Friday, January 04, 2008

Personal Stuff

I'm just using the blog to whine a little You should just skip over this. I don't particularly want anybody to read it. I just need to get it out of my system. Today we're bringing Judy's mother home from the hospital. From now on, she'll be living with us, and I'm pretty darned scared. I'm pretty helpless as a nurse. We've signed up for home health care, but we have no idea why. We don't know what it involves or how much help it will be. We don't know how long Judy's mom will be able to communicate and get around. Did I mention that I was scared? I'm most worried about taking Judy to Houston for her appointments. Will we be able to leave Judy's mom here, or can we take her with us? Or what? What I fear most is the uncertainty, and of course the change in routine. I'm a guy who loves his routines.

17 comments:

  1. Bill, I'm sure you can come up with something. I've never met you, but you seem like a person who cares about other people and his close ones and to me that's almost all that counts. Everything else comes naturally. (But I'd still advise to look for someone to take care of Judy's mother while you're away.)

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  2. Home health care will be a great help, Bill. They've been a big relief for me over the last few years. Coming out regularly like they do has permitted me to be able to live alone and take some of the stress from my family.

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  3. Bill,

    You're being put through it, no doubt. I won't leave you with any cliches about no burden... and what doesn't kill you, blah - blah - blah. Just know that you will make it through and you have us as a sounding board if even for nothing but to vent.

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  4. Thanks folks, I'll probably be venting here now and then, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

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  5. Hospice is likely to be able to provide more than home health care - and it sounds like she will qualify for hospice. We experienced both during Henry's dad's last years. Medicare will pay. But hospice provided round the clock care the last few days of Gene's life - allowing him to die at home where he wanted to be.

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  6. Don't be afraid to question the aides, either, Bill. As with all things, some are a lot better than others. I suspect Judy's at least as scared, and her mother perhaps even moreso...your composure is impressive.

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  7. Anonymous11:09 AM

    I found hospice to be a godsend with both my mother and my mother-in-law. They provided care, concern and companionship, as well as health care and help with bathing, hairdressing and the zillion other things that still must go on. Your mother-in-law's physician should be able to give you full details, as well as recommend a hospice service that will meet your family's needs. I wish you, Judy and your mother-in-law the very best.

    Jerry House

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  8. Richard Heft1:02 PM

    Anybody who's brave enough to admit to a world full of strangers that he's scared, isn't as scared as he thinks he is.

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  9. It's all a crying shame, but it happens to a lot of people and most of them manage to cope. I'm sure you will, too. And it shows what a quality person you are to accept this challenge. Judy was no fool, she knew she was getting a good man lo those many years ago. Good luck and don't worry about whining. That's what we're here for, to listen when you have something to say, no matter what.

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  10. I don't know what home health care is like there but here the home health people have just about completely taken all the hard work off my mom's hands so she can concern herself with keeping my 101 year old stepdad comfortable. She's able to go on with her life pretty much as usual. Hopefully you'll have the same experience.

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  11. We have used home health care workers off and on with my mother and found the woman they sent to be wonderful. Loving, supportive and eager to pitch in where needed. I think reputable agencies really strive to find someone you will want to keep.
    Going through similar stuff right now with both parents and some days I am so tired and depressed I feel like I can't continue. But what choice do we have. Vent all you want. I would too but my brother reads my blog and I don't want to make him feel any worse about it all falling on me.

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  12. I'm trying to look at this as a new adventure. My brother bore the burden with our parents, with weekend visits from me and my sister, and now it's my turn. We'll bumble along and eventually come out on the other side. I guess.

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  13. Bill, it sounds like you've crossed the biggest first hurdle -- namely, recognizing the demands that will likely have to be met, and taking steps to line up assistance. This is hard, and the unknowns are scary, but you, Judy, and your mother in law would be in a worse position if you had dithered or put your head in the sand.

    Or even worse, if you had decided contrary to all logic that hell, we don't need help, the missus and me can provide the needed time, attention, monitoring, physical help, and medical knowledge.

    My personal moment of satori came two years ago when my mother (then 91) fell and fractured her hip at 4:30 in the morning. It was pretty clear that, between the fracture, her worsening osteo-arthritis, and even more worsening dementia, we had reached a point where it was going to be impossible to follow the old routines that were predicated on Mom being self-sufficient enough to walk, get to the bathroom, and perform other basic functions without help.

    I don't have any first hand experience with home health care or home hospice, because the course that provided the best fit for Mom's needs was a nursing home. Nevertheless, I have found that a lot of information, help, and empathy is available generally from government agencies and advocacy groups that I had not been aware of before. I've also found that it's important to let off steam and ask if your friends know answers to questions that you haven't been able to have answered to your satisfaction otherwise, so ....

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  14. Anonymous8:21 AM

    What I fear most is the uncertainty, and of course the change in routine. I'm a guy who loves his routines.

    You and me both, Bill.

    Just try and stay calm and keep your sense of humor and you'll come through it OK.

    All best to you both (and Judy's mom).

    Jeff M.

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  15. Dithering is my middle name, Fred, but this time we don't have a lot of choice. I think we could get by on our own for a while, but getting some help or at least talking to someone about it is probably the best thing, even now.

    Jeff, I'll just have to develop some new routines, I guess.

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  16. Gerard9:11 AM

    I don't know you either Bill but I reckon you can hack it pretty well; and do so with a good deal of grace and humour.

    You might not feel that way but you can fool'em all. Except for your wife. I'm sure she knows you too well.

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  17. Too true about the wife.

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