Sunday, June 10, 2018

Things do not happen as they should

I am not counting words tonight, but I want to tell you something I have learned. We came home with a simple objective: take over sister's finances,  Put all her bills on auto-pilot (online direct payments) hire whatever was necessary  to allow her to stay in her home until her passing. The last time we had seen Shirl (last fall) she was still topping trees and jumping fences at 81 years old.

When we got home it was obvious things had changed, dementia has settled in. I still had hope. We hired a company 'Visiting Angels' to assist. Then the first set back, Blood clot on the wall of a heart chamber and a small leak of blood in the brain.

A lot intervened sister went down hill. She refused to eat and drink, Using the same statement, "I'm okay, I will eat later." Sherry fixed many meals, some we thought she eaten, but she had not ? (They were in her freezer.)

THE  WORST NIGHT/DAY OF OUR LIVES. I learned we could never be her caregivers so we decided on a 'facility for her'. The supervisor and her nurse came out. (The best I could figure Shirl had been without food and water for 4-5 days.)  My thinking at this point, "Everyone eats when they get hungry or drinks when they get thirsty."  Ignorant on my part.  I was not thinking of 'her primary organs'.

The nurse (Tamika) said, "This lady needs to go to the emergency room in the morning.  I would say NOW, but it would be a long night for you guys and she will be just as well in the AM."

In the AM, after Sherry's report, her doctor said call 911.  WE Did.  That is when the FUN(?) started.

Shirl had been in her recliner for 24+ hours, unable to get up. I calmly talked to her and said the EMT's were coming to take her to the hospital. Her constant response was, "Can't they take care of me here? I am not going anywhere, I DO NOT HAVE TO GO!"

She absolutely refused to listen to the EMTs. Both of them tried to explain to her, but she refused to move. Twice they tried to lift her and she SCREAMED, NO NO! I am not leaving. This went on for over an hour. We have a sweet neighbor that Shirl loves. She came over and tried to help, to no avail. The EMT's called their supervisor.  They talked to me privately saying they could not take her against her will. They calmly told Shirl that they would call the police to assist in her moving, all she did was say loudly I don't have to go anywhere.

She yelled and screamed at me, "Jackie, please , please, let me stay here in my chair."
Finally I had to tell the EMT's " I am invoking my Health POA, I AM HER!  Take her."

  EMT said there is a test I must give her first.

You   guys probably know this. The questions are simple.  What day is it? Who is the President? etc. Then they took her to the ambulance screaming and kicking, raising her balled fists (She is 117 lbs soaking wet!)

I rode in the ambulance with her. This is where you could have pushed me over with a feather.  She started joking and talking with the EMTs, On the ride to the hospital she was her old self. NO PROBLEMS. She does not remember the incident of refusal.

I felt like a complete crap head, even though I knew it was dementia.  Bottom line is, the Doctors said she would have probably died if we had delayed another day, her kidneys were operating at less than 2%.

She has been in the hospital two days now and the kidneys are up to 5%.

I must tell you, dementia STINKS !!

Nite Shipslog

She is in the dog house. The preacher came to see her and when he walked in she said, "Oh shit!"
Our pastor told her, "I am upset with you because you can say that and I can't!"

Thanks for stopping by. I do not expect any comments.


betty said...

Oh Jack and Sherry, I feel for you all! Don't beat yourself up too much about it; you are doing the best you can with what you have to work with. I would have thought the same thing too that someone would eat or drink when they got hungry, but I've not dealt with anyone with dementia before, plus I know how hard it can be to get someone to eat or drink if they don't want to. I'm glad Shirl's in the hospital and getting the care that she needs and I'm glad that you and Sherry realize that you can't be her care givers and arranging for somewhere where she'll be taken care of well and safely seems like a good thing to do, though I know its always hard to have to make those decisions. I think I said this before, but make sure you and Sherry are taking care of yourselves! Continuing to pray for you all.



saying prayers for you. i'm glad you realize you can't take care of her by yourselves.

Paula said...

It's a strange disease. John says he isn't going to a retirement home. I'll just say at least you don't have her kids to fight over the money. I wish I had the nerve to walk off but when he is asking me to stay as long as I can it's hard.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You did make a good call there. At least in the hospital they can give her fluids to keep her going. Dementia is not easy and it's hard to remember they are just not thinking in their right minds at all and in your case it was up to you to do the thinking for her. So sorry for all your hardship. You're Sheryl is blessed to have you looking after her.

Glenda said...

YOU and Sean both made me cry big time today. So glad this disaster happened when you two were there to intervene, so sorry that big pharm hasn't managed to find something to overcome the nightmare of dementia and Alzheimerz. It's a nightmare, so hoping that Shirl rebounds from this heartbreaking incident.
LOVE and hugs, Glenda

Mevely317 said...

I've a hunch your heart is breaking, Jack. What was, what might have been ... what IS.

In turn, I feel so awful I've no words to soften the REALITY. You and Sherry are in our hearts and our prayers.

salemslot9 said...

tears :(

my John's Mom has dementia, too

I said a prayer for you

Dar said...

Of course you will get comments, Jack, we all love you and pray for you all. Dementia is a dreadful disease., not at all fun or funny. Besides praying for all your health, I pray that you find a glimmer of sunshine in each day. Take time to smell the roses and just ' breathe.'
love, hugs n' prayers from up north. Know we do care and think of you all every day with the deepest compassion.

Chatty Crone said...

I agree with all these gal pals. Your heart must just be breaking. This is a tough fight. I am just so sorry this disease happens when we get older - we try to hard in life to get to this point to relax.

I do know from hospice, my mom was in, you can only live about a week without food and water because your systems do shut down.

Can she get home hospice? It is wonderful.

I'll be praying.


jack69 said...

Most will not read this, and I understand. But thanks for your comments. Since blogger has quit sending e-mails I missed these comments . But now I am here, THANKS you guys are the greatest!

Jean said...

Thanks Jack for the up date on Shril, so sorry to hear this. I do know what you guys are going through. I had to get home help with Grover for a week and a week with hospice before he passed. We never know one minute we think we're well and the next we could be down. I'll be praying for you guys. Jean

Sheila Y said...

Love you guys! Try not to take the harsh words to heart they can’t help what they say. It’s a tough road. Praying for all of you! Sheila

Woody said...

This is a Hard Road to Travel, Going thru this with my sister Janice, she will know me one day and not the next, she thinks her daughter is sometimes her Mother. she does not remember eating or drinking fluids.
My sister and 1 brother do not like me as they think she should still be home, she can not take care of herself any more!! It is tough, but all we can do is grab onto the good memories, shrug off and do not dwell on the bad memories and go 1 day at a time ! Prayers for the Family and God's Comforting Touch !
Gary and Anna Mae

Lisa said...

Hang in there Jack. I can only imagine the pain and confusion. Praying for easy decisions for you and Sherry. You will feel better knowing she is being watched whether its in a hospital or nursing home. You will do the right thing. I think this is one of those times you have to follow your mind and not your heart.

As for getting emails....I found a temperary fix. When you write a post. At the bottom in comments, check the box that says “notify me” and you will get an email every time someone leaves one. You just have to do it after each new post you write.


Jackie said...

God bless her.....and you and your dear wife.
I’m soooo thankful you invoked the right that gave the EMTs the power to get her the help she needed to save her life.
“God....please, be with this dear lady and those who are caring for her. She might not remember You right now, but You know her and exactly what she needs. Thank You Lord, for providing those needs. Give her peace and completely surround her with Your love. I know she will feel that. Thank You, Dear Lord. Amen.”

Jackie said...


Rick Watson said...

Bless y'all hearts. Both Jilda's mom and mine struggled with dementia. It can be brutal.
You did the right thing Jack. All you can do is the best you know to do.