My father-in-law (a wonderful person) died in November. The lousy life my MIL put him through in the last half year makes me so resentful at times. My FIL was admitted to the hospital on a Saturday night and died the following Friday. My MIL had his oxygen (C-pap I think it is called) pulled before any of the family could get there and not even my husband got to say good-bye to his Dad. On the Friday before my FIL went to the hospital I was at their house most of the day taking care of a plumbing problem. My MIL obviously thought that I couldn't hear her. By tone and word she made it so obvious to my FIL that he was a terrible burden that I thought, "If I were Dad, I'd kill myself." My FIL did not feel well--he'd been in the hospital for pnuemonia two weeks before and had a 2:00 appointment with the Dr. because I had strongly suggested that they go to the doctor. They went and when they got back the MIL was flaming mad.
Well! she huffed, "That was a complete waste of time." I asked if the Dr. said that nothing was wrong with Dad. She said that the Dr. said he was ill and if he wasn't better by Monday, they would put him in the hopital and then in the nursing home for some care.
Saturday I came to finish the plumbing job, in the afternoon my husband came to help finish and we were done at about 2:30p.m. My FIL looked so miserable that my husband asked him if he needed to goto the ER. My MIL piped up with, "The Dr. said he was to go to the hospital on Monday and then to the nursing home, if he isn't better by then." Then she huffed out of the room. I went over to his wheelchair and said, "Dad, do you need to go to the ER?" He just looked at me pitifully , hung his head and said, "No, but I just feel terrible." Then a tear ran down his cheek and he repeated that he felt terrible three more times. My husband told him to call if he needed anything.
At about 7:45 my husband wenn't done as usual to help get his dad in bed. At 8:45 our phone rang, it was the MIL and I could hear here al the way across the room. "Well," she said, "You father just had me call 911. You know how he always thinks there is something wrong with him and he has to be the center of attention, so no the ambulace in coming. I hate to think what that will cost." (They are very comfortable, financially.) When my husband hung up, I said that he should probably go down, so that he would feel better about what was happening. When my husband got there the peramedics had just arrived and my FIL was lying in his own fecal matter. They took my FIL to the ER and we followed. My MIL drove herself and was there when we arrived. My FIL went almost straight to the intensive care unit (his body temp was 91) and we went home when he was comfortable. Sunday was spent waiting, keeping him comfortable and doing tests.
Monday I went to the hospital first thing in the am. The MIL was there and told me that the internest had just been there and said that Dad's thyroid was really low and he had pnuemonia. Then she said they had a decision to make about whether or not Dad was going to had a lung tapped for both comfort and diagnostic purposes. I asked why wouldn't they do this. She said, (right in front of Dad) "Well, tapping his lung won't make him walk or get rid of his swelling in his legs, and help him use his arms or help his depression, so maybe it is just time that he went home to be with the Lord." I tried to explain that Dad's depression (and perhaps even the recent weakness in his arms) might be due to low thyroid and if his levels came up he might feel more like living. Then she said, "Well five years is a long time to take care of someone." Again, this was right in front of Dad--she and I were standing on either side of the bed right next to him. She hadn't given him a chance to talk.
I said, "Ok, do you hear the lady across the hall? (she was gasping for every breath) She is dying because she can't get enough oxygen, that's what your going to put Dad through and it's long and painful." Then I turned around and walked out of the room so that I wouldn't say anything I'd be sorry for later; I also called my husband and told him I wasn't dealing with this by myself. I also called their pastor, because I knew she would never behave like this in front of her church. The both got there at about the same time as the internist returned (I'd asked for him to be paged). While we were all in the room discussing the news and the lung tap my FIL said, "Ok, I want quiet and I will tell you what I want. I want to have the lung tap and if it is cancer (the x-ray showed a mass), I don't want any treatment, but if it isn't cancer then I want treatment." We went into hall with the internist to see the x-ray and during that time my FIL had an anxiety produce breathing event
My MIL (who had stayed in the room) rushes out and says, "He can't breathe and he is says he just wants to go," and she keeps repeating this over and over. I sent my husband into the room and the internist sent the nurse with medication. Then the pastor says to the internist, "I think that we got Mr. _____'s answer about treatment. He wants to have the lung tap and treatment, if it is not cancer. My husband and the pastor left. I stayed until the lung tap was done in the afernoon (5:30p.m.). The Dr. doing the lung tap wanted all family to wait in the lounge. I went to the lounge and the MIL stood her ground. About 10 minutes later, she comes into the lounge saying that the Dr. made her leave. About 15 min later the Dr. comes to the lounge and reports that the tap went well. He spoke looking at me, not her and when he left she said, "you would think that you were the wife, not me."
The lung tap results showed that protien had grown in the lung fluid.