5 yrs. ago

5 years ago yesterday (I wanted to post this then) my dil’s mother passed away. It was so sad; I never knew the woman my dil did. By the time I met her she was just a shell of what she had been. What’s so horrifying to me is I think how easily it could have been me or anyone of us. She felt bad one day, just like we all do, wound up going to the ER, as we often do; I know, though I rarely, but so did she, I did once, was told she had the flu and was sent home, only to get worse – which I’m sure we can also all relate to, so this time she bypassed the little local hospital (and I hate to belittle those; maybe even had she gone back they would have checked further, but that’s usually what’s done in situations like this, next time you go somewhere else) and they discovered she was having or had had a heart attack. Further proof of what I read a lot that the symptoms for women are different from men, one in particular being flu-like symptoms; when’s the last time you were checked for a heart attack if you ever went in for the flu? how do they know? anyway, know I wasn’t; just thankful I wasn’t having one. Now, also, the confirms all the PSA’s I started hearing at the time of the dangerous consequences of uncontrolled diabetes, especially if you have a family history, which she did, with both her parents having it, but of course they either hadn’t had, in the case of her mother, or had survived, in the case of her father, a heart attack. So…however, apparently they hadn’t also already been run over by a car and developed a blood clot in their leg that was in the way of the stent that is placed there in the process of being run up to your heart in the event of a heart attack. Yes, at the big hospital, even though they were told; apparently they didn’t check; now what they would have done, not sure; realize, I think, maybe, doing that was of higher priority than dealing with the blood clot, though not sure I do really realize that’s true, because don’t believe you’re either stopping or preventing it at that point; aren’t you just doing that for the next time? anyway, yes, they hit the blood clot and I realize the chances of this happening, maybe, are slim, but it went to her brain and caused her to have a stroke, paralyzing her right side; yes, her good side, all the way up and down, meaning, affecting her speech, cognitiveness, as well as the use of her arm and hand, thus affecting her writing ability, and leg, placing her in a wheelchair. So double whammy, because with her heart condition, she wasn’t really able to do the intense rehab needed to recover from the stroke (besides the whole having no insurance thing, at least at the time but of course she did get it later but we’ll just leave that out for now, although possibly with more help at home, not even necessarily professional, just help, she could possibly have had more recovery any way) so she was no longer able to care for herself and/or? her children. I say that because her children were not small; they were teen-agers, old enough, I believe, to have helped take care of their mother and I believe they would have. However, they were not given the opportunity. First, and here’s another possible warning; mom had been living with a man for 10 yrs., who, almost at this first option, and I realize he worked, ok, but had he wanted to do things differently, could things have been done? Well, ok, in a sense maybe I’ll even concede, since I just dealt with a situation yesterday, reversed, where it’s the husband who has cancer and needs care, while his wife is having to work and they do have younger school-age children, who wouldn’t be old enough to help – and I do realize in both situations the children were and are in school; in that situation his sisters have been endeavoring to help take care of him but they do have their own families so not sure how long they can continue or what the situation is going to be but at least at this point they’re stepping up and trying; however, this man almost immediately took her mom to her mother and dad, who weren’t working – dad had been on disability due to either a work-related accident or a car wreck himself, for a number of years. But even in one sense that could have been somewhat understandable but then he also advantage of the situation to take away the home that she had worked to help buy and pay for – again, another warning? – without any recompense to help with the expense of her care – again, unlike another situation, where a house was sold for that very reason – now, again, true enough, in this situation she was able to go on disability, but still…so then her younger sister was sent to her family – there were 3 sisters of her mother, so she somewhat bounced between them and a cousin; however, for whatever, reason, dil was not, either sent or allowed to go, either by this man – which, how did he have any authority? he was neither married to her mom nor her biological dad, but somehow, since, for whatever reason, he either was willing to let her stay or refusing to let her, he was allowed to continue to have her, even though she didn’t want to be there; she also wanted to go to her family, even though there were other issues as well, which could lead to some other warnings we won’t go into here. However, those other issues are what led to her being placed in foster care, which is a whole other issue that could be addressed that I feel could have been handled differently and there could have some solution found that could have addressed her issues and also allowed her to have stayed with her mother and even helped take care of her, possibly even aiding in her recovery but that wasn’t allowed to happen, so…having said that, both the grandparents mom was placed with were not in good health and not really able to take care of her, especially when she would have periods of decline, so she would have to be placed in a nursing home, only to then be removed and taken back “home” after they got her better. This went on for approximately 2-3 yrs. while dil in foster care, until she aged out of the system and, understandably, wanted to get out of the system and go back closer to her mom, which, at that point, she was allowed to do so, somewhat in a way that she wasn’t before, for whatever all those reasons were and for whatever reasons she was allowed to then, which, again, weren’t necessarily all good. Meanwhile, younger sister had also ended up being placed in foster care as well, though not thoroughly understanding the reason for that, but again, that’s another story. However, by then, maybe because of the foster care, which weren’t all in a foster care home, but institutions, etc., experience, whatever, maybe because of the family situation her mother was placed in, true enough, she didn’t just immediately go to taking care of her mother, but shortly, with a few months, after aging out of the system and going back to her family she met my son and they started a relationship, which her mother really liked – another long story – and ended up getting married within a year, which really seemed to mean a lot to mom; I’m sure she was concerned as to what was going to happen to her daughters, maybe even more her older one; I feel she probably thought she could then take care of the younger one. But also I think she possibly also thought that with her older daughter married that she could possibly take care of her; however, by that point – probably actually early on – her parents had assumed guardianship of her, so that could only be done with their permission – or taking them to court, which they weren’t quite willing to do at that point – and they weren’t willing to grant permission, either, especially when they had moved out of state, which is somewhat understandable; they did have a concern as to how well they would be able to take care of her, even though, medically, she would be in a better place, although they could have chosen to have moved as well, but the rest of their family – other children and all their grandchildren at the time – were there. That made it hard on them because, by that point, she was having the periods of decline more frequently, or maybe because after finally getting her daughter back, her leaving again was even harder on her and on dil as well, especially after she began to expect their first child, which, again, understandably, her mother was eager to be with her daughter through and to see and be with her first grandchild as well, so they moved back but then the tragic catastrophe of the unknown, unseen, diabetes, reared its ugly head, causing dil’s blood sugar to spike extremely high, causing huge distress to this baby, leading to midnight helicopter ride to the big hospital, where it was supposed to be taken but somehow the records weren’t sent (?); not quite sure what happened there and she also actually had not been feeling the baby for a bit – how long? – why couldn’t she get that addressed in that, yes, same small town that had missed her mom’s heart attack? but even there took her/them till the next day to get ultrasound done to confirm what she was suspecting; meanwhile, mom, of course, was wanting to go be with her daughter, so son took her and her sister, while I, as well, of course went to be with her. That was really my first time to spend much time with her. It was so sad. A situation like that would be anyway, of course, but when you have her circumstances like that in addition, it just makes it so much worse. Her physical condition, of course, was enough, as it was, but the cognitive impairment from the stroke made that situation so much worse; she was impacted emotionally by the situation but without really being able to fully comprehend all of what was actually going on, which I don’t think was helped by the fact that, apparently they often don’t go in and go ahead and do C-sections in at least out situation; they make you go ahead and deliver naturally, which, in itself, still might not have been so bad, but apparently what they’d been giving her to help wasn’t doing quite what needed to be done, not sure it was supposed to take 3 days or that they really should have allowed it go that long before they finally came in and took more measures, so 3 days in her hospital room because seemingly there were no sleeping rooms, so either that or the waiting room with nothing but chairs; never heard anything about any other type of place to go designed for hospital families and of course not enough places in room for everybody to stretch out and actually rest and sleep; not sure mom ever got out of her wheelchair, so very emotional with everybody getting tired; no, exhausted, but especially mom, in her state, anyway and really my real point, I’m not sure she realized through all of this what the outcome was going to actually be so when we finally had a delivery and it began to sink in, it was time for her to go; I’ve never really thought about that 4-5 hr. trip home for them but as I think about what I saw later I can only imagine. Later, at the service for the little one, it was very difficult for her; I can sense her somewhat knowledge that she’d lost her children, to get her daughter back, to lose her again, to get her back, so excited to be getting her first grandchild, a granddaughter, only to lose her, maybe to realize she wouldn’t get her back, so in her state, to then want to go be with her, especially with then, son and dil coming back, again, out of state, after all of that, to get away from it. But, again, after a few months, the separation reached a point that they moved back again, this time to stay until the end, which at that point, somewhat seemingly, as alluded to earlier, with the loss of the grandchild and realizing to a degree that dil would ultimately be better off out of state, relating to her and son’s future but realizing she would probably not ever be able to be a part of it, either because of her parents, although, of course, they wouldn’t always be there, but probably because she may have realized that it would probably be the case, regardless, that she would not last until that point anyway, that she would just rather go on and hopefully be with granddaughter, freeing daughter to be able to move on with her future, that she was thrilled to feel that she had a chance at having a good one; do feel that, as part of that, she realized what had happened to her not being married, she was thrilled that daughter had actually found a man willing to marry and commit to her for life and want to help provide for and support her, so she could have peace about that, so the day came when she was willing and ready, especially when the day also came that dil also reached the same point and realized and was ready herself to let her go, as hard as it was for her. I’d like to think I played a part in that, for both of them, really, in them knowing that I would try to be here for her daughter, maybe because I don’t have any of my own, which I guess is really why I’m trying to write this. Within the year of her losing her mother I also lost mine, which I think also helped to make our bond stronger and then within a year of both, she had another beautiful granddaughter, which I wish her mom could have seen and been able to be with, so maybe this is also for her, to help paint a little picture of who her other grandmother is and was, although this is only the last chapter of her life; will have to leave it to mom to write the rest of the book. But just wanted to write up a little tribute to her, on this, as of yesterday, 5 yrs. ago we lost her in a final way, although in many ways the mother dil had had been lost for several years but I’m glad I got to meet the woman I did, anyway, before she gave up completely, to at least know my dil’s mother in some degree. I do miss you, Rhonda, and do wish we could have had more time but I know life was hard, so I can understand; do just hate that it happened.

About donnainthesouth

I'm a transplant, born up north but raised in the middle, now I'm down here where you don't see too many snowflakes; I'll probably post just about as often (here at least)
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