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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A hard post to write

What to say ...

Today is 3 weeks since her admission into rehab. In many ways she is less than she was, and yet she continues to improve in small ways. Maybe I see the improvements because I look for each little step forward. Maybe I want her to improve more than she wants to improve.

Physical therapy says that they will be discharging her by the end of November. But the discharge will include the recommendation that she has 24 hour assistance/monitoring. This translates to admission into Assisted Living or to an aide in our home for a minimum of 12 hours each day.

An aide in the home is not an option for us. Our townhouse is small. My husband is uncomfortable with the idea and I am not wild about it either. But my main concern is for my husband. After 5 years of living with his mother-in-law in sometimes difficult circumstances, I cannot ignore the line in the line in the sand that he has indicated. He also has expressed concern for the physical and emotional toll all this has taken on me to this point.

But what about mom ... After 3 weeks in rehab I can see that she is ceasing to try, to achieve, to remain connected to her surrounds. She sleeps a lot. She appears angry at times.

But most importantly she doesn't understand that she can no longer do for herself. She can no longer make the smallest common sense decisions for herself.

When she is awake she appears unhappy and no longer takes joy in the presence of family. Some of this is fatigue. Some of this is discouragement that she is not home. Maybe we are dealing with some depression as well. But without her corporation and desire to do the work to get stronger, there is no way to physically bring her back home.

I greatly fear that she can no longer live at home safely.

How will I ever be able to give her that news!


  1. Do you have a doctor who could take on the task? sandie

  2. Do you have a minister she knows and trusts who would drop in to the rehab with you while this information is imparted? This is not something you should tackle on your own. You need support for this.
    Oh gosh...I do feel for you. I see where your husband is coming from too. He wants a few years of quality time with you. Virtual hugs from over here. I will be thinking of you and praying for you.

  3. Thank you both for your ideas. I responded to you by email.

  4. You don't tell her - the medical team does!

    I learned this valuable lesson from my pediatrician. There was once a painful procedure on our baby - he threw me out of the room. He told me - "Never ever be near when babies or animals have to be uncomfortable. They don't understand and you can reason with them. You don't want them to associate you with the pain or question why you allowed it. Let them hate the medical team and you come in when its done and comfort!"

    Discuss with your doctor and make sure he is very firm in the discussion that you can't take care of her anymore in home. It is his medical opinion and that's that. Then you and your mother can be sad but make plans together.

    I can appreciate how hard this is for you...but this is a full grown woman and you will not be physically able to lift or care for her. You will not have the facilities, equipment and expertise she will need to keep her safe.

    I will keep you and you mom in my prayers - these are scary times for your both. But this too shall pass and you will get to the other side ok. Hugs...

  5. I too will keep you and your family in my prayers. My heart breaks for you. Keep writing, it is good for the soul.

  6. I think the retired knitter has a good idea. As a nurse I had to take on such things for families and to be truthful you do want things for her that she does not want for herself. As we come to the slower part of our journey I believe God gives us grace to detach from the things in life that once were important to us, things that you think she should be interested in and like. I had to deal with the same thing as far as my spouse was concerned and you two will need to be friends for many years to come after your mom completes her journey. Prayers and healing thoughts to you and your entire family.

  7. it is a tough situation to be in, i'm sure. you want what's best for your mother and you want her to be both happy and safe but if she is unable to do certain basic things, then it just might be time for her to go into assisted living.


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