The other day, after posting a "rant", I realized that I need a place to write down what is going on. So I'm going to start here. I'm not asking for advice, but all is welcome, without push back.
My mom is 91. She's had a good long life. Had a stroke in June 2013. Was in acute rehab for 2 weeks, then sub acute for 4 more weeks. She developed vascular dementia, i.e., she knows us all, knows the day, date, etc, but thinks that there is a union trying to take over the facility she's in, that there are floods all the time and that the Communists are about to take over (she watches a lot of Fox News.....). We tried her in a lovely AL facility, but she was paranoid and couldn't remember to push the button when she needed help; she fell and we moved her to memory care. She didn't do well there and we added a full time aide. She fell THERE (with two aides in the room!) and ended up with a broken hip. Anyway, post surgery for that (September 2013) we admitted her to a lovely NH. She's done really well there, gained weight, become very mobile with a walker. Great therapists (PT is a sadist, but I think they all are, she's pushed my mom to do stuff none of us would have expected!). Mom was in the hospital for pneumonia in Januray, recovered well and was back up and walking in a few weeks. Fell in June; discovered in hospital that her heart rate was quite low; we ended up doing a pacemaker. Back on her feet in a few weeks. Mom started feeling out of breath in NH a week or so after pacemaker placement. NH dxed pneumonia. Several rounds of antibiotics; chest xrays, etc. We made an appointment to see a pulmonologist, because mom has had pleural effusions in the past. Before appointment happened, she fell in NH, ER via ambulance; blood tests were all out of whack. Long story short, they tapped her chest and the little pocket of bacteria in the bottom of her lung blossomed and sent her into sepsis. She made it through that, is back in NH, after 5 days of being bedbound. No fractures, but she's still in pain. On tramadol. Talked to her this afternoon after second PT session. She said "I'm not in pain, but my legs don't work". Okay, NOT in pain is huge. At least they've got pain meds on a schedule and not PRN, because if you ask her if she's in pain, she says "no". But then she is if she moves.
My POA brother is in Europe for ten days; younger brother is supposed to get back from vacation this evening. Hey, I'm not a hands on caregiver by any stretch, but I'm trying to take care of my mom the best I can. Trying to figure out the next steps. She's got CHF, doesn't seem to be progressing anywhere! Dementia is not of the 'mean" kind, she's just confused about the facts most of the time (asked me the other day if youngest brother had 3 or 4 kids, she was concerned that she couldn't recall 4th kid). NH says not time for Hospice. Hospital says that we are not at palliative care point yet.
Frankly, if this were one of my dogs or cats, I would have put them out of their misery this week. There. I really needed to say that. I don't think that there is any redemption in physical suffering