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Monday, July 6, 2009

Golden Years My Ass!

If you've followed this blog, you know things have been pretty tough for my mother and father-in-law. It hasn't gotten easier...

She's had a lot of bruises lately from plopping down to hard in her chair or on the bed. Her legs just don't support her anymore and she's too heavy for us to hold up. A while back, she almost fell but my FIL pushed her toward the bed and she landed on the mattress. Still, with her brittle bones, a bed could cause damage. She had been complaining about her back hurting since she twisted it in bed one night. It appeared to be muscle spasms.

Early last week, when no one was in the room, she tried to get up on her own and fell... again. We called the non-emergency number for the ambulance crew to come pick her up and get her back in bed. She insisted she was not hurt. But, after a couple of days, her back was giving her so much pain, we took her to the ER to have it checked. That was Thursday. They didn't see anything on the X-rays, but decided to keep her for observation. Over the holiday weekend, MRI's revealed she has a cracked vertebra. She is not a candidate for surgery of any kind!

My FIL was worried. He asked Hubby, "How are we going to get her back in bed? We can't handle her like this..." He began to see that the time had come... the thing he dreaded most in all the world.

Hubby's sister and brother came over tonight to discuss the situation. The hospital will release her tomorrow. She cannot stand. She cannot sit. Is she coming home? No one wanted to say the words. The brother's wife handles their medical stuff (POA) because it's her profession. She stated that she was not going to make the decision for them. She asked them what they wanted to do. She asked them over and over. FIL and his kids mumbled about how we just can't take care of her this way. They agreed it was no longer safe for her here. Everyone agreed about everything, but still... no one would say the words.

If it isn't sad enough to have a family gather together for this conversation, the remaining conversation should never have to take place...

Tomorrow, SIL will be in touch with the nursing facility and the hospital advocate trying to get MIL prequalified for Medicaid. The general feeling is that she should qualify. We won't know though until tomorrow. If she doesn't qualify, she will come home, broken vertebra and all, and we will do our best to take care of her. I pray to God that we can.


Rae said...

I have seen this far too often in families, no one wants to say the words(nursing home). That is why it is essential for every person to make their family well aware of what their expectations are for their care before they ever get to that point in the first place.

And another thing everyone should have is a health care power of attorney -similar to a living will but a legal document.

Historical sites with charmine said...

It is sad Lily but i'm sure ya'll will do what is best for her.
Our family faced a similar situation many years ago with my grand dad.He was in his late 70's and a huge man,difficult to lift and recovering from a stroke.I wasn't married at the time and very attached to my g/parents,so i decided to look after him till his end & that's what i did.

It was very difficult but the family took turns in helping and my hubby to be was kind enough to join us.BUT it is a lot of work.
If the nursing home is closeby perhaps FIL can visit daily.Hope all goes well.

Ziggy Stardust said...

I will pray for all of you. You and I are in similar situations right now. No one in my family wants to say the word either, but they have to decide on Monday. Good luck and God's blessings on all of you.


CrazyCris said...

All I can say is good luck and I hope it works out for the best... hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had some reassuring words for you. It's a tough situation for all involved.

Thinking of you as you face these difficult times and painfully hard decisions.


Lille Diane said...

You are all in my thoughts and prayers, Lily. The older I get the younger 78 sounds. I know this isn't an easy time for your family. I'm sending you a hug, and send me an email when you can to let me know how you are doing. OK here's the hug. (((((((Lily))))))) Can you feel it? I sure hope so.