I got out of rehab for the knee surgery yesterday. They said I wasn’t ready to leave, but I didn’t feel I was making much progress. My leg has been severely swollen almost the whole time, and no one but me seems bothered by that. So here I am at home. Will have services; physical therapy twice a week, visiting nurse twice a week, my homemaker. That’s not really why I came home, though. I came home because I am terrified out of my mind. After I was able to be up and around more, I realized I was more in a ‘caring for the aged’ facility than a strict rehab facility. It freaked me out to see people sitting around waiting for someone to bring them food, to feed them if they can’t, people at the complete mercy of whoever is on shift at that time. The call-button rings incessantly, meaning someone, somewhere needs a fresh cold water, or is having major severe pain. No way to differentiate, and they are supposed to answer every call button, but believe me, that is kind of arbitrary. I realized that this is what happens if you become unable to care for yourself and have no family around to pick up the slack. Big families were good for a reason. You didn’t have to be afraid of being stuck in some ‘facility’ with no power over any aspect of your life. If you can afford to be in a facility. What happens if you can’t? The whole experience scared the hell out of me, and I just wanted to come home. But home is just me, on my own, except for those service visitors. I am about having an anxiety attack over this, and don’t know what to do about it, or is it the meds affecting my perception, or good grief, what is going to happen to me as I get older and less capable. I’m already pretty compromised due to the fibro/CFIDS, and have been skating along thinking things like, “I will do this when I am better, I will get this organized, sorted, whatever.” Will I? I’m probably not ever going to be any better than I am right now, so what are my prospects? I really am scared for the first time in my life. Just so you know, dear readers.
I hear you. It’s scary, especially after helping my in-laws in their final years, including my FIL who had dementia and was in a dementia ward. That would have to be the scariest place.
I don’t know about the good old days – I’ve heard too many instances of ‘elder abuse’ to still buy that 100%. If you have a good, caring family that’s great, but an aged care home is probably better than a not-so-devoted family who can’t wait for granny’s inheritance. Not that that makes things any less scary for you. One day at a time! You’ve had the op. The knee should improve. Your mobility will get better and you’ll manage ok at home. That’s the most likely scenario!
It’s good to plan ahead, though. Have you made some kind of living will? My parents have all of us to look after them if they should become unable to do it themselves, but they’ve also left detailed instructions of what kind of interventions they do/don’t want, so there will be no doubt or confusion at any stage. I know that all sounds awful, but it’s what I will do. I wouldn’t want to be resuscitated or aggressively treated if I’m not likely to have a good outcome or be reasonably independent.
All the best, wish I was a bit closer and could come and visit 🙂
Thanks. Feeling calmer now. Writing things down when there’s no one to actually talk to helps a lot. I am a verbal person, and need to talk things out, it seems. Then I’m usually much better about whatever it is.
I have a health care proxy, and have discussed with her what I do/don’t want done.
I am having tons of visitors. Not friends, but visiting nurses, physical therapists, etc. It’s kind of fun. LOL
Can be interesting meeting people you wouldn’t otherwise meet! Hoow does the cat like all the visitors?
She is not visitor friendly. If I didn’t have pictures, people would think I imagined her. No one but me ever sees her, with rare exceptions like when the vacuum gets too close to where she’s hiding, then a black streak is visible momentarily. LOL She’s a good cat, though.