Thinking about my mom’s declining health

Posted By on June 6, 2012

Many families face the inevitable fact that our parents will not be around forever. Unfortunately knowing the end is closer doesn’t make managing a parent’s declining health any easier. I now understand why my daughter’s medical training and rotations in “end of life care” were not attractive to her – pediatrics does sound as if there are a few more positives.

As for my mother, she is back out of the hospital and has returned to a nursing/rehab facility. We will have a meeting this week with key staff and her doctor to determine “a plan” in order to move forward or at piermistyleast have a goal. Thankfully her pain is somewhat managed at the moment, but without repairs the fractures in her back, the prognosis for a strong recovery is grim. Optimistically we can hope that the pain meds will enable her to work to regain strength and some degree of health so that another surgery is possible. She will have to wait at least to when the infection is gone, but at this point we’re a long way from that or being in good enough health for another surgery. The positives are that she is being treated for the infected bone and tissue with the correct antibiotics and that other medical conditions are being addressed … and are being managed.

Mood wise, my mom isn’t, or can’t, give the kind of effort that is needed. Her appetite is non-existent and she won’t even eat much even knowing that she needs nutrition to get stronger. The physical therapy isn’t too ambitious yet … and as soon as she feels pain that’s pretty much it for the session. We’re trying motivation like getting home or being able to go to her granddaughter’s wedding next spring, but at this point that doesn’t seem to be working.

My mother’s sisters’ family, Diane (Bert) and Bob (daughter Laney), who have always been close to my mom, drove down to Sidney from Toledo this past Sunday to visit with her. For the most part my mom “listened” but didn’t have the energy to talk much … something she has always be able to do — mom’s a “talker.” Still it was nice to have family visiting her and I know my dad was very appreciative. I took my dad out to Bob Evans after the visit and we sat a long time and had coffee – he really didn’t want me to leave. At this point I’m feeling sorry for him having to handle everything by himself (sort of has for the last year really???) and visits three times a day. I think his energy is running low … and know he is frustrated that mom isn’t motivated to get stronger.

I guess we’ll see how the meeting goes this week … I may have to push a little harder to give SRIIs a try … if for nothing else then for appetite.

References

Comments

  • Fortunately I haven’t had to live this experience with my parents yet, however I watched both my grandmothers going through a similar process.  My heart goes out to you Rich, thanks for sharing this.

    • Sort of question the wisdom in posting personal experiences and thoughts, but perhaps some (including me) gain some comfort knowing most have or will face the inevitable … and that it is part of this earthly life. Unfortunately I’m finding out the ‘suffering’ part it is too common.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.