Saturday, January 31, 2015

The hard choices...

Mom is sick again.  We have been careful to keep the yuckies that are everywhere this time of year from her. Apparently, the yuckies are more clever.  This time she brought them home to us.  Not wanting to put her through another month long hospital ordeal like the last time she got sick, I was at urgent care the second day of her cold.  But, it was already too late.  It had already turned into pneumonia.

The doctor we saw was wonderful.  He listened to me when I told him of the experience in November when they basically strapped her down for a month in order to treat her for pneumonia.  He then allowed me to make the choice of whether to treat her at home or to send her to the hospital.  He politely, and tactfully, spoke about reaching a point that going through heroic measures in cases like Mom's is not always merciful or in her best interest.  I am so grateful for his compassion and understanding.  I asked whether I could be held legally accountable for not admitting her to the hospital if she ended up worsening.  His response was that he, as her attending physician, at this time, did not see the benefit of hospitalization for someone with Alzheimer's that is as advanced as Mom's.  He added that restraining someone who has a terminal disease and has no ability to understand why she is being restrained,  just to treat her for a secondary condition, was cruel.  He made notes in her chart in support of my decision to treat her at home.  As long as she is comfortable and doesn't worsen, she will be at home.

Mom has advanced Alzheimer's.  She is terminal.  I don't want her to die.  I truly don't.  But, I don't want her to live the way she is living. Scratch that. She isn't living. She is existing.  What little dignity that Alzheimer's has left her will soon be a memory.  There is no hope of a cure.  There won't be in her lifetime.  But, I do want my mother to find peace.  And if that means that I won't do everything in my power to "save" her, then so be it. 


  1. Lord, I pray your mercy on them all. We don't know your will, nor the number of days or footprints we will leave upon this earth. We pray for each one of them, bless them all as their time begin to narrow. For each of them has walked a different journey to this point. Help them as they transition in life, from this day to the next. Lord, a huge heap of blessings and faith on Nancy. We know You love her... Gift her strength for the journey ahead. In Jesus name.