Monday, July 15, 2013

all the noise, noise, noise, noise

"And then ... all the noise! All the noise, noise, noise, noise!
If there's one thing I hate ... all the noise, noise, noise, noise!"
How The Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss
I couldn't help it. The nursing home on Sunday afternoon reminded me of this quote from The Grinch. We were visiting in the common room with mom, sitting by the big window and trying to enjoy the view. But we couldn't help but get distracted because of all the noise:
Someone coughing up a lung - why don't they put her to bed in her room?

"Gabby," one of the residents who seems to only be able to make guttural grunts and exclamations, was in fine form.

The nurses were chattering non-stop.

The TV was tuned to a soft rock radio station with musi ranging from James Taylor to Huey Lewis to Elvis.

My mom's roommate was loudly complaining that no one would "Take her up to see her mother."

So many of the residents are very quiet and have to endure the noisier ones. Mom was content during all of this, watching the view outside. She was thrilled when we arrived, talked a bit, then soon relapsed into silence, watching the birds and the goings-on outside the window, down in the small park below. We were able to distract and interest her a little by showing her some iPhone photos of our pets, and images of other things that she likes, like Bugs Bunny and Pikachu.

I have come to realize that I can only stand about an hour or so of this. I feel guilty, but I can't help it. At least mom seems happy to be there and happy to see us. We are pulling back a bit, from seeing her every day when we were in crisis mode — when she was in the hospital and transitioning to the nursing home. This week we have gone every other day, and soon, I'm sure, especially once school starts up again, I think we will go a few times a week.

As noisy as it was, I think we'll make Sunday a regular day, fitting in another visit during the week when we can. And the noise ... we'll deal.
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