Life in progress

As the pneu turns, aka what I’ve been doing today


Yes, I know. Pneu means tire in French and this has nothing to do with tires. It does have to do with pneumonia.

Start from the beginning shall we? Actually, I don’t remember that far back, so starting at yesterday will have to do.

Yesterday afternoon I picked my mother up from the hospital, from a three day stay. The first thing she asked for was a cigarette. I asked her if maybe she thought it would be better to wait a day or two to smoke since she still had pneumonia. Her answer: “I’ve already waited two days!” I then said that maybe waiting another two will mean she can get better and not have to go back to the hospital where she can’t smoke at all.

So she had a cigarette before she even made it to her room in the retirement home. I went off to get her meds from the pharmacy, and when I came back, she wanted another one. I tried again to reason with her, but no. So I sat outside with her in the -20C-with-the-wind cold while she hacked and wheezed through another cigarette.

At 5:15 this morning I got a call from the home. She was having trouble breathing and did I think she should go back to the hospital. I asked the nurse to keep an eye on her and she agreed.

At 4:00 this afternoon I got another call. They were putting her back in an ambulance. I arrived in the emergency room a little while later, and as I stood at her bedside, holding her hand, she asked me why she was back in the hospital. I explained to her that she had pneumonia and smoking had put her back in there. “I told you yesterday,” I said, “that if you smoked you’d wind up back in here,” to which she smiled and replied, “You’re a wonderful daughter.” I couldn’t roll my eyes hard enough.

She seems to be worse now than she was when she went in on the 23rd, to me at least. But they’re not sure they’ll keep her, so I might be going back to pick her up in the dead of night.

I have my doubts.

And that pretty much sums up my day. Nay, my weekend: I have my doubts.

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

15 thoughts on “As the pneu turns, aka what I’ve been doing today

  1. I’m with Joey, vape may be her answer. You are an angel with so many charges! Hope you are able to stay well. Keep warm if you can.


  2. Can ya hook her up with a vape kit? The addiction is real. You ARE a wonderful daughter. You really are. I hope she gets well very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry to hear your Mum’s back in hospital. Wish I could wave a magic wand and stop her smoking for you. We quit 28 years ago and can’t’ stand the smell on other people.


  4. Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. Pneumonia is an evil disease (I’ve had it several times) but smoking is an even eviler (is that a word?) addiction. Sending you both some healthy vibes.


  5. Linda, when I started to read your note, I was happy to see that Marjorie was out of the hospital and now she is back. Jean and I are so sorry. Don’t lose hope for your mum to stop smocking. Remember Jean, he was smoking 3½ packages of cigarettes every day and one day he decided that it was enough; we could not go to the theater, to the movies, our walls in the house were all yellow from smoke, he was coughing more and more, he had problems breathing and I had heart problems. I could say he had a cigarette in his hand all the time. In February 1984 he stopped and that was it. Like Sadje said ”older people are sooo stubborn”. Him to be stubborn it is NOT to smoke… Hugs and kisses to you and Marjorie.


  6. It’s hard…I was a caretaker to both of my grandparents and over then 12 years stretch I lost myself. It took a long time to pull the pieces together. I wish you well.


  7. Wonder that they can’t give her something to help her stop smoking. Tough when we have to be the parent to our parents. Sending positive thoughts your way.


  8. I’m so sorry for your troubles. I hope they did keep her in the hospital where she will be safer.


  9. My mom was the same way with what she wanted. Not cigarettes, in her case, but other things. She would listen to expert advice, and give this wicked little smile, and do whatever she wanted to. IS vaping a possibility? I don’t know anything about it, but can the stuff that you vape be regulated, so she cuts back without knowing it? As a former smoker, I know that the effect of the nicotine is only part of the addiction. The harder part to give up (maybe) is the habit itself.


  10. Hoping this ends up being just a minor setback and she gets back home soon. This must be so hard to already be going through it again so soon.

    I tried getting my mom to do the patches or even vape so that she wouldn’t keep wheeling her walker out in the cold to smoke, but no luck. Then she complains endlessly about how cold she gets when she goes out to smoke. You just can’t win!


  11. Is there a way to convince your mom she’s already had a cigarette? A friend’s mom really wanted to drive, but was in no shape to drive. She got upset if her keys were taken, so she got to keep her keys but her son took the distributor cap. She kept discovering her car didn’t work. You *are* a good daughter, but I know why you’re rolling your eyes. Elder care is tough, from what I’ve seen. (The only elder I’m taking care of is me, and that’s difficult enough.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What got my mom off cigarettes was emphysema. She had tried before to quit but she craved them her every waking moment, so she caved.


  13. Old habits die hard, and older people are soooo stubborn.


  14. Oh Linda… 😥
    Wish you and your mum well. 🙏🏼


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