A bad moment today.

This is a discussion on A bad moment today. within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My mother lives with my wife and I. She's 85 yrs., an invalid, and stage 6 alzheimers. Mom is not totally bed-ridden. She gets to ...

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Thread: A bad moment today.

  1. #1
    Member Array oldnonry's Avatar
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    A bad moment today.

    My mother lives with my wife and I. She's 85 yrs., an invalid, and stage 6 alzheimers. Mom is not totally bed-ridden. She gets to sit up in a wheelchair 5 or 6 hrs. a day. Well, last Thursday she started having a pretty bad cough and I was concerned because, with her getting very little "exercise" there's always the fear of pneumonia. I called her MD and he called in a prescription for some antibiotics to our pharmacy and we started her on them Thurs. afternoon. Well everything seemed to be doing a little better until Sunday night when I noticed she seemed to be breathing really shallow and was wheezing quite a bit. So I said, "that's it" and dialed 911 and had the ambulance come and take her to the ER about 11:00 Sunday night. Well, we sat around the ER for about an hour and the ER Dr. came and saw her and ordered breathing treatments, blood tests and a chest x-ray. About 5 hrs. later, about 6:00 a.m. Monday, mom was asleep, breathing easier and seemed to be resting fairly well. The ER Dr. came around again and told me he had all the results back from the blood tests and chest x-rays etc. Well the whole time we were in the ER I was questioning whether or not I should have brought mom to the ER on Thurs. and when I saw him I immediately asked him, "Doc, did I wait around too long before I brought her in, should we have come sooner?" His answer surprised me and really made me feel alot better. He said, "It is best to try to treat advanced Alzheimers patients at home, if you can. They are alot like children and can become very agitated in the hospital". He went on to reassure me that we brought her in at probably the exact right time because, according to all the test she was just starting to develop a small patch of pneumonia in her right lung. Well, they admitted her into the hospital and once she was settled in I finally went home about 7:30 a.m. and crashed. I had sent my wife home about 1:00 a.m. she had to be at work Monday. She has a "real job", I work mostly on the weekends as a musician. Anyway they started treating mom vigorously with IV fluids and IV antibiotics and by the time the wife and I got back up there Monday evening she looked and sounded 100% better. Mom's Dr. came by and said that everything was right on track and with any luck mom could come home in about 2 or 3 days. Well you can imagine how relieved we were to hear that. So since she was resting so quietly the wife and I came home and had a quiet dinner and enjoyed our very rare, private time. I know this is getting to be a pretty long story but, I feel it's only fair to tell the whole story.
    OK here's a little background info. My dad passed away in 1998 and like most long-time married widows, mom's health started to deteriorate. I'm an only son, so I sold my place and moved in with her, to help her and to keep an eye on her. I wasn't married and had not even met my current wife, at this point. At first I was just company for mom she was pretty well able to take care of herself and I enjoyed being close by her. Well as the years passed by, she just got more and more disabled physically and mentally and it finally got to the point to where I couldn't provide her with the care she really needed. So finally I realized that I had to start thinking about a nursing home. I hated to think of her there, but sometimes it's the best and only option available. I investigated on the internet and personally visited about 25 nursing homes in the area and settled on one in a rural suburb of town. She went in and I'm glad to say, she did better than I expected. The facility seemed like a god-send. In the meantime I met my current wife and eventually she started going with me to visit mom. They really hit it off well and grew to love one another. Everytime we'd leave the nursing home, my wife (then girlfriend) would cry about having to leave her there. Well, one year ago December, (1997) I was watching TV and saw a story about a local nursing home that had lost it's medicaid license and was going to have to shut down. Well guess what? It was mom's nursing home. Apparently, there had been an inspection where some code violations were found and the administrator did not notify the state of the nursing home's plan of action to correct those violations by some deadline and that was the reason for them having to close. I found out on December 12th, that I had to find another nursing home for her before December 31st or "the state" would arbitrarily place her in one of their choice. Well you can imagine how mad I was. It took me 3 months to find a nursing home that I felt good about and I wasn't about to just let "the state" make a choice for us. Well anyway, I think the only person madder than me was my wife. We had been together about 2 1/2 years at this point and were living together, so she just asked me. "Do you love me?" I said "you know the answer to that" and then she said, "well marry me and we'll bring her home with us." I thought for a minute and said, "Are you sure?" She said "Yes" So before the deadline, we were married and had all the correct paperwork in place to bring mom "home." That was a great day. We finally got her home with us and it was one of the happiest days of our lives.
    At this point, mom's alzheimers was about stage 4 and she was a little confused, in the beginning, about where she was, but she eventually settled in with us. About 8 mos. after we moved her in with us, the nursing home where she had been living had cleared up all of their issues and was re-admitting patients. Now I had told mom when she moved in with us, that if the nursing home re-opened and she wanted to go back there that I would take her back. So I asked her, with my wife crying like a baby in the other room. I said "Mom do you want to go back or would you rather stay with us? She said, "I want to stay here at home with you." Well needless to say my wife and I were very happy to hear that.
    Now that brings me to today....
    Like I said, mom is stage 6 alzheimers at this point and over the past few months has developed severe memory issues and most of the time has trouble finding her words. At the hospital they try to assess a patient's mental status, so they ask them questions like, "Do you know where you are?" "Do you know what day it is?", etc. Well, they asked the usual questions, most of which mom couldn't answer. So as I was sitting right next to the bed, the nursed asked her, "Do you know who that is?" and pointed to me. Mom looked at me real intently and after a few seconds said, "No".
    Well needless to say, that was bit of a shock.
    I've learned that if they live long enough, there comes a point in most alzheimer patients struggle when they get to the point of not recognizing loved ones and I knew that, if God was willing, that day would come for mom. I try to be analytical and try to adopt a sort of clinical approach to seeing my mom slowly drifting away, mentally speaking. But to be quite honest, it hit me harder than I'd like. Nevertheless, God willing, we'll get her back home in a couple of days and maybe once she gets back to familiar surroundings, she'll remember. And if she doesn't.... I'll still do everything I can to take care of her for as long as I can.
    Thanks to the admins for having a place for me to let this out. I really appreciate it.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" - Thomas Jefferson

    "The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth." - Stonewall Jackson

  2. #2
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    It's a really tough situation, but you'll do the right thing. My parents never progressed that far (my Dad had TIA's) and my Mom died before her's developed much, so I can sympathize a little. Best of luck, and remember you always have her best interests in mind.
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  3. #3
    Member Array Sejune's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your heart. I haven't had to face anything like this, however, both of my parents had these kinds of moments with their own parents, and I know it hurt a lot. All I can offer you is that I will pray for you, your family and your mother, and that God will be gracious to you in your difficult times, leading you to peace and understanding in all roads that He may lead you down.

    God bless,

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  4. #4
    Member Array bluedaisy's Avatar
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    Your mom obviously raised you well, and that shows in how you are caring for her, and the choice you made in your sweet wife!

    Ya know, the disease has taken her mind, but it can never take her heart. No disease can penetrate the depth of a mothers love.
    "Let me control the textbooks, and I will control the state." - Adolf Hitler

  5. #5
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    You've got a big heart, and your wife has a heart of gold. Not many are like either of you.

    What an honorable thing you and your wife have done to make your mom's remaining time as pleasant as possible for her.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    You have a fine wife. Best wishes.

  7. #7
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Alzheimer's is a horrible disease. It takes a deep and emotional toll on all family members.

    God be with you and your family oldnonry! You and your wife are Saints. A rare breed.

    My prayers are with you and your family.
    Semper Fi

    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  8. #8
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    State of Discombobulation
    I hate Alzhiemer's.

    I've watched it eat away at people close to me and the parents of friends.

    I wish I could be as good a son to my Mom as you are to your's.


  9. #9
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    This is a situation of which I am extremely familiar with...
    My 'super' wife and I took care of my mom for three years (2001-2004).

    Really lost it during the last couple of years, but we had both quite all outside income persuits and focused only on her care. We went on little trips to visit places and relatives she enjoyed being with...I have never retretted the time with her.

    In 2004, she suffered a major stroke and lived for only a few more days...she died in our home surrounded with family.

    You and your wife sir, are doing just the right thing in taking care of her...not many are willing to do that...you will forget the difficult times and have fond memories of all that is good.

    You are a GREAT son...
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  10. #10
    Member Array OMEGA2669's Avatar
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    I know what it is like. I wish you, your wife and your mother the best. Stay strong.
    AT3 (O-Level) United States Navy - NRA Life Member
    "Molan labe! Just try... I'll show you the strength of my conviction... and I'll sleep well that night..."

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Myself and my family have been the the things you're going through, and I know the emotional pain.
    Stay strong, and know that you are doing the best you can for her.
    If you feel you need to get things off your chest as time passes along, you may send me a PM anytime. I know how hard it is to grasp the emotions that we as caregivers experience in caring for loved ones with this awful disease.
    Stay strong, you are not alone, and there are other who care.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Doing the right thing isn't always easy, it can be very hard. Sounds like you've got doing the right thing down good. My compliments to you and your wife. You won't regret doing the right thing, believe me.

    I know much of what you face as a care giver. Similar situation with a different medical condition with my wife. I'm another you can feel free to contact if you feel the need.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  13. #13
    Member Array oldnonry's Avatar
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    Thank you so much to all that have taken the time to respond with such kind words of encouragement. Please keep us in your prayers. God Bless!
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" - Thomas Jefferson

    "The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth." - Stonewall Jackson

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array GreenHorn's Avatar
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    Bless you and your family.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array scottc's Avatar
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    My neighbor as a kid passed away due to alzheimer's. You have alot of courage and your mom is a lucky lady. God Bless you
    Expecting a carjacker or rapist or drug pusher to care that his possession or use of a gun is unlawful is like expecting a terrorist to care that his car bomb is taking up two parking spaces.-Joseph T. Chew

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