Friday, January 1, 2016

My December

Not sure if I updated, but on11/11, I lost my job. I was laid off, for the purpose of what I believe is strictly, a control issue. I feel as though, since I couldn't be seen, the higher ups felt as though I wasn't needed. I had been expecting it for a while, so I wasn't too heartbroken. But, it was done in a cold manner which left me in shock a little.

Around the same time, my mom had another fall, due to another incident with her electric scooter.  On 11/13 I went over and spent the morning there, to "babysit her" while my father was at work. He wasn't comfortable leaving her, but needed to. And I was available. She slept most of the morning and woke around 12:30pm.  When she finally woke, I would try to have conversations with her, but she would get lost for a short time. She would only half hear what I was saying. This had actually been going on since the Spring, and we all had seen it. But it was getting worse and there was no way to deny it anymore. We thought maybe it was some of the pain meds she was on, as they are well known street drugs as well. her frail body just can't handle them anymore and my dad NEEDED to take over her meds.

A few weeks went by and mom was healing well. She asked that I take her to the grocery store, the day before Thanksgiving. The thought of lugging her wheelchair and/or scooter and having to help her in a crowded store was not pleasing to me, but she was having a good period, and I was out of work, and I'm sure my dad would appreciate it. So I agreed.  I struggled through it, did my best to keep the mood light and remain as patient as could be. She was soooo appreciative and loved the time we got to spend together. As I left, I sighed relief that it was over.  Little did I know this was the last time I would spend with my mom, fully competent and alert.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my dad text me asking if I could bring him some specific cold meds. I obliged. Now I knew he had been fighting a slight cold all week, but his breathing wasn't quite right to me. I urged him to let me take him to urgent Care the next day. He was a little leery, because my mom wasn't doing to well again...banged up  her bad leg again, and basically wasn't able to get in her scooter, so she was pretty much bed ridden. We tried to get someone to come and stay there, while we ran to the docs, just in case mom needed someone, but ended up having to risk leaving her alone. We let her know when we were leaving, and made sure she had everything she needed.

The urgent care place confirmed that my dad had pneumonia and should go to the ER. We advised that he needed to settle some things at home for my mom, and would go later. Upon leaving, we both had a feeling that the doctor didn't feel like dealing with him, so proceeded to just schedule an appoint with his regular doc for the next day, to get a 2nd opinion.
When we arrived back 2 hrs later, she was sitting up on bed, with no shirt on. I asked her if she wanted to get dressed, and she said yes, but she needed a shirt. There was a shirt sitting next to her. I assisted her in getting dressed and helped get her some food. She came to a little more, as time went on. I tried letting her know what happened at the doc with my dad, and she was getting it confused with us talking to the doc about her.  She really wasn't aware enough to know that HE was REALLY sick.

**A little back ground --- her doc had given her strong med, typically sold on the streets, for her pain. In the past, she has gotten pills confused and mixed the wrong ones, and this behavior was the result. But my father always handled it. So in this case, this is what we were thinking was the case again.**

Monday after Thanksgiving, our family doctor confirmed my dad had pneumonia. However, he knew the situation at home, and proceeded to treat him with no hospitalization. He got better a little, but still wiped out, dizzy, and just not fully well. But he was there in the middle of the night for my mom, if need be. However, because of this, he wasn't sleeping well either.

Through the next few days, I was over there every day, sometimes more then once. Helping make sure my mom and dad both had food, and were hydrated, and running their small errands for them.
However, my mom just seemed to sleep....a lot...and it got to the point where she was not aware of anything, and wasn't making it out of bed, to her porta potty that was right next to her bed.

Wednesday, my dad text me asking for help because it had gotten BAD.  I finally went over there in a rage, and insisted my father give me the pills NOW. We thought he was not going to give them to her, but he had (because he then forgot, due to his current sickness mind). We proceeded to go through ALL of my mothers pills, to look them up to see what they were for. We marked the ones she did NOT NEED to take anymore, and marked all the others as well. We thought, 24 hrs without that 1 pill and she would snap out of it.
My mother would not and could not move for us to clean her up or the "mess" she had made.  I recall grabbing her hand, and wiping it with a warm soapy towel. She turned to me and said "You look very pretty today Karen." Karen is one of my older sisters, one that she doesn't see too often....I just replied with "Thank you".  At the end of that night, my other 2 sisters Jeanne & Joanie who were there, helped us get her cleaned up, and got her to eat a Popsicle & forced her to drink some water. We set her up with the snack she requested next to her bed and a full cup of ice water.  And we decided that if she was not better by the next day, she was going to the hospital.

On Thursday I came in, sat to chat with my dad and get him what he needed. I asked how she was, and he said he slept all night. he woke up in a jolt around 7am because she allowed him to sleep all night long. She just slept. She was still sleeping. I went into her room....her ice water was still full, her snacks were just as my sisters left them, her clothes were still on, and there was no evidence that she had even tried to move or anything all night. I tried to wake her, to take her medicine and she could barely hold her head up or form words.  At this point, we had a real reason to get her to the hospital -- not eating and dehydration. She was transported about 4pm.

They started her on fluids and anti-biotics....blood work showed she too had pneumonia. This news did not help my fathers mental state. But we all knew she was where she needed to be, to get better. I could now better concentrate on taking care of my dad, and he could concentrate on getting better as well.

Although her numbers were showing she was getting better, her alertness was still going in & out, and she was still sleeping a lot. I felt my attention was more needed with my dad, who was not allowed to go see her at this point. We needed to get him better, so he could go see her.

Sat, 12/5 -- Me & my sister Jeanne has a craft show. It was my first one one that she was making me do, to get a feel for it, as I am starting a new craft business.  After the show, I went to pick  some grocery items up for my dad, and check in on him, while my Jeanne went to the hospital. Me and my dad made plans to try to get him to the hospital on Monday to see her.
I left my dad and proceeded to pick up Madison from her friends house. As I walked in their house my sister text me "This is heartbreaking. They had to wrap her hands up so she couldn't pull on her tubes."    I proceeded to stay at our friends house with Madison for about 3 hrs. Almost as if to take my mind off of it all.

Sun, 12/6 -- My plan was to run the twins to party City to buy supplies for their upcoming BD party. I just had a feeling that my life was about to stop and I had this urge to get stuff done.  About Noon, Jeanne called me. My aunt had been up to the hospital and the doctors pretty much said it was time for hospice care, and they needed the living will. Basically, my mother was slowly dying, and it could be in the near future. I got off the phone and all I could do was cry. I kept trying to shake it off, and get out to the store, but time kept passing by. My aunt called, while she was at my dads getting the living will, and explained what was going on to me. I could barely speak. And because she could sense my sadness, she proceeded to try to explain it to me in the sweetest way, and that made me cry more.

I finally gave up on the store, and proceeded to my dads. But I didn't want to walk in all puffy eyed. I stopped in to see a friend at work, and just broke down as soon as I saw her. I let it all out, we talked about other things, and I was good. I got to my dads about 4pm.

At the same time, my sister Karen called to say she was on her way, to bring dad some soup. Ok, great.  About 4:20ish, my sister Joanie calls (who is now at the hospital with her husband Jim)...."Heather, she just went code blue, you guys need to get here NOW."  I hung up the phone, my dad got up and proceeded to his room to get dressed. I called my sister Karen to tell her to not bother, we had to leave, and she said she was only 5 mins away. I said OK we'll probably meet you outside.
A few minutes later, Jim calls..."They need a decision NOW. Her living will only advises to go as far as CPR which is what they are doing, but if they stop she will go. And you won't make it here in time. Should they stop now or wait until you get here?"  My dad yells, "Just stop now...she's been in pain long enough." I relay the message. And hang up. My dad collapses on the bed and his lip starts to quiver. I collapse next him, with no words.  With that, my sister Karen and her husband Harris come in. I direct Karen to the bedroom where dad was. Talk about timing. I couldn't have been there a lone with him.
At this point, I call my sister Jeanne and she was literally only a few minutes from the hospital. She said she was going to keep going, to be there for Joanie.  I tried to call my brother John in OK, and couldn't get an answer.

Then Jim calls again about 4:35 to 4:40pm -- "She won't let go! They brought her back, and she's still fighting - she wants her damn cords off.  Ha Ha  We are waiting for the doc to come in again."

Some more casual conversation with Karen and Harris....then Jeanne calls about 5:00pm & simply says...."4:50pm. We're heading to the apartment now"......

My mom is gone.  

Through the next couple of weeks, time went very fast. There was funeral planning on top of me having to prepare for my twins 9th BD party and my husbands BD. And my dad was still suffering with Pneumonia and now a broken heart on top of it. It was xrays and doctors appointments about every other day. No one was available, and I was the one was not working, so it all fell on me. 
My dad would get a little better, then the next day, fall back 2 steps.

The day of my moms funeral, he looked horrible. He hadn't eaten & he was burying his wife of 41 yrs. He had no strength. In fact, we made him use the wheelchair for most of the day.  After the burial, he ended up getting sick. Talk about everyone being in a panic. But he persevered through, was able to eat a little, and began to feel better.

On 12/21, my dad had back to back appointments, because his doctor had a CT scan done and they felt the pneumonia was getting worse. It was a little too much for him to handle. At the second appointment, they took some blood, and he proceeded to pass out. Needless to say, we all forced him to agree it was time for the hospital.   His blood pressure was extremely low, his potassium was high, which was making his lover act wonky, and his blood sugar was through the roof (my dad is diabetic), among a few other out of wack numbers.  But we all felt better that he was now where he needed to be, to get better. He still has fight in him....he's NOT going anywhere.

While he was in the hospital, I came down with a fever and could not visit him. luckily, the day I skipped a visit, the rest of my family was there on and off all day, cheering him  on.  He was doing great. They finally released him on Christmas Eve. He was like my old dad again. SIGH OF RELIEF.  he even got up Christmas morning and showered, by himself, shaved and broke out his Christmas t-shirt that he wears every single year. This made me happy.

Over the last week, he's found out what his limits are, but keeps pushing himself, to get stronger. He is soo ready to continue with his new life.

As for me, I found out that I did contract strep throat. And one of my daughters seemed to be getting it as well. We are still without insurance, so I got liquid medicine, so I could nurse us BOTH back to health.

Its now January 1st, and I am only looking forward to the next year in a positive manner. I have faith that I will find a better job, and be able to get my girls back into dance classes, where they belong. They miss it so much. I am hoping to get a new car of MY OWN maybe. And now that my dad will have a new life, I can't wait to start some new traditions with him and the kids this year. I have faith that it will be a good year!!!