Trading Places - page 2

It was never supposed to be this way. We were supposed to grow old together, my sister and I. We were supposed to sit on the porch---she in the shade, I in the sun just like always---and watch our... Read More

  1. by   tntrn
  2. by   Ginger's Mom
    Positive thoughts to you and your sister, how sad.
  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Many thanks to all of you who've posted. It's helped me a great deal to get this out of my system, and the fact that so many of you have been so gracious as to worry about my health is much appreciated.

    It seems as though my sister has a few surprises up her sleeve yet, however. Out of the blue, she decided to go back to her pulmonary rehab sessions a couple of weeks ago, and apparently this has sparked some renewed interest in life....last Friday, we went out to lunch for the first time in over a year. This weekend, we went to Walgreens and then spent about an hour sitting in the sun, talking and people-watching just like we used to. Then, she took DH and me out to dinner last night, and today she told me she wants to come to the Palm Sunday Mass to hear me narrate the story of the Passion. (She is not Catholic.)

    On top of that, she actually.......wait for it.......waaaaaaaaaaait for it............cleaned her bathroom.

    Who is this woman, and what has she done with my sister?

    I don't know if this is merely the calm before the storm, or if it's the onset of Spring, or if she's already feeling better because she has her first appointment with my psychiatrist soon (he agreed to take her on as a patient as a favor to me) and having seen what he's done for me, she knows there really is help---and hope---for her.

    None of this changes the fact that she is indeed in end-stage COPD and cannot be off her O's for more than a few minutes without gasping, but it is literally a breath of fresh air and a sign of God's grace that we have been given this respite.
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Did she read your article?

  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Nope.......and I don't want her to at this point. This story is really nothing more than me whining about the difficulties I'm having with the role of caregiver---I have no intention of letting her believe she's dying. I want her to have these experiences without knowing what I do about the prognostic end of things. Most of all, I want her to keep hope alive. It could mean the difference between six months of wonderful and twelve months of nothing-special.
  6. by   TopazLover
    Viva. You know I have some understanding of your situation. Some days we know too much. Other days our denial is the only thing that gets us through the day. I see some great suggestions that are viable alternatives to ALF or NH. I suspect she figured out how annoying it was to do some of the things for her that she was capable of doing. sometimes we can get a point across without saying a word, or even know we are telegraphing our thoughts. Regardless bathe in the sunlight of her renewed interest in life.

    Personally I would prefer to have a life shortened but wonderful to one prolonged by disillusionment and failure. If she is doing those things to maintain and improve her well being, hold fast to that. It may not last forever but at least you have today. Stay in today, my friend.

    Sending many hugs, prayers and well wishes.
  7. by   RainMom
    "The curse of 66"!!

    My mom turned 66 yesterday. Worst birthday ever.

    She has vascular dementia & moved into our local ALF 2 months ago. It took over a year of discussion to make the move & everything seemed to be going as well as could be expected. There are 6 of us kids & we've gradually been getting the house ready for someone to rent (it's tough clearing out 47 years worth of memories). Now for the past couple weeks, Mom is fixated on returning home, even saying she will drive herself. Her car is there, but she hasn't driven in months (after yesterday, the battery is also disconnected). She's irate that someone else may live in her house & doesn't recall that at first, she had told us to outright sell it. She managed to get a few small boxes from the kitchen staff & packed her prized possessions - a small portion of her vast DVD collection.

    It's soooo hard on her & all of us! She was just in the hospital again for a heparin drip because she couldn't/wouldn't take her meds regularly, missing her coumadin doses. We've since had to go ahead & have the staff dispense her meds to her to be sure she was getting them. We had been calling every day to remind her but I think she would literally say, "yes I'll take my meds", hang up, & immediately go back to her TV show. A few weeks ago, she panicked because she couldn't remember her birthday. She also has started having difficulty reading.

    We had all discussed possibly having her move in with one of us, but she doesn't want to live with anyone or have anyone live with her at her own home. ALF seemed to be & I believe still is the best situation for her. It's a new facility & later this year, they will be breaking ground for an Alzheimer's wing.

    Never thought I'd be going through this, not this soon.
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. You've got some tough sledding ahead of you, but all you can do is take it, literally, one day at a time.

    That's what I've had to learn over this past month since my sister fell and fractured her hip. She didn't need surgery, but since then she's had pneumonia AGAIN and now is showing definite signs of dementia, likely from periods of hypoxia. She gets angry and agitated in the afternoons, and I've had to leave on more than one occasion because she was so verbally combative. You can't argue with dementia, but you sure don't have to sit there and be abused.

    It's so very difficult to stand by helplessly while someone you love goes through these things. I wish you peace.
  9. by   FranEMTnurse
    My heart goes out to you Viva. You are dealing with a real predicament.

    I have discussed my future with my doctor and both of my daughters, because I do NOT want to be put into a nursing home as long as my mind still works.
    I also purchased my own death services so they wouldn't have to be burdened with that expense. They have enough to deal with. Each one is married and has 3 children. Plus the way prices of everything keep increasing.

    You my dear are in one tough spot. (((((HUGS)))))