Saturday, April 6, 2013

Waiting for other outcomes

Bird watches the berries   by the lampost
photo taken on one of my walks
Two days ago, Thursday, MIL appeared to be on the recovery trail.  The SNF nurses had determined that Tramadol, the pain meds were making her worse, more confused,  we agreed that they discontinue and within two days she was improved, color better,  up in a wheel chair, able to eat and being herself, which is not all that pleasant under normal circumstances but we are all used to it.  However yesterday and today is another story. This is the second day she has refused to eat.  She continues to need oxygen, her lungs will not work without it, she is very delusional with out constant oxygen, yet it  dehydrates her.  She sits in her wheel  chair when they get her up and simpers.  It is not even a whimper, but a simper, it makes no sense, it is a noise a  very high pitched whining of sorts.  It is pitiful.  Once in a while she says, "97 years old!" she is 96.  She knows who we are, "Jerry  and Pat"  but otherwise, she knows nothing, cannot remember  she has broken her hip, had surgery let alone what day it is, she cannot communicate.  The  pros say, "  Mortality and functional outcome in hip fracture patients are significantly related to the presence of neuropsychiatric comorbidities. The most frequent ones in elderly are delirium and depression."  Yes indeed MIL has both delirium, depression and pulmonary episodes.  If this is her final stage of life it is miserable, a bad way to die, nothing peaceful.

Her daughter does not care, obviously and will not come to visit her mother, big deal she lives in another state, there are planes today, shame on her, someday she may regret her neglect.  Her younger son, I believe, feels he did his duty by appearing this past August with his family.  Well at least he made an effort after four years.  These are my simple opinions, very sad for them, they have not a clue what lies ahead.  Maybe I selfishly want them to participate for our relief, they have not and will not now. Jerry ignores it, says, " why would they change now?"  and he reminds me I  expect too much. 

I have a friend in PA who said caring for her elderly mom that she was an only child until the will would be read.  Well here is a flash to Florence's other children, the cost of the care in the SNF has all but diminished your mother's money.  We have bought  her personal care items and clothes the last years while you were never interested nor asked us what she needed.  You went along your merry  way. Do not appear with your hands open and out when she passes to collect your share, there is nothing $$. And beware the cold winds of karma that blow your way.  I find these people most irritating.  What goes around comes around, something like that, I don't know if the Hindus, Buddhists or whoevers have it right. 

"  .. As my life today....has been determined by the way I lived my yesterday,......
So my tomorrow is being determined by the way I live my today.        Ralph Waldo Trine

The daily SNF visits leave us both very tired.  It takes a hunk out of our days, but what else can we do?  So until something  very unusual happens or MIL passes on, we are tied to a circular duty, one that was not our choice, but one that we assumed,  catch, here comes another curve ball in the game of life.


  1. Today MIL continues in delusion and agony. Tomorrow the SNF can engage hospice palliative care, I don't know why not today. She has eaten nothing for 3 days, only water and half a cup of Ensure. Pitiful sight, obviously she has no peace in herself.

  2. This is a very sad post, Pat, and I am at a loss for words of comfort to you and Gerry or for his mom. The best outcome seems to be that she would pass at peace, but this does not seem to be the case. Please continue to keep us updated.