Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Fall

Dear Tatum,

Grandma fell. She's fine. I wanted to kill her.

Often, when I leave the house, I remind Grandma that she's not to go outside on her own. Specifically, she's not allowed to go out to the garden. She is too unsteady on her feet and while the trip is a short one, it requires travel on an uneven deck and a step without anything to hold on to. 

When I first brought Grandma home I was largely confined to the house because of the frequency of trips, or missed trips, to the bathroom. That being largely under control, I have been able to leave for long enough to go to the grocery store or the library. Yesterday it was the grocery store. When I came home, Grandma was not in her chair. A quick glance into the bathroom told me she wasn't there either. I went into the kitchen to put the groceries on the counter and spied a grey head just outside the kitchen window. It's where the faucet to turn the water on for the garden is located. It's where she's fallen in the past. It's where she fell on one of my visits here and why I replaced the decking, which has since warped because I used nails, not screws, and didn't seal it with anything. It is not a place where she should be. She knows this.

I went outside to find her on her feet, seemingly unscathed. I chastised her for being out there alone. I was not unkind, but I did let her know I was angry and disappointed. Had she fallen? Yes, she had fallen. She was clearly shaken. I helped her onto the deck and then noticed the blood on it. "Where are you hurt?" I asked. She raised her hand to show me the cut on her finger and the gash between her knuckles. Small wounds considering the possibilities. I got her inside and started cleaning her up. 

For quite a while Grandma has had a lump on her right hand between two knuckles. This is what Grandma opened up from her fall. Whatever was in it came out and it was solid and white and still attached to the inside. I called hospice to talk to the nurse and she clearly did not understand what I was trying to describe--she compared it to a zit. But this wasn't something that was coming out--it was still attached. The nurse came to look Grandma over today, looked at it, and suggested we just let it heal over time. I asked about the white stuff, and even after looking at it she didn't know what I was talking about. I suggested she clean it more and look closely. She did, and afterward saw my concern. She thinks it's a tendon. She called the doctor and made an appointment with him to look at it tomorrow. 

Grandma did not like my admonishments and got grumpy with me. I think she was scared and also embarrassed. I know she is frustrated. Given all this, she still doesn't understand that she shouldn't go into the garden by herself. Today she suggested that if I can go into the garden by myself, then she should be able to as well. I am thinking I am back to spending more time in the house.



Update: We went to the doctor and he basically pulled most of the white stuff out. He said it was a cyst and basically filled with an oily build up similar to wax. Weird what our bodies can produce. We just need to keep it bandaged and it will heal with time.

No comments:

Post a Comment