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Monday, July 1, 2013

1 - Too tired to think

Please bear with me!  This is my first ever attempt at blogging & I am a little nervous!

I guess I will start by telling you a little about me and my life.  I have been married for almost 27 years and have 3 grown children; 2 grand children.  I have been selling real estate since 1996.  I use to travel a lot and really enjoyed it.  My entire life has been shook up the past couple of years.

I have always spent a good deal of time doing things for my mother as she has severe RA & is unable to do things like: open jars; mow lawns; dig ditches; etc..  Even with the RA she was very active in the community......her grace literally amazed me!  Both our lives changed a LOT on March 8th, 2012 when I received a call that she had fallen to her bedroom floor & was unable to get up.  Turns out the fall was more of a "slide" to the floor and the worse was yet to come!

I was absolutely dumbfounded at how she (and I) were treated in the medical world of seniors.  If I hadn't insisted she be hospitalized at that time they would have sent her home to die.......and as it turned out they almost did!  We almost lost her a number of times and I was so frustrated with the lack of communication from the doctors that I cried all the time (of course, not when I was with her.......must be brave!).

As this month goes by I will get more in to the details of our journey, but for now I just want to say to all of you with aging parents that you are likely to become the care giver for:

Do NOT assume that your parents are getting "senile" when they tell you their doctor isn't doing right by them!

DO become involved in your parents health care (preferably while they are still healthy)!

Do NOT just follow doctors orders if it doesn't seem quite right!

DO insist on a second opinion for serious matter - and if you live in a small community, insist that second opinion be from OUTside of your small community!

Do NOT assume that the BEST assisted living/skilled nursing facility is really the best!

DO speak up and be assertive!

Do NOT back down if you really feel you are right & might know something the doctors don't about your parents!

DO be prepared to spend an exhaustive amount of time dealing with a myriad of things that you likely never even thought about before!

I can tell you that I wish I had become more involved in my mothers health care way before I did.  Many of our parents are from a time when one took care of ones self and asking anything of others would be they don't tell us things we need to know to be effective as their advocates!

I didn't know where to begin and now I don't know where to end...........oh, yeah! I get to rant more tomorrow!


Ruth Hill said...

First of all, welcome to the world of blogging. No reason for you to be nervous. You sound like you have a lot to offer, and I know for a fact that there is a whole group of "older bloggers" out there. Not meaning to make you sound ancient--just trying to let you know that you are not alone. If you want to check out a blogger who is over 45, check out She is an amazing lady, and she is always willing to help. I learned a lot from her.

Secondly, welcome to the ultimate blog challenge! I think you're really going to find this is a great group.

If I can be of any help, let me know. I'm going to leave my blog address too:

I look forward to reading more from you!

Katie Sheasby said...

This post came at the right time. My grandmother was just put on oxygen and we have become her main care givers. Asking questions and knowing what is going on is very important. By the way I think you are doing well with your blog :)

Isabel Chaves, M.S. said...

Hey there,

Thank you for sharing this personal and obviously painful situation you're in. This is very helpful to all of us, as our parents aging is a reality we all have or will have to face eventually.

You're post made me think of my father and his passing. I was too young and too far away to be of any assistance, but when I think about it - the moment he was sick it was decided he would return to Colombia where he was born and he basically sat in a room, received no medical attention and very soon passed away.

No one advocated on his behalf. He was basically cast aside to let "nature takes its course" when in retrospect he should have received proper medical attention. If not to postpone his death, but at the minimum provide him with a quality of life in his last months alive.

Very thought provoking. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you again for highlighting such a salient and personal topic.

healthcare hostages said...

Thank you so much! No worries about the "older" thing......I feel ancient most days! I will check out stillblondeafteralltheseyears (I wish I was!)

healthcare hostages said...

Thanks Katie! It's tough becoming a care giver.......I have had many nights that reminded me of taking care of newborns! Luckily things seem to be looking up!

healthcare hostages said...

Isabel, thank you so much for your kind words and prayers are most definitely appreciated! I lost my real father when I was 13 and my step father when I was 30. Of course I was way too young to be anything but a pain in my moms butt when my real dad passed and I lived 4 hours away when my step dad passed. I hope I can help someone (even if it's just 1) avoid some of the pitfalls we have experienced!

Anita Scott said...

"Her grace literally amazed me"...the nut doesn't fall very far from the tree sister! I am always amazed at you and your accomplishments. Most days, I'm just really glad we're on the same side; I'd hate to be one of the docs that have made the mistake of assuming you were ignorant! Hehe...Oh I do love you!

healthcare hostages said...

oh, sister! You are too funny! Today I accomplished getting both mom & I showered & fed! Oh, I started a load of laundry and went & bought pepsi too! And, did you just call me a "nut"?!

Love you back!