I had no idea my 82-year-old mother had began a process to starve herself to death in October. On Thanksgiving, she passed out and fell, severely injuring her foot. No one told me about that either. Her husband got her into bed where she continued to starve herself and deprive herself of fluids.
When I visited on December 23, she'd starved herself for close to a month and had stopped drinking. She was in bad shape. I was completely shocked that she was doing this willfully. Even so, she refused to go to the hospital. Afraid she was depressed and not in her right mind, I got a caseworker involved.
She still refused medical care until the caseworker finally talked her into going to the ER on December 27. She was, of course, admitted. Her ankle was broken from the fall and she was only semi-conscious and seemingly close to dead from starvation and dehydration.
During her first week at the hospital, it seemed like she was on the verge of death in a stupor. Numerous doctors said she'd die within a week or less without a feeding tube.
I wanted them to put in a feeding tube in, but her husband wouldn't agree to do that. I began a legal battle as doctors said her husband was mentally incompetent. The IV gave her some hydration, and she came to a bit and was able to refuse a feeding tube.
An MRI revealed that she'd had two major strokes, one of which might have caused her fall. A doctor convinced me that these strokes, along with her broken ankle, which couldn't be surgically repaired, would greatly decrease her quality of life. So I quit fighting for the feeding tube and decided to honor my mother's wishes. Grief consumed my every waking moment.
On January 4th, my mother's IV was removed, and we waited for death to come. A few days later, a doctor warned that her organs were failing and it wouldn't be long now.
I rushed out and purchased a funeral plan for her.
My mother had been in the hospital 15 days and was on the verge of death and in a semi-coma on January 10 when the hospital decided to boot her out as she'd ran out of insurance. Even nursing homes wouldn't take her. Instead of letting me know, they sent her home, via an ambulance, with a relative who's not immediate family.
I was, and still am, aghast. I can't even express what heartache and grief this decision caused me. I'd wanted to take her to my home.
Today, January 12th, it seems my mom is back from the dead. That relative who took her home decided to hydrate my mother. I learned that she has been giving her tea, pop, and applesauce. When I visited her, my mother was talking and was more lucid than I've seen her in a while. It seemed miraculous and shocking.
Now I'm wondering what will come. Death? Or will my mother recover even though she has sustained extensive organ damage? I have been grieving these past few weeks, and I came to accept the loss, but now I feel kind of up in the air and confused. I'm afraid to be happy about this development as she still may die due to the way she'd abused her frail body. This whole thing has put her, me, and other family members through certain hell.