When the end is nearPosted Wednesday, August 24, 2011, at 6:48 PM
This is very personal and I don't want it to be a poor me blog.
I'm sure that many of you that follow the blogs and comment on them are old enough to either have been in the situation I'm in now, or will be someday. That situation is the impending death of your last parent and it's affect on your life. Two years ago after a chest x-ray, my Mother was told that there was a growth on her lung, and because of it's location and her age, that there wasn't really much that could be done but wait and watch. My Mother was 93 at the time. My Mother has always been the strong and sensible type so her reaction didn't surprise me. She looked at the doctor and said "You're right". No more, no less. A month ago she called me saying she was having hard time breathing. She didn't call 911, just me. I made the call to 911. To make a long story short, she was taken to the hospital, checked out and had another chest x-ray.
I was the one the doctor talked to first. I was the one that heard the words "Six months to twenty-four months." I was the one asked how much to tell her. Knowing my Mother, the choice was easy. I told the doctor to tell her everything. True to form my Mother didn't crumble. She knew this day was coming, but had put it to the back of her mind and never thought of. I knew and never dwelled on it. It was at the hospital that they discovered that she had lost a lot of her lung function and would have to be on O2 almost all the time. They explained all this to her and asked her what she wanted to do. Her answer again was direct and to the point. "Well since I have been barely able to take care of myself lately, I sure as hell can't go home now." She made the choice I could not and would not make for her. She chose long term care, Hospice care, a nursing home. Call it what you will, it is simply a place to go and wait for the end.
About a decade ago she had filled out a document called The Five Wishes, it went into detail what she wanted, didn't want, and how she expected to be cared for when the end was near. This is a great document that should be filled out by everyone. Later she also gave me her durable health care power of attorney. Another valuable document. The only thing she didn't do was to grant me a general durable power of attorney. That would represent the end of her freedom.
This last month has been filled with work, raising my grandson, and a never ending stream of paperwork and phone calls. There are those who already know I have been an active alcoholic for 30+ years and have only been sober for the last 17 months. These blogs have been a way to hold onto my sanity. An outlet of sorts. Something to help keep my mind occupied. If I seem testy at times, I apologize in advance.
It seems very fitting that I am blogging here as my Mother is a proud Veteran of WW2, and as such her ashes will be interred at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery. In the 6 years she has been here, she has come to love this state.
Thank you once again for the very warm welcome into your community.
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Almost 65 and retired. Raised by an East Coast liberal. I am also a child of the sixties.
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