By Vicki Scott
I’ve missed the many blessings I’d been taking for granted. Our church at Cove Creek Baptist announced plans to start Sunday School back. Regular school started back recently but not regularly. There have been changes to accommodate all the safety concerns. According to the Centers for Disease Control, death rates among seniors are the highest, so the George Wallace Senior Center in Glencoe will probably be the last place to open. This breaks my heart every day as we deliver our congregate meals curbside. I get asked every day when we will open but no one who is in charge is even discussing it.
Food is still delivered, but the fellowship is just as important. I praise God that at least I get to see our seniors in person. I only saw my mother through a window until she got agitated from not being able to get out. The owner of the assisted living facility called and expressed concern. The doctor tried medication, but nothing worked. Medication does not cure what fellowship and love does. My mom has dementia, which has worsened. She does not understand what is going on with the seriousness of the coronavirus, especially on people her age. I was able to spend a little time with my precious mother while taking her to a facility that might help her. I hugged on her and told her I loved her the whole time. Upon admission to the facility, I had to let her go again. I asked for one more hug and told her I loved her. I cried all the way home.
It was a relief to talk to my mom on the phone. She seemed happy and even made a friend who she planned to give a ride when I came to pick her up. Around three nights into the program, my mother collapse and went into cardiac arrest. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was performed on her and she was resuscitated. When she came to, she was told what happened. She responded with, “I have cheated death three times now, I guess God is not through with me yet.”
She was immediately transported to the intensive care unit (ICU) and put on a ventilator. The doctor informed me that my mom had a blood clot to her lung and double pneumonia. Being that those were symptoms of the coronavirus, she was tested for COVID-19. The doctor told me if the test comes back negative, I could come see her. I had to wait three days, but the test came back negative and my mom was moved to a room where I could come see her. She was in bad shape. They let our family members see my mom one at a time. It did not look like she was going to be around for much longer.
The doctor felt that my mother would not walk, and assisted living was not equipped to take care of her anymore. He did not give us the impression that she would make it to the nursing home. She was taken to the transitional care unit for rehab until Medicare cut the funds. Rehab stopped but she was not moved. My mom stayed in front of the nurse’s station in a geriatric chair. Someone must have told my mother she could not walk because she kept trying to get up.
Eventually, she started walking and then running while staff chased behind her to keep her from falling.
My mom is ready to get out and I want to get her out, but I know that if she had been anywhere else, she would not be still alive. I have had CPR training and we have classes every year, but I would have frozen. In one of my CPR classes, we were told most of these emergency situations occur with family members. When I taught science, I told this to my classes and invited a CMT to come and share some of the things he taught in CPR classes. A few weeks later, one of my students applied what he learned with a family member. It became more real to him after saving a life.
After calling the owner of the assisted living facility where mom was living, she said the same thing, that they would not have known what to do after CPR. God has a plan for my mother.
The agitation has started again. My mother is back in the program. With her dementia, I do not know if getting her out and about would help her, but it would help me. This COVID virus seems to be easing up but not soon enough.
Y’all please stay safe!