My Mom is improving, but Very Slowly.
Jul. 18, 2014 12:14 am
Updated: Jul. 24, 2014 11:36 pm
It has been about 3 months since my last post because things have been very busy here. First of all, I really want to thank everyone that has been following this story and has offered support and encouragement. I do know that there a lot of people going
through a similar situation with a parent, and taking on the responsibility of caring for them is very difficult both physically and mentally. If you are one of these people, I can only tell you that your parent(s) is much better off with you, than committed
to a nursing home. I will explain this opinion later in this post.
As I had mentioned in my last post, my mother has been off of meds and physically healthy (as least as far as blood tests can tell) for well over a year. It took us about 6 months to get her off of the meds through a good diet and supplements. If you have been
following this blog, you know that we had a huge setback in her progress last June because of shingles in her eye, a 4-day hospital stay, and an ESBL UTI that she got at the hospital. This setback took her back to worse than she was when we brought her home
from the nursing home. All of the progress that we had made up until that point was lost.
At this point in time, she is still not totally continent as she had been before the problems last June, but she is better. We no longer have to clean feces from the bed, and very often the bed is dry in the morning even though her pad is wet. She is getting
much better at using silverware to eat instead of her fingers, and she is saying more phrases clearly.
I have not yet given up on the homeopathic doctor because we have seen small improvements such as the perpetual runny nose is much less. I never expected miracles with this doctor, and anything that he might be able to do would not be immediately evident. I
do realize, at this point, that a good part of the cells in her brain have been destroyed. Even if this doctor can eliminate some of the inflammation and if we can get her brain to start regenerating new cells, cells that have been lost are gone. We will have
to re-teach her many of the things that she once knew.
I am not going to tell anyone that the last 1 1/2 years for my husband and I have been easy. It really hasn't, and it has completely changed the quality of our lives. I suppose that I, like many others, have complaints about the lack of perfection in their
spouses, but I have to say that my husband has gone above and beyond for my mother. I know that I have personally done more than I thought I would ever be able to do, but he has done so very much that I never thought he would be capable of. Perfect or not,
I am very fortunate that he is the person that he is.
I have to admit that I have had times of extreme exhaustion and desperation that I have suggested to my husband that we let my mother stay at a respite home for a week or so to give us a break, but we are both afraid of what would happen to her. A 4 day stay
at the hospital set her progress back almost a year. We are both afraid of the consequences of a break for us. We have started having a day care person come here for 4 hours twice a week. This at least allows my husband time to mow the lawn. Since we have
5 acres and about 3 1/2 acres of lawn, he has almost gotten through almost all that has to be mowed with the rain we have had. Our two-level brick patio that was once very pretty, is now covered with weeds, moss, and dead leaves. I don't know if there will
ever be time to recover it. So much has been let go just because there is no time to do it when we have to be with my mother 24/7. At any rate, this is a personal problem that we will eventually find a way to do required maintenance for the house.
I had mentioned previously in this post that caring for a parent is better than some of the alternatives. I found out today that my aunt, who had taken care of my mother before she was moved to a nursing home by doctors, is deteriorating. Less than 1 year ago,
my aunt was self-sufficient and keeping up her own home. Granted, her memories weren't always the best, but she could take care of herself, was relatively healthy other than some heart problems, and, for the most part, seemed mentally capable. Her ex-son-in-law
managed to get her to sign a power of attorney without her knowing what she was signing and put together a will in his favor that he also had her sign. After this, he immediately moved her to a nursing home and sold her house. I couldn't reach her by phone
so I called him to find out what was going on. He told me that she is now in hospice care, has been in the hospital a number of times, she falls often and needs help, and she can't care for herself at all. He also told me that she was on oxygen because she
was having trouble breathing. I couldn't believe that all of this could happen in less than 6 months! When I asked him how this could happen in such a short time, his answer was "She is over 90. This is what happens."
This is my mother's younger sister who had been caring for my mother prior to her being put into the nursing home. How could she deteriorate so quickly when my mother is at least maintaining and even getting a little better? Right now I feel bad that we couldn't
take on my aunt, too, but we didn't have space and she wouldn't have wanted to move in with us at the time. I know that this didn't have to happen to my aunt if someone who cared would take care of her.
So, yes, my husband and I are giving up a part of our lives that we should be enjoying. Will we regret it later? I really don't think so. We are both doing what we feel in our hearts is the right thing to do. If we did anything else, we would both definitely