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My mother has a fractured hip

September 7th, 2015 at 03:24 pm

Just in case there is not enough going on right now....

My mother has a fractured hip and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. After that, she's looking at 6 to 8 weeks of rehab, according to what the doctor told me.

We know she had 3 separate falls over as many days. Who knows, there could have been more that no one saw. The first known fall was at the hospital on Friday, when she had been brought there because she was complaining of a lot of pain on one side and was very incoherent.

The hospital did a CAT scan of her brain to rule out a mini stroke and the test for UTI came back negative. So they sent her home with an undiagnosed fractured hip!

When I saw her yesterday, she was still complaining of pain in her side but we actually walked around her floor, slowly. How I regret that now. I spoke to the nurse there about her pain and they agreed it was an issue and wanted to do an x-ray but that it might have to wait til Tuesday becus today is a holiday.

But then they called me today and said she was still in a lot of pain and with my agreement she went back to the hospital, where they finally diagnosed her problem.

My mother has osteoporosis, so why the heck wouldn't they have checked for a fracture in an 81-year-old woman?

I spoke to the doctor who said he will put 3 screws in the hip to stabilize it. She'll have to live at a rehab place which will be discussed and finalized when the hospital calls me post-surgery and sees how she is.

I had to go to my mother's condo first to turn on the fridge and the put the thermostat cover back so they could do the inspection tomorrow, but after that i went to see my mother, and i walked in just in time to see my mother fighting with and cursing 2 nurses who were trying to change bed linens she had peed on. My mother is a very soft-spoken, gentle woman, but I have found that when she is pain she turns into something very different, and it was so upsetting to see my mother in this condition. Every time they tried to move her she was in agony.

Then they left and a little while later she said she had to urinate so they came back with a bedpan and again, the cursing and the fighting with the nurses as they got it under her, and later when they removed it.

It was so very painful to see my mother like that. I was so upset myself that I yelled at the nurses. They were just trying to do their job but i would almost rather let my mother lie in pee than have to have them turn her back and forth to change the sheets under her.

Before I learned she had gone back to the hospital, I spent the better part of the day packing up 20 or so pieces of mom's art for the upcoming spa show. I knew it would take some time to bubble wrap it and some of the glass/plexiglass needed cleaning while one framed piece was lacking the wire hanger, so I spent a lot of time doing all that while writing up a list of what I was putting in the show. I'm glad I got the bulk of it done before learning about my mother, because now I can't concentrate on anything.

I have just 1 or 2 more pieces to wrap and then, once we figure out some prices, they'll be ready for drop-off next weekend.

I'm really frazzled by the time spent with my mother. I'm worried about her recovery; I've heard so much about frail, elderly people with hip fractures who never really recover from it. I'm not sure why, exactly, but maybe with so much inactivity during rehab, they just get weaker.

I don't know if Medicare will pay for all that rehab or will I have to pay for it, on top of the usual rent at her assisted living place. If she doesn't do well in rehab, i guess there's a chance she could wind up in a nursing home early, coming in first as a rehab patient where I guess you don't have to worry about getting on a waiting list becus it's being paid for by Medicare.

Once again, despite all my worries about how to make certain transitions, it looks possible that decision about how to eventually move her into a nursing home might be made for me, very prematurely. And this past spring, I'd been worrying a lot about how to get my mother to accept assisted living and her find a way to change her living situation. That decision, too, was made for me when she wound up in the hospital too many times for not very good reasons (constipation) and the hospital sort of forced my hand and wouldn't release her to go home alone.

Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. the realtor is coming by with the sale contract I need to sign. Luckily I'm working from home tomorrow.

The fun never stops.

18 Responses to “My mother has a fractured hip”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    So so sorry to hear about your mother. I'm sure it was incredibly painful for her to be moved with a fractured hip. I, too, have heard that hip issues in older patients isn't usually a good thing. I will pray your mother is the exception.

  2. CB in the City Says:

    Oh, wow, you have SO much going on! I'm really sorry your mother is injured, and can't believe they didn't x-ray her right away! I actually know of an elderly lady who did very well after hip surgery, so don't despair. She may come out of it more stable and with less pain.

    I'm pretty sure Medicare will cover the rehab, and the hospital costs for sure.

  3. Butterscotch Says:

    I'm so sorry, PS. I can feel the anxiety in your writing. I'm hoping that the surgery goes well and the rehab. My father I law had a whole hop replacement that Medicare covered - hopefully thy cover all of this too. He recovered well, if that helps keep your hopes going.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    I am so sorry. It does sound like the medicos will be making decisions on your mom's placement.

    Hope things calm down in your life.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Oh wow PS. {{Hugs}}

  6. Another Reader Says:

    In all likelihood, your mom will have to go to nursing care for an extended period, if not permanently. It may be necessary to give up her place at the assisted living facility, as they may not be able to handle her medical needs in the future. In fact, they did not handle her falls properly because they are not set up to provide that level of care. This is something the doctors and facility operators will decide.

    In your shoes, I would start calling the nursing homes you liked and explain the situation. If a vacancy in a preferred facility occurs at the time your mother needs to be released from the hospital, you will have a say in where she goes.

    Not everyone has a child like you to look after them in their frail old age. Your mom is very lucky to have you.

  7. Carol Says:

    So sorry about your mom. Selling the house is so stressful; this is just over the top and makes the house seem so minor. Yikes. Sending you lots of caring thought




  8. PatientSaver Says:

    Carol, you're right. With what's now going on with my mother, the condo sale seems like an afterthought.

    AnotherReader, yes, I'm planning on calling Masonicare tomorrow. They would be my 1st choice becus they are on my way home from work, but they also have nursing home with memory care facilities, so she could be admitted there as a rehab patient and then go to the nursing home if need be.

    I believe they had said, when I toured it earlier when considering their memory care unit, that if a patient gets admitted under rehab, they don't have to go on the wait list for the nursing home. This is something I need to clarify when I call.

    I was wondering if I would have to give up her place at assisted living. I am hoping Medicare would cover the full 6 to 8 weeks of rehab because otherwise I'd be double-paying quite a bit to keep her room at the assisted living place while it was vacant. Each month costs almost $6,000, so I'd hope to have some sense of whether she can go back to assisted living or is not fit enough to do that.

    Edit Delete

  9. Jenn Says:

    Wow, PS, I'm glad you were able to take that vacation when you did. Sending prayers for your mom.

  10. Dido Says:

    So, so sorry to hear about this. Medicare will cover 100 days in a skilled nursing facility for rehab following a 3-day inpatient hospital stay. From day 21 to 100, there is a copay of about $150/day...see https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/skilled-nursing-facility-care.html.

  11. Kiki Says:

    My thoughts are with your mom and you.

  12. snafu Says:

    to hospital complaining of pain, apparently so severe she was incoherent. What was the probable diagnosis from a nurse at Maplewood? Was your mom even assessed by a Maplewood nurse/employee for any injury? bruises? asked if she'd fallen or somehow been injured?

    Was Maplewood aware of any falls while in their care? Had she fallen when walking? fallen from a standing position? fallen out of a chair? falling out of bed?

    When she fell at the hospital what were the circumstances? Who picked her up or helped her to her feet?

    [Yes, I'm still pretty sensitive about hospital shenanigans having spent more than a week in ICU in August.]
    So glad there has finally been a correct diagnosis and sending prayers for positive outcome of surgery and rehabilitation. Does Maplewood believe they are the appropriate assisted living operation to offer the needed support for full recovery?

  13. starfishy Says:

    so sorry to hear this news. thinking of you and your mother as you face this situation.

  14. bluesfemme Says:

    Sorry to hear. May it get easier for you both.

  15. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this. Good luck. and I hope you can find the right place to live

  16. VS_ozgirl Says:

    So very sorry to hear your mom fractured her hip, that's so distressing. Many wishes for a good recovery.

  17. PNW Mom Says:

    So sorry to hear about your mom....you have so much on your plate right now...praying for a good recovery for your mom and the selling of the condo goes smoothly...hugs

  18. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I am so sorry about your momma- those hips can be tough to recouperate from! I hope she heals quickly and fully!

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