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Old 02-06-2017, 01:09 PM   #16
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It sounds like the absolute best possible way to go. I'm glad she's relaxed and in no pain.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:25 AM   #17
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Yesterday morning my wife and I discussed Hospice care. Having had home hospice for both of my parents and my wife dealt with it briefly with her dad we felt that if mom holds on but grows weaker it will take more than the 2 of us can handle. There is also the issue of when someone dies at home on their own. With hospice they handle the death certificate but if you don't have hospice you have to deal with the police and possibly the county morgue and sometimes a autopsy is required. So I found a local Hospice center that can does home centered care. Mom just doesn't want to leave her apartment and go somewhere unfamiliar.

A lady with the hospice came out yesterday and we signed everything, well I signed. I am the primary person for medical and legal power of attorney since my wife travels so much normally. The lady was so surprised how involved we are with mom and that we were so involved with other family members with hospice. She said most families don't want anything to do with it and prefer to not be too involved which I find sad. Today a nurse is supposed to contact me to come out and go over the medical history and medications. I called her GP Dr. this morning to tell them the hospice will be contacting them for records. Also the pain management Dr. since he prescribes her pain patch.

We stopped by to check on mom at 7:45am. today We were surprised to find her already up and sitting in her recliner with the dog in her lap. She was watching a cooking show, first time in a few days she has actually turned on the TV. It has now been a full week since she has eaten anything, just bite or 2 that day and her meals were very hit or miss the week before. She is typically only drinking a few ounces of liquid during the day. Hard to figure out how she has the energy to get up each morning or how much longer this can go on.

Neither my wife or I slept well last night. We both were thinking about what is going on with her mother. I'm trying to figure out what the heck we are going to do with all of mom's shit and she really has a lot of shit. She has a 2 bedroom apartment that is chock full of stuff. She was a crafts person as well as a doll maker so on one wall alone we have about 300 porcelain dolls that she made from scratch; pouring the slip into molds, firing them, painting details like freckles, eye lashes, lips, putting in eyes and hair and making the clothes. They are all different and unique. We put in her will that every granddaughter and great granddaughter should take whatever they want but that will still leave a great deal. She also has loads of little chathkis in curio cabinets and on shelves as well as hand painted plates and other things from her craft making days. And some butt ugly furniture. Plus 2 closets full of holiday decorations and I mean decorations for just about every holiday on the calendar. Maybe we can sell what the family doesn't want or need on Craig's list or eBay.
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:10 PM   #18
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Sounds like you know what you are doing. Good luck, Chris.
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:48 PM   #19
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There is always the Salvation Army or Goodwill for excess stuff, they'll take even butt ugly stuff.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:28 AM   #20
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Hello Chris,I wanna thank you for keeping us informed....... I think we all care very much!

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Old 02-12-2017, 12:00 PM   #21
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This has been an interesting couple of days. My wife's oldest child came from Rochester. He is the son she had before she was married and put up for adoption. They reconnected about 12 years ago. He still lives in Webster, near Rochester and is only about 2 miles from where my wife lived and went to high school. The funny thing is that he looks a lot like my wife's late father, would be his grandfather. Anyway he wanted to come to see the only grandmother he still has before she goes. So he was here from Thursday until Saturday. He and my wife's other 2 sons spent most of the past 3 days here with their wives and some of the kids. The older teenager grand kids know that something is up with their great grandmother and seem to understand she is dying. The younger kids are less aware. So it was a bit lively here but my mother in law seemed to enjoy all the company. They ordered some pizzas Friday for lunch and my mother in law decided to have a slice. She ate about 2 bites of the topping and said that was enough. Other than that as of today it's been no food for 10 days.

We come over each morning to get her up at about 8am. We figure at that point she has been in bed about 12 hours and she really likes sitting in her recliner so we get her up. We switched to the small portable wheel chair for getting her to and from the bedroom to the bathroom or family room. I was getting worried about her ability to control her electric wheelchair with her being quite weak. She still passes a bit of urine, albeit the color is starting to get darker. My wife brushes her hair and gives her a warm wet washcloth to wipe her face. She rinses her mouth with some Listerine. Then she is led to her recliner, it's a motorized one so it raises up to help her stand or sit without a lot of effort. Today she seemed awfully weak, as I put my arms around her I could feel her weight and was careful that her legs did not buckle. Not sure if by Monday she will just need to remain in bed. At least Hospice got us an electric hospital bed.

I take her blood pressure every morning just to see what it is. Other than one morning last week where it was very low it really isn't too bad. Today it was 112 over 48, her resting heart rate was up at 72. I have one of those oxygen sensors that you put on the tip of a finger and it read 95 which is pretty good. But she is sleeping more now, she only wakes if she is startled. I think it says a lot about the body's ability to keep going.

When the kids were here over the weekend we talked a lot about all the things we need to find homes for here. I found a Facebook group for local garage sale type things you can list for free, sort of like Craig's List which we also have here. So I think the remaining furniture will find new homes. And I'm going to set up an Etsy store for the dolls that will be left over. I found handmade ones like hers on Ebay and Etsy and they typically go for $10-50. They are just to nice to discard or give to a thrift shop and we figure the money will go towards paying off the cremation, etc. She doesn't have any other real debts.

The hardest decision is that we think we decided we will put down her dog afterwards. The dog is 13 or so and not in good health. She has had 2 surgeries for stones in her bladder, a result of my mother in law always feeding her human food, especially dairy products like milk and cheese. If mom had a bowl of cereal the dog got one, too! The dog is like her shadow, follows her everywhere and sleeps in her lap, I don't think she will know what to do when she is gone. She also is not very well house trained and not social with other dogs so it makes it heard for other family to care for her. Tough decision but we feel it is the most humane.

My wife took off Thursday and Friday and figures she will be here Monday or until it's over. I come and go, Sitting in her apartment is like watching paint dry, there isn't much to do. My wife just wants to be here for her mother, she's been doing picture puzzles which is something I never have enjoyed doing.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:18 PM   #22
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Thanks for the update Chris. My mother who kept dogs all her life was always adamant that any that survived her should be put down rather than being a burden on anyone. I'd say your decision is the kindest for the dog. All I'd say is could you or your wife (or someone else the dog is familiar with) be at the vet's when the dog is put down.
Otherwise it sounds like MiL is readying herself to go. You are good people. x
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:57 PM   #23
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My heart is heavy for you all. Glad though that it seems you are all so well prepared.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:49 PM   #24
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My Doctor told me any oxygen level over 90 is fine. 95 would be very good.
I agree on the dog, it won't get over the loss and be very difficult for someone else to manage.
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:33 AM   #25
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I'm glad you're planning for all of this.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:00 PM   #26
chrisinhouston
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We are at 16 days now since she stopped eating and is only having a few sips of water the past 2 days. Hospice gave us these little Q-tip like sponges you dip in water and moisten the lips, we put on lip balm as well. She is talking very little today, only whispers faintly and then drifts off. I took her blood pressure today, it was 72/49 with a heart rate of 62

I suggested to my wife that we pick out a nice dress for her to wear after mom passes, I know she never liked to go out of her apartment if she wasn't dressed properly and with a bit of lipstick and makeup on. I also asked her if she wanted to inquire from her sons if they would like to come by to say goodbye before the funeral home is called for service. We are cremating her and there will be no viewing or service other then a party type family get together later on. I think it's good for closure but both boys said they would need to think about that. Their father died of cancer in 1996 and they didn't process through the death very well.

Not sure what to do with the ashes. My wife's father died 8 years ago and was cremated but at that time her brother had a huge catamaran in Newport Beach. It was 65 feet long and 28 feet across so we took out about 25 family members and put his ashes in the Pacific. But her brother sold the boat. He has one in his part time home in Tahiti and that's kind of an expensive trip to go on. I looked into doing it off of Galveston but it would cost $750 and they can only take out 16 people. My wife still has her first husband's ashes in a nice box on a shelf in our family room and we also have an urn with our first dog's ashes. We don't really need anymore!

The kids are coming this weekend to start picking out things, we might get some things moved out. We only have until the end of February so just 2 weekends. We won't get Social Security or her pension from her husband's fund at Xerox so it all needs to go somewhere.

Waiting for someone in the final stages to die is the same as waiting for a baby to be born, no set schedule and they just do it in their own good time.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:23 PM   #27
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you are an inspiration, Chris. Best wishes to all
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:41 PM   #28
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I agree, monster hit the nail on the head.
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:22 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisinhouston View Post
Since early December we have noticed a real decline in her and her daily routine. She's gotten more forgetful, sometimes a bit confused and forgets to take her pills that we put out in daily doses.
If she hasn't had a full thyroid workup, get it done (and do T4 and T3 tests, NOT just TSH). 80% of people over age 50 have some degree of tissue hypothyroidism due to reduced ability to convert T4 to T3. Further, one aged-care facility found (via autopsy) that 26% of their patients had some degree of hidden goiter due to undiagnosed low thyroid. MOST of what we think of as the "symptoms of aging" are actually due to this. It's possible that it's just her time, but even so this is well worth looking into.

The usual levothyroxin (synthetic T4) treatment alone CANNOT fix poor conversion; the patient needs replacement T3 either synth T3 or as natural thyroid, which will probably require chasing her doctor with a stick as most will not do it.

In fact, with ALL chronic or debilitating conditions, thyroid should be the FIRST thing looked at, rather than the last resort as is so commonly the case. Thyroid affects everything. Frex, one study found that about half of all fatal cardiac events were due to the effects of low T3 syndrome.

I would bet she has multiple symptoms, but they've all been dismissed as "due to her age".

My own hypothyroid condition went undiagnosed for 30 years despite 50+ different symptoms. Having discovered that most doctors know very little about thyroid disorders that aren't perfectly textbook, I've had to take up reading the research literature in sheer self-defense.

Wish her the best.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:04 AM   #30
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Welcome to the Cellar Reziac.
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