I took this picture at the hospital on Saturday. I took it with my cell phone and used the software that came with it to remove the color. This will be my submission to Monochrome Madness (http://leannecolephotography.com/) this week.
I forgot to mention in my post yesterday that shortly before I left the hospital that mom pointed at the upper portion of one of the room walls and said, “It looks to me like that wall is on fire.” I said that I didn’t see the fire, and asked if she knew that the wall wasn’t on fire. She told me that she knew that it wasn’t, but that she thought she saw flames.
She was drowsy but wouldn’t take a nap while I was there. I convinced her to close her eyes, but she wouldn’t close them for more than a few heartbeats. She told me that I should leave before it got too late. I told her that I wanted to wait until the shift changed and I could meet the new nurse. Her eyes closed, and so did mine because I was also drowsy. But my eyes jerked open when I heard her moan. She moaned again and then opened her eyes.
“You moaned,” I said.
“No I didn’t,” she said.
“Yes you did,” I said.
“Maybe I was humming along with the music they were playing,” she responded.
Perhaps she was hallucinating music again and was humming along. My mom has no musical talent and could never carry a tune. In fact she was the only person I knew who could whistle and hum simultaneously with no melodious sound. I guess hearing her moan and hearing her hum would be similar.
The old and new nurse came in for the changing of the guard. Mom was convinced that the nurse who had been on duty was a hospital administrator, and was surprised when she said she was leaving for the day. I left soon afterwards.
A few hours after I returned home, I got a call from my sister. She had arrived back at the hospital minutes after I had left. Mom had told her about my visit and had passed on all of the news/gossip that I had told her. My sister told me that a while later, however, my mom once again saw the flames on the wall and believed that they were real. She started screaming “Fire” and became hysterical. You can imagine how the other patients in that hallway reacted when they heard my mother’s screams.
After they got mom calmed down, my sister stayed a while longer before going home. Evidently there were no more episodes that night.
The next day, Sunday, I got a call from my mom in the early afternoon. She had been discharged and was back home. It seems that the IV antibiotics had helped enough, and she had answered the doctor’s questions well enough, that they had sent her home with my sister. Mom said that she now guessed that she had been wrong about the little people visiting the house. But then she went on to tell me that she still thought they had taken over the hospital. She said that it was so bad there that people were quitting. She asked if I hadn’t been in the room when one of the people quit. I told her no; that person had been the nurse whose shift had ended, and that she was just going home. “Oh,” said my mother. Still, she was happy to be home. I was wondering if they had discharged her too soon.
She called me again later Sunday night. She sounded better, and made no mention of little people, loud music, or fire. Perhaps the antibiotics were still making an improvement,
I’ve had one call from mom so far today. She sounded OK. She wanted clarification on one bit of news/gossip I had passed on to her. No, I had not told her that Barbara had gotten married when she moved to Louisiana. Then I talked to my sister.
She said that mom had been better since she got home, but that she thought that she was still seeing things but didn’t want to talk about them. Perhaps she thought she would have to go back to the hospital if she mentioned them. Then my sister said something that I had been thinking. She said that without her hearing aids, mom couldn’t hear anything, and yet she heard the songs that the little people sang. I said that she couldn’t see well enough to read anymore, but she could see the little people without any problems. We hope that the oral antibiotics that she takes now will help clear up some of the confusion.