J Smiles pours out her heart in this episode. Believing Zetty has a simple Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), she is forced to call 911. It turns out to be much more serious. The ER presents one obstacle after another as J tries to guide the staff on best practices and techniques to get Zetty to acquiesce to the many tests. Routine blood and urine samples become stressful, silly displays of the massive void regarding Alzheimer's disease awareness within the ER staff.
Fortified by love, J fights to reduce her mom's "process" pain and establish a care plan with as many protective parameters as possible. J Smiles uses precise analogies and examples to give the listener an audio-visual of the emergency room and series of mishaps experienced due to ill prepared medical personnel. A hospital is for healing... usually.
It happened one of my worst nightmares, Friday night Zetty started to exhibit high temperature, elevated blood pressure, the doctors closed. Then she starts walking funny, not falling but a very unsteady gait, which is not like her. The blood pressure gets right and then the temperature gets back in line. But then Saturday and Sunday everything keeps fluctuating by Sunday night her hands start trembling. It gets weirder when she gets confused and doesn't even call me jG so by Monday morning, I call her doctor. The doctor says absolutely J Smiles take her to the E.R In the United States we dial 911 to get the emergency ambulance to come to your house to take you to the hospital. Get mom to the hospital. Soon as we get there. I tell the nurses she has advanced Alzheimer's please communicate with me. She does not understand verbal cues. I'm infuriated when they don't believe me. They keep trying to talk to my mom valuable time is wasted because they are doing the soft speak Miss Smith, please do you mind we're going to try to draw some blood. We're going to roll up the sleeve on your right arm and just try to use this vein right here. Is that okay? And I'm like, Ah, my mom is getting more confused. It's cold in there. There are too many people. The lights are too bright. Anyway, the point is, they're testing her for a lot of stuff. They want a blood sample. They want a urine sample. I'm trying to guide them through this so that they can get the samples they need to see what's happening with my mom. The nurse tells me everyone who comes in now has to be tested for COVID my mom gets tested. No problem, y'all her COVID test comes back positive. The lady looks at me and says J Smiles you have to leave anyone who tests positive cannot have visitors. Parenting Up caregiving adventures with comedian J Smiles is the intense journey of unexpectedly being fully responsible for the well being of my mom. for almost a decade. I've been chipping away at the unknown, advocating for her and pushing Alzheimer's awareness on anyone and anything with a heartbeat. Spoiler alert- I started comedy because this stuff is so heavy be ready for the jokes. Caregiver newbies, OGs, village members trying to just prop up a caregiver. You are in the right place.Zetty:
Hi this is Zetty .I hope you enjoy my daughter's podcast. Is that okay?J Smiles:
Today's episode, they stole my mama. Hey, parenting up family, Zetty is still struggling with COVID. This episode is a few hours delayed because my commitment as her caregiver comes first. I'm sure you understand. There we go. Let me back up just slightly. When the EMTs arrived to the house, I tell them the hospital I select because Zetty has been there before she is in the system. The doctors know her the ER staff knows her. It should be a smoother transition. That's why I'm picking these people. The EMTs tell me well, ma'am, you know, you're not going to be able to stay. So give us your number and we'll make sure they call you. I say Yeah, I know I can't ride with you in your vehicle. But I'm going to follow right behind you, sir. You go ahead and you drive at your pace. Don't you worry. You're not going to lose me. You go right on, man. Ma'am you're not going to get but stay. I know. Y'all, I knew all along. So I'm going to right, walk right up in that emergency room with you with the confidence that I'm supposed to be there. I'm walking up in there with what they call a plume, alright, with an eagerness with that I belong. Anyway, I walk into the ER with the EMT team right beside my mother's gurney with my hospital overnight bag and with hers with the full expectation that she probably has a UTI and will be admitted I'm staying and she's staying because what I had heard from all my doctor friends and from the community was that the COVID restrictions had been massaged a little bit and people could spend the night. All non COVID related patients could have a family member spend the night, so I'm like, hey, if anybody could spend the night withthey people I'm spending the night with Setty. I always got a good reason say My mama, first of all, she has advanced dementia. You ain't gonna be able to get her to do nothing. She not gonna eat. You're not gonna know how to get her to take her medicine. Yes, and you go want me here, I'm going to do half the job for the nurses. I'm going to clean her, y'all when my mom was in the hospital, probably half of the time, I'm the one cleaning her when she soils herself, and I'm the one who gives her sponge bath. I know how to do it, I'm gonna be in the room anyway. Just give me the stuff. No problem. No harm, no foul. Anywho. So we get into Er, y'all. Let me just, y'all I don't know who is doing the training in the medical school for the people. I don't know who's doing the training at the community colleges for the people, for the nursing techs, but either they don't have dementia classes or Alzheimer's training. But I don't know what these people think when I say my mother has Alzheimer's. I don't know what runs through their mind. I wish they would just say, Well, can you explain what that means? Or can you tell me how I should approach her because I say my momma has Alzheimer's and they say, oh, okay, I understand thank you for telling us as if they're about to change the way they approach my momma. Yeah, I want to beat my head into the floor because they literally don't do anything any differently with my mom than they do any other patient in the ER in ain't but a sheet separating one patient from the next is the sheet hanging from some clothespins separating the patient. So I hear how you're talking to Miss Thomas and Mrs. Jackson versus Zetty. And How y'all doing is using your Starbucks voice or your Disneyland voice? You talking real sweet, but you're giving way too many freakin words. Why are they talking to my momma about which arm? Ma'am, can I see your right arm? I want to roll up your sleeve and I'm going to take this vein and I'm going to draw some blood we need to test your blood to see if you have any infections. I'm sorry, ma'am. What is blood? What is an infection? Who are you? What is a sleeve? What does roll up mean? Are you serious right now? Do you know how many compound instructions you just gave my mom? And for what? Just do it, where is Nike? Nike needs to get involved with the Alzheimer's Association push Just do it. There's no HIPAA involved with dementia patients. It's useless. Either you are going to provide the health care services for the dementia patient or you ain't they can't give you consent. Okay. Oh my god. So I'm over here telling these people first of all, my mom's a hard stick that juicy vein that you think that's gonna work, it's not gonna work. I got one, two, I can show I did a show it to them. I got on the same arm. It's on my right arm right there with my elbow pants. Don't do it. Yo, why you think I even know how to say phlebotomist? I suck at phonics. I know that word because I learned it. They the fancy people that know how to get the blood. If somebody walks in talking about I need a phlebotomist, you might want to listen to him. This is all to the people in the medical field. I wasn't asking you for opioids, trying to come out of here with a script to fix a drug habit. I'm asking you for phlebotomist. Ma'am we're supposed to try first. Try on somebody else. I'm telling you don't try on her. The ER nurse tried, like three times on both arms. My mom is bruised by this time. She's anxious. She's tense. She hasn't eaten. She hasn't had any of her medication. Because once you call 911, they tell you don't give them anything else to eat or drink. So now hours have passed we are well into the afternoon. There ordering tests. And I'm thinking it in a minute ain't gonna be no blood flowing because she hadn't had any liquids. Please get the phlebotomy. They get an IV nurse. The IV nurse comes in with the ultrasound machine. She is running the ultrasound up and down my mom's forearm up and down my mom's biceps and I'm like ma'am, she said a phlebotomist is going to come to draw the blood. I'm here, I'm an IV nurse and I'm here to place the IV. I said, well, ma'am, you need to put the IV in my mom's hand. She said Oh, no, no, no, they're not gonna like that because she'll pick out and she won't stay. I say ma'am my mom has had IV in her hand. For years. She has had double digit numbers, numbers of surgeries. She won't bother it. We're gonna tape it down. That's what's gonna have to go I know you don't want it but we need I need the butterfly. Your butterfly doors. I knew what the smallest needle like us for the little babies us that put In putting in her hand, I know that one right hand has to go to hand. She says, Oh, no, that's That can't be. I said, Okay, where's that you're not gonna find one anywhere else. She doesn't want to believe me. Guess what, y'all Guess what? I'm awake. Guess which guess it? Does anybody thinks she found one in my mom's forearm or in the whatever is between the shoulder and the elbow. No, she did it. She just made my mom scream a lot. So then as other people are coming in, to do something, the chest X ray, the ladies come in and try to get the urine by this time. My mom's upset. She's not trusting anyone. She and you know, at this point, jG I'm doing my best job trying to help get people. But they won't listen, they won't listen to me, the number of times I hear medical professionals say that they want the family to be more involved. They want the family to come to appointments and to keep a journal and to keep notes and to make sure that they're taking their medication on time and that they are adhering to the diet and that they've taken the medication as prescribed and I'm making okay, but if we're doing that part, then when we show up at the ER that I need to do to listen to me, when I walk in telling you what my mother's needs are. I'm telling you, you can't give her verbal cues. That's what that means. Anyway, so the IV nurse finally gave up. She said, well, Ma'am, I'm just, I'm having a hard time I said, well, is there anyone else on your team? She said, no, I am the only person here now. I said well, I would like you to convey to the doctor that you were unable to do it and see if the physician has another plan. Because you know, basically what I was letting her know is you are not going to stick my mama again. I'm my mother's advocate. And that's enough by this time the phlebotomist is here and the phlebotomist came in and she said I heard your mom's a hard stick, but I like it, I'd like to challenge. I said, Okay, well, you got one today, I showed her the areas that had already been tried. I told her what was typically successful for drawing blood because now where you can draw blood and where you can leave IV needle, that's not the same spots. You know what I'm saying? Where you can run pipe where you can lay pipe ain't the same. Got to ask your granddad about that. So this lady was more trusting. But I gotta tell you this. I don't know if she would have trusted me more from the beginning. Or if by now word had gotten around that, hey, Miss Smith's daughter know what she's talking about? You might want to listen to the daughter in there. The daughter seems to know how to calm her down and get her to do stuff. So she comes in. I told the phlebotomist don't say, you know, okay, it's gonna be a big stick, but you can do it, it will be it won't be long. Don't do that. Don't you tell her let you give me the eyeball that says in three I'm a start. Then I'm a talk. I'm like, Hey Zetty, how you doing sweetheart? It's going to be a stick, but it won't last long and I'm a talk you through it. It's gonna hurt me to squeeze my hand, squeeze my hand, squeeze my hand, squeeze my hand, squeeze my hands because my squeeze (repeated). See say it's over, it's over, see Zetty you did it. You did it. (Kiss Sounds) Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss. Oh my god, I'm so proud of you. Nobody in the whole world could have done it. You are the strongest person in the whole world. See what I'm saying? I know how to talk to my mama. I know how to get her through her points of pain. I'm standing right here. Why not Let me help. Okay anyway, so we go to that with the phlebotomist. Then it's time for the urine sample again. I'm having to start all over. So they are coming. And the first thing is, they're asking me if she can walk. Yes, she can walk. So can you get her to give us a urine sample? I said no. It's better if you cath her. They said well, it's a better sample if she will eliminate in the cup. I said well, she cannot eliminate in a cup because. And then they say but you said she can walk. I'm sorry, are you trying to challenge me on whether or not my mama can walk? What? I'm sorry, nurse person. What reason Do I have to lie to you? Okay, yes, she can walk, however, if Yep, Zetty launched a torpedo right there. And then when it's I'm not mistaken in order for her to eliminate in the cup she has to squat and some kind of way the cup needs to be positioned such that as she squats the urine is going into the cup. Also. She needs to be wipped with a cleansing cloth right before she goes and then she has to hold the squat until the urine is coming, which means she has to organically understand in her mind, let us know when you bout to pee. And right when you about to pee that's when we go and do the squat and when we go wipe , seriously. I said she has advanced Alzheimer's, and she cannot follow verbal cues. So you think she's gonna understand, hey once we wipe you, you can't let your girly parts touch nothing. And then you just got to squat. You got to squat, right and squat over this cup. But don't let the cup touch no part of your vaginal area and you got to pee. But don't let the pee come out over the cup. But you got to pee at least half of the cup, really? But hold a squat, if your legs start burning. your thigh start hurting, just hope. So no, she can't go. What can she do a bedside commode? What do you have a hat? Do you have a urine hat to collect the collect it? Are we back at the same point who go hold? How she? Is she squatting over the bedside commode? Oh, we see your point? Maybe it is better if we just catheterize her. Yeah, I think it's better if you catheterize her. Oh, for us to do that. I think we're going to have t get a second nurse. Hmm. I hink that's a good idea. I'm gon a pause right here people to say I'm at a well established, we l ranked well run Hospital in ne of the top 10 cities in the nited States. And this is the feedback that I'm getting when I describe my mama has advanced Alzheimer's and couldn't fo low verbal cues anymore. Thi is what I mean when I say we got to find the cure. And n the meantime, increase awarene s. So this fire was funny. I mean, it wasn't totally fun It was kind of funny. So in ts second nurse comes in, and t ey're trying to tell my mom how o move her body so that they can do the catherizing. nd I'm telling them, Hey, you now, don't use words, just move her by the way you want. Like f you want her legs to be bent, hen just start to position her knees. She has great physical st ength, because my mom works out like two times a week with a rainer and she walks on t e treadmill 20 minutes a day for the other five days. So I say h y, you know if you want her to end her knees, just if you st rt bending her knee, she'll fin sh. If you want her to bend er arm to start bending her forearm, she'll bring it all t e way up to her shoulder. An they just, you know, they loo at me and keep doing it their ay. Miss Smith, we want you to bend your knee. She doesn't. Mi s Smith, we want you to be d your knee. She doesn't. And t en she starts to squirm a litt e bit and I tell them I sit and hen she starts to do this winc ng face, the face you would make if you were about to have a b wel movement. But she doesn't runt doesn't make any noise. And I told them I was like, she s about to have a bowel move. A d they said what? And I was like she's making that face. I th nk she's about to have a bowe movement. And they ain't list n to me, guys time to clean her up, they're saying Miss Smith, can you turn to your right, my guys, I was sitting here like, is this? What are we doing? are we watching Groundhog's Day? Like, is this serious? Are you seriously still communicating with her? Left and Right? Can you turn to your left side? Will you put your right arm on the banister? Will you please raise your head? Are you serious right now? And I was so I finally put on gloves. I said, if I put on gloves, can I help? Do you mind if I come and I help? And I say let me show you what I mean when I say she doesn't follow verbal cues anymore. And I say hey Mommy, and she said yes baby. My mother loves to help. She doesn't like being a nuisance. Her spirit is still very affable, very loving very much a team player. So I grabbed the arm that I wanted her to move. I grabbed that hand. I put that hand on the railway I wanted it to be and guess what she led me had a hand she didn't try to pull the hand back. I put it on the rail. And then I just wrapped her fingers around the bar and I kind of pat ed the hand and then she grabbed the bar tight and then I took th leg and brought that leg aroun and she ended up turning on he side, and I looked at them. And I said, that's kind of what I mean, just move her body. Don t use your words, you can talk o her and say, Hey, thank you o much. You're doing a great jo . My mother loves words f affirmation to say that she s doing a good job. Thank you f r helping, but you can't give h r instructions because she doesn t know what you're talking abou . She is not at all trying to e disruptive. She don't know wha you saying. And they looked a me and said, oh, oh, she doesn' really follow verbal cues. So he just doesn't follow. She doesn't understand. I was like right? Yep. Yeah. I s id, she articulates very well If you say good morning, she ill say very clearly. Good morn ng. How are you doing? She'll ay, I'm hanging in there. But th t's it. That's what she got. Th t's it. That's all she has is ki d of is very robotic. But if ou give her a command, lift yo r right leg. She doesn't know w at lift your right leg mean, s e might be able to follow you If you say do what I do. And yo happen to lift your right leg s e might do inkind. get it cle ned up. Then we get to the c theter. They're trying to traight catheter. Wait, a n w nurse comes in. The new nur e starts saying, Mrs. Smith if y u don't mind, we need to get som of you on we're going to cathet rize you. One of the nurses that have been there said no wait, do 't do it like that her daugh er just showed us. It's bett r if we don't use a lot of word . And I say right. Thank you, t ank you so much. The nurse that ad been there a while, said th re's no need to explain it. Her aughter showed us I held Zetty s hand and I said Zetty hold m hand, when it hurts squeeze. And I just said squeeze sq eeze, squeeze, squeeze, sq eeze, squeeze, squeeze, sq eeze, squeeze, squeeze, sq eeze, squeeze, squeeze. A d I'm steady looking at the nu ses. And you know, like if yo see watch baseball, and the hird base coach on the bas ball players to keep runni g or anytime you're telling p ople come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on. ast, fast, fast. I'm looking a the nurses like go go, go, o go fast, fast, fast, fast, ast. Because when I tell Zetty, kay, okay, squeeze, squeeze, squ eze, squeeze, squeeze. Whe I'm telling her to squeeze, I' distracting her and as sh squeezes whatever she's feelin some of the tension is comin out in my hand and let me tel you, that girl got a squeeze o her. Do you hear me, she has a squeeze on her. And then on e the nurses give me to sign l like hand eye coordination and winking at me then i kn w the worst of it is over then I say you did it momma oh my god I'm so proud of you. So now I'm kissing all over her face. And we made it mommy. We got the c theter in the urine is coming o t. Zetty doesn't know what happ ned. But the discomfort is pa sed. And they've gotten the sa ple. Now the phlebotomist came i and she was so bad it she his lady started praying. I verheard her. She was like, Li ten, I'm not going to say anything I al to just let you take the lead. She said I'm going to find a spot. I'm going to wink at you and nod my head when I'm about to puncture your mother's skin. And from that point, whatever verbal cues you want to give her you do so I said okay, so I started holding my mom's hand and rubbing my mom's hand and I'm talking to her using all my JG language. Y'all that lady started talking to Jesus, she's like, please, Lord, please, Jesus, please let me get this blood. Let me get this blood from this lady. Because she already knew of the struggle and the troubles that had that occurred it but just her asking for some intervention made me calm down. I didn't know if she was gonna get it or not. But at least let me know that she was an acting hottie. And like she was automatically presumed to be, you know, some kind of deity. So then the chest X ray band comes in, right because they're trying to see if they're pneumonia. anything crazy going on in the chest area. Your chest x rays are fancy. Now, you still sitting in the bed, they bring the machine they put the X ray behind your back, and they take a picture from the front. I tell this man, now he's an X ray tech. I don't know where they go to school, but you are in the medical field. Taking x rays of people's lung and you work in a hospital. I tell him, she has Alzheimer's. She does not understand words. She's not going to understand any commands you give her. He says, okay, gotcha. Thank you for telling me. That's the part. I don't get people. Why are you saying, Okay, thank you for telling me like at least say, I don't know what that means, ma'am. What do you mean? She doesn't understand words and commands and instructions. So this man tells me, okay, thank you for telling me. Then he proceeds look at momma, Okay, ma'am, on the counter three, hold your breath. Okay, hold your breath is a command isn't in that an instruction? You know? And then he looks at me when she doesn't do it. And he's like, how do I tell her to hold a breath? I was like, You can't? That's an instruction. She's not going to be able to do that. And he said, what I needed to do that in order to get a proper X ray. I said, Well, you can't can you at least make a notation on this x ray that the patient was just breathing normally. So then the doctor can take that into consideration when reading the final X ray, I don't know what to tell you. He said, Well, maybe can you get it to laugh or can you get it to cough and I was like, that's asking her to cough. That's also an instruction. I was like, we could try to tell a joke. I could try to tickle her stomach. But that's more likely just to get her agitated. But I doubt I could get out the way fast enough for you to actually catch her in the laugh or in the cough. He looked at me as if well, how am I supposed to do my job? How am I supposed to get a picture of her lungs expanded if she will not hold her breath? And I'm thinking, Well, what about all the people who come in here and cannot hold their breath? What about people with damaged lungs or poor lung capacity or people in the throes of awful pneumonia or in the throes of awful coughs? Obviously they not holding their breath. I'm sorry, I said she don't understand verbal cue. Yeah, so anyway, then they sent another person to place the IV. So she comes in, and I've never seen this for it. She was a nurse and all red scrubs. I was like, hey, that's cool. I've never seen a nurse in all red scrubs. Like I would wear I think I would wear red scrubs. If I was a nurse. I was like, I love the color red. And she said, I hate wearing red. And I was like that's odd. And she said, I have to wear the red. And I was like, oh okay, I get it. Why do you have to but you don't like and she's like, yeah, it means I'm in charge up. Like I was like, go girl. She was like, Yeah, but it means I stand out. And everybody's always trying to get me because they know I'm the one in charge. So obviously, she's like the nurse over all the nurses everywhere in hospital. And so anyway, one of her specialties is placing an IV in the neck and she came because she heard that admitting physician spoke of the trouble finding a vein for zeti she came she put the IV in the Zetty's neck it was done in like 30 seconds. I explained to her my mother's inability to follow verbal cues. She got it right away. She said Okay, cool. You come stand right here. However it is you need to keep your mother calm and still you do that. I need about 45 seconds total I will tell you when I need you to start giving me the clock. I say honey, where have you been my whole life. I can do this. It was great. I stood on one side of Zetty, where did I stand where she needed to turn her neck I stood on the side was that it would be looking at me. I was holding Zetty's hands and kissing on her chin and talk to her and tell her how great she was how much I loved her. Neither one of us not me. Neither one of us was to be the first to say goodbye. Anyway, I digress. I'm not a singer. I didn't say nothing. Nor did this head nurse in rare scrubs say anything about IV or prick or stick or blood or this is gonna be to treat you or it might hurt or you can't touch it. Did nobody say that? Zetty said oh wow. I say oh, it's over baby you did a great job. She said oh, I did. Thank you, JG that was it. I gave a kiss. We prop the bed up. boom, done. Okay, so all of this stuff is happening while we're waiting for the COVID test results. Now, when they tell me my mother is positive. It's like for a second I lose my hearing. I can hear my heartbeat and I get hot. My whole body gets high cuz I'm thinking y'all mixed up the swabs somebody's swab got my mamas mucus on it, because she's been home in homeroom for 90,000 days, and I ain't been nowhere. My passport ain't been this naked in 30 years. I ain't been on a date ain't even been to Denver. You kidding me? How in the world does she have COVID other than her caregivers and me shape and around nobody but when they hit me with the because she's positive, she can't have visitors. I was like, well, I taught Papa Tata Tata Tata Tata, who, what? I'm sorry, I hear about your little rule. But you must have an exception because that cannot pertain to me. You all saw what just went down. Y'all couldn't even get blood from her. You couldn't get a urine sample. You couldn't get her to turn over to clean her. How in the world do you think you can care for my mother overnight when you couldn't do the basic things for a couple of hours in the ER? Ain't no way I'm about to give you my mama. You can't have my mama. The ER nurse sent the physician's assistant in to talk to me, because they could tell that I was not planning to adhere to the rule. So the PA comes back. She tells me Okay, Jay, I know how you feel about your mom because Okay, mind you, the PA knew me from previous visits of my mom coming to this hospital, she says I'm going to go and talk to the nurse that will be over your mom. So now I'm thinking my mom's going to neurology. That's where she's always gone at this hospital. And they know me and notice it to ration. And they prefer for me to be there. Because literally, I'm like having another staff member? Yeah, she comes back, huh. She says, I'm so sorry. I talked to the charge nurse, over all the charge nurses for that floor where your mother will be an absolutely under no circumstances because your mother's positive, you can't stay. If your mom was negative, you could stay. I'm sick to my stomach. In my mind, what I'm thinking is, my mother needs one on one attention. She is accustomed to that. By this point my mom doesn't even feed herself anymore people. If you put a plate of food in front of her, she might pick up the fork or the spoon and feed herself. But 50% of the time, she's just gonna look at it, and then stare at the wall and stare at the TV. It doesn't mean that she's done eating, she's lost the connection that tells her use that utensil to put that food in your mouth so that you will not be hungry. It doesn't connect that is a bottle of juice and if you drink that you will not be thirsty. She doesn't know that she's hungry or that she's thirsty. I know those nurses are those techs. They don't even have enough bodies on the floor to give my mom that kind of one on one attention. And I said okay, so can you promise me that they'll be a sitter? Because this hospital does have volunteers that you can ask for to be a sitter if there's someone who has dementia or something where they need special assistance. And they told me that they were understaffed and I couldn't have anybody. And I said listen, if she's positive, I'm probably positive. We live together. I'm her primary caregiver. If she has it, I must have it. I'll sign anything. Well ma'am is not just about you we're worried that you may infect other people in the hospital. I said I'll stay in the room with her. And when y'all bring her those god awful grits, and 12 day old eggs, just do it times two. I'll just use the bathroom in her room. I don't understand. What's the problem. Let me stay well, my mama anyway, the physician's assistant says I can't and she leaves the room. But get this by the time the transport team comes. None of the nurses are around bad for them good for me. I grab Zetty's overnight bag and my overnight bag because just like I told you in Episode 10 just in cases shout out to my favorite Christmas holiday movie Love Actually, I had my bag and Zetty's bag just in cases. We were staying overnight and I followed transport with my mama up to her room. Like I was supposed to be there. We are meandering through those long winding hallways all the way up to her room, hilarious was when I get in Zetty's room, I am just sitting on her bed, rubbing her hand leaning over kissing on her face to watch the nurses amongst themselves in the hallway. Hey, somebody has to go in and tell her she got to go. Who is that? I don't know. Some lady, she walked in there with the patient. Well, she can't stay here. Does she know that that lady is positive? And that lady is covid positive and she just hold her hand and kissing all over. Oh, well, where's the charge nurse. The charge nurse needs to tell her that she has to go so and then I'm laughing I'm like, Oh my God. They talking about me. I'm laughing because they are chatting amongst themselves scared, picking straws. And playing rock paper scissors to decide who comes to tell the crazy lady that you got to leave the COVID positive room but they don't have own COVID clothing. That's what lets me know that my mama ain't even on a COVID floor. So I'm thinking what if my mama Anna on a COVID floor Then how come? I can't stay with her? It's the bi-COVID floor, you feel me. This floor go both ways. So if y'all gonna be standing out there on this hall with your regular clothes on without your COVID gear, would you lose zoot suit and all your little helmet like facemasks? Then I can debate come in and out with my mama anyway. So then the charge nurse leans his face? Ma'am, you have to go. I said, Well, sir, they told me I could stay here until I can talk to a nurse. Well I'm the charge nurse and I'm telling you have to go you have to go right now. And I said, Well are you coming in here so, I can speak to you. Well, I don't have on the proper clothing to come in. And I said, well, i will wait. Alright, y'all 50 minutes later, he never came back. Another nurse comes in fully COVID did did did did did in her gear and asked me so what all is that you want to say? Y'all, she tears a piece of brown hand napkin and gets the dry erase marker and that's what she's using to take the notes, the notes that I've been waiting to give you on my mother's needs, on how you can communicate with her and on my mother's medicines seriously. So this is what, is this a joke. This is a cartoon, I don't have confidence in this. It was awful. I did the best I could not to let the tears come out. Because the room was very small. It was very quiet. By this time they had confirmed that no one would be in there with my mother. They did not know how long she would be in there. They're telling me that I could not come back into the hospital at all because she tested positive. And I'm thinking my mother has not been alone for eight years. For eight years, somebody has been in her presence with the sole purpose of advocating for her personal well being, enjoyment, companionship, I felt as though I was completely abandoning my mother. I could barely talk and breathe at the same time. So I'm telling the nurse everything I can remember and hold it together around my mom's preferences in ways to get her to eat, she will swallow food, but she will not swallow medicine. So it needs to be crushed. So I'm trying to say these things and I'm saying that, you know, she will not indicate that she needs to relieve herself. She won't indicate that she has already relieved herself. She is not going to press the button to say that she needs to eat or to please change the television or to say she's too hot or too cold. Or that she's scared or that she needs another blanket or that she's fallen. So I get through this as best I can. I put my name on the dry erase board I put my number there. I ask on the board that each nurse Call me at the shift change. The nurse tells me well we may not have time to call you each shift. I'm thinking Why not? In a whole 12 hour period UK made one phone call. Why not? I know how it works. This ain't the ER you got time in a whole 12 hours when you come in here to check on her call me. Don't do that. Anyway. I have everything set up. I have Zetty's bag, I get my bag, y'all. I'm holding it down by my waist. I don't even dramatically put it on my shoulder. I'm holding down my my waist. Zetty says jG Where are you going baby? I could throw up right now just thinking about it. I see her face eyes bright and bushy, where are you going babe? Jg Where are you going baby? I'm thinking to jump out the window. That's where I'm going. Being a caregiver for somebody with Alzheimer's at least for me. Being a caregiver for my mom has taught me the art of lying how to lie with love. Love lying. So I said to talk to the doctor, which is true. I had every intention on speaking with the doctor before I walked out of the hospital. By the time I turned to walk out, waterworks, okay? The Monopoly board waterworks, I owned it, owned it completely. By the time I get out, I see the charge nurse and the doctors. Now all of a sudden, everybody's been nice to me. I'm a basket case. I can't even see well enough to determine which way to walk down the hall because remember, this is not my floor. My floor is the neurology floor. This is not even a neurology floor. And this is a hybrid covid floor. Some people are positive. Some people are negative. It's a mass. I get on the elevator. I have to ask a guy can you please just press 1 for me. I can't see enough to press one to get down to the lobby people, its a mess. I have never cried that hard over somebody who was still alive. I get downstairs, Christine, who y'all have already heard me talk about is there to pick me up. I get in the car. The cars just running. She asked me any questions. She doesn't try to take off. I put my bag in the car. I double over. No sound comes out. I'm crying so hard that there's no noise. Crazy. That's a Monday, they keep my mom for five days. All I can tell you is I know I cleaned my body once. I didn't brush my teeth every day. But in all honesty, it was only to keep my palate cleansed so that my Bailey's and coffee would taste fresh. I was completely unproductive for anything else. Christine kept me afloat that week, though, if I didn't eat actually, I have to ask her. I don't know if I ate the night. If I did eat it was because she made me I totally lived for hear my momma's was voice, I would just call and call and call and call and call the nurse's station and calling calling calling calling calling call the doctor's till I got somebody and when I heard my mama's voice, and I would be alright until the next call. And there were times like I expected when they couldn't get it to do something and they would break down and call me. When I was leaving, don't worry we handle people with Alzheimer's and dementia all the time. I was like, Uh huh. I know you do. I know people with Alzheimer's and dementia come to the hospital all the time, but I don't trust that you handle them well at all. And not one not never. But they did call several times to say hey, so she's holding the pills in her mouth. I said mmhmm yep, that's because she doesn't swallow pills like I told the other nurse and the other nurse and the other nurse and the nurse before that you should crush the pills and put them in her food. Eventually what I did was I talked to the charge nurse. Called back talk to the charge nurse and say please put it in her chart that all pills should be crushed and please put it in her chart not to give her a bunch of verbal instructions. Somebody has to feed her don't just take the food put it on the tray and leave it in front of her and come back and say oh guess she's not hungry she's starving Look at her she got hips on her, see that padonkadonk. They did give me my mama back but y'all that five days that five days but I'ma tell you what, when I got my mama back, I felt like somebody gave me free money. You know, I mean, I felt like I felt like I got them big face hundreds. Then big face hundreds in it. And in translation. I'm from the south from the deep south big face hundreds is that new money in the United States. The new money is when they started to make our $100 bills with a larger picture of the president on it. So that's what we would say big face and rather than saying hundred we said hundred. He got rid of a few of those letters. So if you got a big face hundred that meant that was new money and new money smellsbetter and you got a better chance of it not being counterfeit. So you'll get a bunch of fake face hundreds that is the largest denomination of money at the regular public can getan if it is big and know what I got my momma back. Snuggle Up- repetition people the world is so unaware of what Alzheimer's is, what it presents like, how you need to interact with it. It's up to us. We know what it looks like as caregivers we know how to engage it. We have to be advocates because we have to be change agents, we have to beat evangelist, we have to tell it over and over and over and over again, we have to keep repeating how it is that people need to engage our loved ones, over and over and over again to nurses to doctors, to other family members to people at church, to neighbors, people at the grocery store, people at the hair salon, people in the airport, anybody anywhere. Keep telling them, hey, they don't follow verbal cues, or hey, you got to tap on the shoulder, whatever the cues are that your loved one responds to keep being pushy, and to other people get it. Another snuggle up- sometimes you have to go against your heart and do what your mind knows is the right thing. It was tough to leave my mom at that hospital. I took her there for a UTI. Find out she has covid she was asymptomatic. I was like, Hey, I can take it home. Give me the antibiotics. But as the physician's assistant reminded me she was like, hey, Jay, haven't you heard those stories in the media about all those young people who were COVID positive, asymptomatic and woke up dead at home because they weren't being monitored. Like it was better that my mom be there on the observation. It was extremely uncomfortable, but I had to put my heart aside. That's it for now. Thank you for listening. Please subscribe for continuous caregiving tips, tricks, trends and truth. Pretty Pretty please with sugar on top share and review it too. I'm a comedian. Alzheimer's is heavy, but we ain't got to be