nita again.

9/24/12 Louise had visited Mom. She said that Mom was aggravated that she couldn't find her flashlight. She described what it looked like but Louise couldn't find it anywhere. Mom didn't have a flashlight there. I do recall her having one by her hospital bed a month ago. It must have been left by an Aide. It was still on and the batteries were nearly dead.

9/25/12 11AM: We took Mom a flashlight and some candy. She remembers looking for one and was glad to have it. We had a patient progress meeting and then went to see Mom. She was more talkative. When we took her to the dining room for lunch, she said she usually sat by that lady with the blue shirt. As we went to that table, the CNA said "Maybelle, we want you at that other table. You haven't been eating lunch and I want to help you". When we got her settled, Mom commented that she didn't know what that was about. We told her that they observed that she had lost weight and ate breakfast well but tended not to eat lunch right. Mom said "Oh Pfft, that's not right". The CNA heard her and said "Maybelle, you eat breakfast but you have not been eating lunch. We want you to be healthy". Mom's reply "Tattletale". They have her number.

There are activities daily. One of them is a nail session. Below is a picture of Mom's new nail color. Also is a section of the activity chart they post in each room.

9/29/12 3PM: Mom was supervising her buddy, Bebe (the nurse). She had her flashlight and had worn her name off of it. I guess she really uses it. We had been to her apartment to get some more shoes. The neighbor next to her apartment had a water leak & Mom's furniture was crowded into the living room and half her bedroom carpet was removed. Fans were blowing to remove the moisture. It is good she is not there anymore.

Mom was much more talkative than before. It looks like she is enjoying the care at Treemont. While we were stting with her a CNA brought her a muffin and coffee. She even looked up how Mom likes her coffee. Mom did say she could not see well enough to read a newspaper. We will try to find a large lighted magnifying glass & take it to her with more snacks tomorrow or Monday.

10/4/12 4PM: Mom was waiting for soup. Birttany (her CNA) gae her a bowl. As she was eating it, another resident pulled up and said "she usually sits over there" pointing at a different table. I guess they are territorial at that age. Mom used to get annoyed at the other ladies at ther apartment who visited RC. He is now in a nursing home in Denton,.

10/8/12: 4:30PM Mom was getting ready for dinner. We usually get ther about soup time. Her hair still looked good form last Wednesday. The CNA brushes it for her when they get her out of bed for the day.

10/10/12 6PM I got home from a round of doctor visits. There was a message from the nursing home that Mom had been disoriented, weak, and wasn't eating. They sent her to Medical Center (the one I don't like). We went to Medical City first looking for her then to the other. She has a urinary tract infection and is disoriented. I think the disorientation comes from the infection. She had not eaten. We asked for an Ensure & she started drinking it. We'll know more tomorrow.

10/12/12 5PM: Sarah and the boys went to visit. I'm still a bit puny to be getting around hospital germs. Mom recognized the boys and asked her usual question "what grade are you in" but she seemed very confused. When asked questions, she would start to answer & couldn't find the words so she stopped. The nurse told Sarah that she was concerned about Mom not eating or drinking. She is going to discuss that with the doctor since she is afraid Mom is not getting enough nourishment.

10/13/12 4PM: Mom is more alert. She does not have such a hard time searching for words. However, she is weak and not eating much. She said she ate but her dinner plate was on her tray untouched. We put her soup in a cup & she started drinking it. Her nurse said that she ate a good breakfast but little else. We told her Mom usually ate breakfast and oatmeal was her favorite.

10/14/12 2PM: We took Mom  a cup of Ice cream. She downed it while we were there. The nurse told us that Mom is not getting enough nourishment to survive and can't be released until she does.

10/15/12 11AM: The hospital social worker called to say they were sending Mom back to Treemont. I spoke to Mom's nurse who told me that the urinary tract infection was cleared up but that Mom was not eating. Mom will say she ate or is not hungry but her body is not getting the nutirition she needs to survive.

10/15/12 4PM: Mom is back at Treemont. She ate all of her mushroom soup. Her CNA said she would help Mom with her meals. Mom's RN (Bebe) came in to check on Mom's diet. Dallas Medical Center had her on a pureed diet and made a comment in their log about Hospice. Bebe asked if they mentioned that to us. I said no. Also I don't want her going back there. If they have a choice, anywhere but there. Hospice is for people who have less than 6 months to live. It looks like they stuck a try in front of Mom & when she didn't eat it, declared she was going to die.

This is the same hospital that failed to set her bed alarm when she fell. Also, Sarah noted to one of the nurses that the IV bag was leaking. The nurse nonchalantly said "that isn't the IV, - it's urine). With the neglect, poor sanitization and lack of communication with family, she won't be going back there.

10/19/12 5PM: We signed Mom up for her weekly shampoo & set. She was asleep. When we went in & we woke her up, she seemed very alert and said "Hi". Then she went back to sleep. No amount of efforts would wake her so we put some licorice on her night stand & left.

10/21/12 5PM: Mom was in the dining room with her head on the table. She was lethargic and seemed much more frail than usual. She had a Bingo prize she won in front of her. I suspect that, in her frame of mind, the staff checked her card for her. I asked if she ate the licorice we gave her Friday. She said "yes, it was good". We took more candy to her room. Her licorice was untouched. We have another patient progress meeting next week.

10/23/12 4PM: We had a progress meeting. The physical therapist said Mom is using a walker to go about 200' in the mornings. She seems to have more energy in the morning. Her evening nurse (Bebe) said she was worried about Mom not eating and sleeping so much. There was one time she couldn't wake Mom & was worried about her. I guess Mom's energy comes & goes but is best before 1PM.

Mom gets her hair done tomorrow. Her fingernails had been done. She said she did it. We asked where she got the nail polish. She said she got it out. We said "Nice job".

10/26/12 6PM: Mom was sitting by the nurses station watching her "buddy", Bebe. She tried to introduce us to Bebe even though we've talked with her every time we visited. Bebe said that one day, she came in at 2:10 and Mom was waitng for her. Mom said "you're late". Is is apparently more alert than she lets on. I told her that Jan and Clint were probably coming in November. She said "Humph". I asked if she knew Jan and Clint. She laughed and said "of course".

One of the other patients was asking everyone if they had seen her daughter. After getting negative responses from several people, Anne heard her mumble "That's the last time I'm getting in a car with someone else driving. From now on, I'm driving myself". Sad but amusing.

10/30/12 6PM: Mom was sitting by the nurse's station again watching her buddy. She called Bebe over to ask if there was a Haloween party tomorrow. The staff continues to amaze me. They obviously have work to do but when a patient calls them, they give them their undivided attention. Mom told us she was ready for them to take down the Haloween decorations. We assured her they would be down after tomorrow night. We explained to Mom that we were going out of town from Thursday until Tuesday. Bebe assured us they would take good care of her.

11/8/12 6PM: Mom was more talkative than she's been since going to Treemont. We took her some mint coated dark chocolate M&M's. She downed a bag while we were there. She called Bebe over & offered her some. Then she asked Brittany if she wanted any. One of the ladies said "come here" to Bebe. She jokingly said 'No". The lady said "Go to Hell".  Bebe smiled and said "She's that way sometime". Then she went to see what the lady wanted after finishing with Mom.


11/12/12 1:30PM: We took Mom some more M&M's and reading glasses. She has been unable to see well enough to read the paper & we hoped these would help. We also took her some sweaters because of the weather change. She put one on and began stuffing it and her shirt pocket with packages of M&Ms.

Mom has a new roommate. It is a lady who is there for rehab because of a fall. We asked Mom what happened to her old roommate. She said oh, she.... then she nodded off after thinking real hard a minute. I asked if she was thinking so hard she fell asleep. She laughed.


11/18/12 3:00PM: Mom was at her usual position, monitoring the nurse's station. She had one of her sweaters on. It has been chilly lately. We gave her some more M&M's and left some in her room. Mom seemed more talkative. Not chatty, but much more than one syllable answers (or no answer at all).

11/29/12 7PM: Today is Mom's 93rd birthday. Treemont had a party today for all the November birthdays. They really try to make them feel special. Anne and I visited after dinner. We gave her a musical card that had a dancing chorus line and played a tune when opened. Mom loves ice cream so we brought some Starbucks coffee flavored ice cream with dark chocolate chips and a cup cake. She also got a box of chocolates and some parmesan bread sticks. While whe was eating her ice cream (she downed the cup non-stop), we called Nita and then Bea and she talked with them on the speaker. Those gals sure can carry on when they are talking. Mom said Louise had brought a small lighted Christmas tree. One of the nurses stopped by to check on her. She said that Mom would get animated when she met someone from Louisiana. They would discuss where they were from & really bond.

12/10/12: It has been a difficult week for Mom. She was taken to the hospital last Tuesday night with difficulty breathing and not talking. It is unclear if she had pneumonia or a heart failure. She had excess fluid and was totally unresponsive. The doctors even went over how far we wanted to go and discussed the options. It was not hopeful that she would make it much longer.

Yesterday, she started opening her eyes and making eye contact. She had not been able to swallow & they had been unable to administer food or medications. She began swallowing a little and would communicate a little. She was moved from ICU to a room. This morning, she was able to swallow, but stopped. Her speech is strained and only a few words at a time. It is still touch and go. She is receiving some nutrition and medications through her PIC line. To advance, she must be able to swallow food and medications. She said she can swallow, but doesn't do so when the therapist tries to evaluate her ability.

Mom is in a very low bed with pads all around it on the floor because of her propensity to try to get up without assistance. The bed is designed so that is next to impossible.

There are no pictures at this time. She  is very frail and weak so we decided it best not to take any.

12/11/12 10AM: I'm sad to report that Mom's doctor called with a disappointing status on her condition. He saw her the last time she was there. Mom is not swallowing and has not shown improvement in her overall state. She had another incident of congestive heart failure and is at the end stage of life.  He is going to talk to Treemont about placing her in a Hospice unit or facility. She will receive oxygen and medications to keep her comfortable.  More information will be posted as we learn it.

12/13/12 Mom ins back at Treemont. Hospice will see her in addition to the regular staff. Mom is very faril and does not open her eyes much. When she does, there is little expression. She sleeps most of the time.

12/14/12 Mom is comfortable. She does not respond to voice and just sleeps.

12/15/12. Mom passed away last night.