Friday, July 31, 2009

The month in review - Friday, July 31, 2009

Bandar and I had another lunch date together yesterday, when I popped in for a quick visit after completing an interview. The lunch is $4, a bargain. I had a fish sandwich, salad, tater tots, grapes, coffee and banana pudding for dessert. Yum!


Bandar, smiling with "Smiley," right
First impressions
Pleased to see me dressed professionally, mama-in-law said, "I like that suit. Wear it at my funeral." Now if anyone else had spoken so morbidly, I would have been concerned. But she's been repeating the same refrain for years -- every time I don business attire. It has nothing to do with her state of health. She seems to enjoy planning her funeral -- what she'll wear, who will carry her casket and so on. We've heard her instructions a hundred times. Dress up. Don't wear a hat. Don't wear a beard. She's seen how Americans act and dress, even in church, and she doesn't want to take any chances. For people of her heritage and generation, men and women dress conservatively and respectfully for solemn occasions. And solemn occasions take place in the Church. (Some day, I'll post about her reaction to Sophie's and my choice to marry in Wade Chapel -- at Lakeview Cemetery.)

Making friends
Turning back to living her current life, she loves the exceptional staff at Jennings. "Smiley," pictured with Bandar, above, is one of her favorite aides. When Sophie and I refer to mama as "the queen" or "her highness," staff never bother to ask why or correct us. Bandar knows what she wants and is never shy about letting others know, including me. (The last time I popped in for lunch, Bandar looked up from her soup, and, seeing me for the first time that day, she looked back down and said, "Get me napkin." Of course I obliged.) We think she is well liked, or at least highly tolerated, by the nurses, aides and physical therapy assistants.

Progress
Bandar's strength, endurance and pain have all improved since she arrived at Jennings. She was able to walk about 8- to 10-feet, with a walker and assistance when she arrived. That distance has increased to 60- to 80-feet, with a walker but with minimum assistance. We hope to see continued improvement over the next three to four weeks, when she is likely to move back home with Sophie and me for the next chapter of our lives, intertwined. Until then, Sophie and I visit every day, sometimes together but usually separately, to encourage her, do physical therapy exercises with her (as pictured) and meet with staff.
Mama-in-law, Bandar Murad started her stint in short-term rehab a month ago, June 29. She had fallen May 19 off her front porch and suffered a compression fracture to her T12 vertebra, which caused pain that extended to her legs, which also became weaker. Throughout May and the first couple weeks of June the fracture continued to compress, as did the pain and weakness in her legs. After three days of further diagnosis and observation at Metro Health Hospital in late June, her doctors sent her to Jennings Home for Older Adults to begin rehab and recovery.

1 comment:

  1. Hello steve I have allways loved when family's vist and join there relative at the nurseing home's, hospital, assisted living, OR rehab. that's the kind of work I have done for 33 years.until my back said no more in 2006. but I loved what I did. I would be the one who would train the nursing assistant. I will be praying for your family. god bless and if there's anything I can do please call me. P.S. Tanya Holmes

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