Saturday, February 1, 2014

Caring for Mom~Answering the Tough Questions

Yes, my mom had fallen...again.
And yes, this time...the result was a fractured hip...

Because of her age and her heart condition,
she was considered a high-risk patient...
so, was being transferred to a larger hospital in Grand Forks.

A 97 pound frail body with a broken hip...
my 92 year old mom made the trip to Grand Forks in the back of an ambulance.
Not only was she in pain, but I'm sure she was confused about what was happening to her.

Meanwhile, we had left home to meet her in Grand Forks.
It was frigid cold in the Dakotas.
So cold that school was cancelled!

I'm am posting this now, because a year ago,
I could not find the words to express what I was thinking and feeling.
The Question "What would the Family like us to do?" was posed.

We have had that conversation before...

I was mom's Power of Attorney for her healthcare.
Her Living Will was quite clear as to what she wanted for herself.
When the Lord was ready to take her home, 
she did not want anyone here on earth standing in His way.

But the urgent question was there.
What would the family like us to do...
Surgery to repair her hip?

So each person that called, the surgeon, the nurse practitioner, the anesthesiologist,
I turned the question to them...
"What would you do if she was your mom?"

They all had the same answer...the surgery.
Without it, she would suffer considerable pain in her hip.
Plus, she would never be able to sit up again,
not even in a wheel chair.

So, surgery it was.

Most of you are probably wondering why I post this now...
a year later.

Some of you have experienced the illness and death of a parent,
and can relate.

If not, I urge you to have these difficult conversations with your aging parents.
And do it now, when their mind is still sharp.
Help them create a Living Will, so their wishes are in writing.

Trust me...this is important.
Because if you find yourself in this difficult situation, 
you have to try to set your emotions aside, and do the right thing.

One of hardest things I have had to do 
was ask the hospital staff to place a DNR band on mom's wrist.

It was what she wanted me to do.

Take care,


The Moonlit Stitch said...

Yes Natalie, thanks for posting, I know it must have been hard. I was there with my dad in 2010. A lot of hard decisions, questions. The DNR sign on his door at the care facility I had to look at every time I walked in. But it makes our job a little less weighty knowing what THEY want. God bless you and peace be with you ~*~Lisa

M said...'s hard even a year later.

Willoughby said...

I can only imagine how hard it was to make those decisions.

My dad is very ill and has spent the better part of the last year bouncing between the hospital, a physical rehabilitation facility and home after having bypass surgery and a lower leg amputation. Insurance will only cover home health care for a short time unless it is considered hospice care. But for hospice care, my mom would have to sign a DNR for him and she doesn't want to do that. I feel like we are in a constant state of holding our breath.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Such an important thing to talk about with your loved ones Natalie and so very difficult to do. I worked in ICU for many, many years and watched so many families struggling to make that difficult decision, not knowing what their loved one would have wanted. Thanks for writing about it, I can imagine that even a year removed it was a very hard post for you to write. Hugs my friend, Deb