Monday, March 01, 2010

Mom moves to the MN Veteran's Home

Last Thursday, Mom was admitted to the Veteran's Home in Minneapolis as a resident! We have been waiting for this since we learned in November that because of the stroke Mom had in October she would not be able to safely live alone again in her assisted living apartment.

Mom was invited to stay with us on the farm while she waited for her Vet's Home room to become available. She moved from the transitional care nursing home on January 18, to our dining room that we converted into a main floor bedroom. We settled into a routine together and really enjoyed our living situation.

On Saturday evening, February 13, while we were watching the Winter Olympics, Mom showed signs of another stroke – droopy left side, garbled speech. I called 911 emergency and gathered info about her medications, allergies, and medical history, while Ian comforted Mom as we waited for the ambulance.

We went to the nearest hospital in Sandstone, Minnesota, where Mom was stabilized. A CT-scan confirmed she was not bleeding internally, so she was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), the regional trauma center and where most of Mom's doctors practice. It was a long night for all of us. Ian and I got home from Minneapolis on Sunday morning in time for morning chores. Mom spent one night in ICU and was transferred to HCMC's neurology ward for observation and more testing.

Initially, Mom seemed very weak and still confused so I called my brother Mark who lives in Maryland to come and visit. From one day to the next, we both saw Mom gain strength and return to what I will term as her 'near normal self.' It was such a relief to have Mom show everyone that she was very determined to get well.

After a four-day hospital stay, and to build up her physical strength again, Mom was transferred from HCMC to Benedictine, the transitional nursing home where she had been before coming to the farm. Mom was there only one week when her Vet's Home room became available and she was transferred!

Mom has a very nice roommate, Catherine, who is also new to the Vet's Home. The two have bonded and are learning about their new surroundings together.

Ian and I brought Mom's belongings to her to make her room both familiar and useful. She's got cable TV and a room with a lovely view of Minnehaha Falls Park. In addition to her daily medical care, Mom will also work with a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, become enrolled in its free dental program, have access to the library with its high-speed Internet access computers, and be able to attend non-denominational church services on-site that are held in a beautiful stained glass chapel.

Surely one of Mom's favorite new things is her cell phone, which she uses to stay in touch with family and friends. When we brought it to her, Mom exclaimed: "I have always wanted one!"


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