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Hello, I’m new…first post/question.


I’ve spent days trying to figure out how to post this because there are so many components that no one choice of topic fits.


I’ll just dive in:


Mom had a massive left brain stroke in 2011. She wasn’t expected to survive but she did and even regained a good 75-80% of her right side and communication.


Less than a year later, 2012, she was in pulmonary distress. They took 16oz of fluid off her lungs then discovered she was in renal failure due to severe rheumatic mitral valve stenosis (heart failure basically). They wanted to do a mitral valve replacement but after several consults with some of the best surgeons in the nation decided she was too far gone to survive the surgery. They did a valvuplasty(?) that included several things I can’t recall at the moment but it was to buy her a couple years…at most 7 years to get strong enough to endure the surgery. I knew she had a balloon procedure back then (still living in different states) but she made it seem like it was nothing…no big deal and everything is fine. I only learned of the seriousness a few days ago when I received her medical records from Vanderbilt Hospital. When I mentioned it she screamed and cried to please never make her have open heart surgery. (her mother died from the same heart disease. She had valve replacement when it was new back in 72 and it bought her another 20 years but she did suffer a lot so ok...now I think I get why mom never wanted me to know how serious it was) though when she was here visiting me in October 2018 I noticed a lot of the signs I saw in my grandmother, including mom not urinating for easily 12 hours at a time. She’s infuriating with all these secrets and laughing things off then freaking out when I finally learn of it far too late.


At any rate, the little they were able to do in 2012 got the renal failure under control and bought time on the mitral valve surgery.


Suddenly she moved to Ohio in 2013 and quickly married a long time friend’s brother. They’d all known each other for more than a decade but I didn’t know him…just met him a couple times for a few minutes.


I live in Texas and she is in Ohio with this person who I thought just very quiet/standoffish.


I trusted it was a good match and he was going to take good care of her and continued on with my life.


In late 2014/early 2014 she was diagnosed with colon cancer and had a segment of colon removed, radiation, etc. She downplayed it some but her husband always called it a blockage that they “had to clean out” and such. He’d never call it what it was or acknowledge colon removed…nothing. I received those records yesterday. It was so much worse than even she said. Mainly the fact that all of the tests from MRIs to ECGs to blood work and urine output showed she was again in severe heart failure and renal distress. In addition her liver and lungs were showing signs of effect…all the same but not quite as bad as in 2012. The doctors in Ohio focused on the colon cancer.


She had 3-4 (no one will ever know the true number) light strokes since though they didn’t create any noticeable change in her physical or communication abilities.


Over all this time I was in touch on a regular basis and for the past 2-3 years it’s been at least a weekly phone or video call chat. More and more she seemed ill at ease, letting little facial expressions or comments about her husband show through then downplay it if I questioned it, which I tended to not do…not my business, right? I had also noticed that it seemed he was always around when she spoke with me…even if he was to be gone for hours, within 15 mins of calling me he’d randomly show up. I found excuses for that but after a while it was far more than a coincidence which she confirmed during her visit.


When she came to visit me in October 2018, it was as if a gag was removed from her mouth. From the moment she arrived she began speaking of the very questionable behavior of her husband (see more in answers below)

When you move Mom out get a police escort.

If the bank account was in Moms name only, he stole her money. Did she chalk up debts or did he? You can deal with this when you get her to texas. Good luck.

I would report that APS caseworker. She should have talked to Mom alone since abuse was involved.
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Lucee55 May 13, 2019
I just realized i've been doing my replies all wrong. Woops! Braindead here. JoAnn, thank you so much for the advice. I really hope there won't have to be a police escort but certainly will keep it in mind just in case. The bank account is only in mom's name but he keeps saying they gave each other authorized use when they got married. I'll check into that further. Most of the debt seems to be in her name but a good chunk of it went to paying his taxes and replacing the roof and windows on his house. I'm hoping the attorneys i've contacted can help get that money back or at the very least get her spousal support to help pay it up?

The APS caseworker has been stuck in my craw from the start! I'm so glad you brought that up. Would happen to know how to report her? I already made contact with her supervisor who seemed rather nice and patient but due to privacy laws couldn't/wouldn't tell me much and of course made excuses for the caseworker. I absolutely believe that caseworker should be reported/reprimanded/see some kind of consequences to her actions but I haven't a clue how to proceed with that.

Thank you so much!
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Thank you Exhaustedpiper and everyone taking the time to encourage me.
I am flying there Wednesday the 15th, one way since I don’t know if I’ll be driving her back. I’m praying we can just fly back to TX.

She’s already told him she wants a divorce and wants to move to TX. The first time she openly said this in front of me (on video call) his response was, “Then all the hell you put me through the past 3 months was for nothing!” Wow. If I didn’t think there was something terribly amiss before I certainly did then. The 3 months of hell he refers to is the 3 months since the latest stroke and what he thinks is taking care of her (not). That reaction doesn’t seem normal to me.
Point being there’ll be no reason to sneak her away. He already knows that is the likely outcome of my visit.
I pray I can convince her to leave things behind. One reason she didn’t leave with me during my last visit was fear of leaving keepsakes behind (china, grandmother’s antique sewing machine and such). She’s very afraid he’ll destroy things or sell them. Mom had bought nice new furniture for their home when they married. I’ve got to find a way to convince her to take only what is absolutely necessary.

I only got access to mom’s bank account a couple of weeks ago. She is in terrible shape financially. She’s drowning in debt created during this marriage. Strangely most of the debt is in her name where she fixed the roof of his house (inherited during marriage so it is only in his name/by law his only), paid up his back taxes to the tune of thousands, etc. The bank transactions showed a lot of this. I was able to look back about two years and was surprised to see his bank account listed too. I suppose because they authorized each other use of their accounts? He’s always used her account any time he bought something and sometimes sent money to her account to keep her from getting overdrawn but the amount he’d move to her account rarely came close to what he spent on crap purchases with her account. There were also regular withdraws from his account in large sums.

Since this latest stroke in February the use of her account exploded, including up to $900+ at a time ATM withdraws. Then in April his checking account was empty and her’s near empty so there was a sudden transfer of money from a “non-chase savings account”
Mom had been trying to tell me she’d discovered he had a secret account he was stashing away money. I thought I was not understanding her due to the severe speech aphasia. Nope, its right there and explains where the thousands were vanishing to over the past couple of years.
The financial situation looks daunting at best.

The lawyers I’ve consulted strongly advise filing divorce before she leaves Ohio. I pray that isn’t necessary but have to wait until I get there to sort all that out since clearly trying to help from 1500 miles away is getting me no-where.

I’m sick and now in debt for the first time in my life. I do hope you’re right that it will be a lot easier once she is here. But, here goes…one step at a time, starting with getting on that flight Wed and go from there.
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Good question/point Pandabear. I was slow to see this but it did become suspcious to me that he suddenly married her when she was still recovering from the first massive stroke. I'm not entirely sure she fully knew what the heck she was doing. He had assets in the form of a couple of properties his parents left him. A house that had been his great grandfathers (that's where he and mom live-the place is in shambles) and a duplex rental property he's not been able to rent out for several years now as it is unfit for habitation. So it sits there crumbling while mom pays the utilities/taxes/insurance on it. He does some construction work during the summer months and gets a little in unemployment here and there. While mom never had much, she did have more than him. DID. She now has nothing but a mountain of debt. Once mom finally got me access to her bank account a couple of weeks ago I saw that he's been living off her, spending money like water and since this latest stroke taking out large ATM withdraws, so far the largest was over $900. So yeah, you hit the nail on the head.
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I got lost in convultion of posts. But you sound like a really caring kid. And a worried one. I think the ApS suggestion is one to follow up on.

Stay with us. There are a buncha knowledgeble and helpful peeps here who have seen it all. I get pissed off and lash out. But these peeps are my lifeline and ground me. Best to you.
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Forgive me. My first post was so long it went in three parts which surely confused an already convoluted story/situation. Thank you all for trying to help me. I can’t express enough how grateful I am to have some feedback. Please don’t stop. Whether you tell me all the things I am doing wrong or give some encouragement. I need it, any and all of it. Here I’ll try to fill in some gaps/clarify things from your responses.
Ed (alias for mom’s husband) is soon to be 61 in perfect physical and mental health (no dementia at all). In fact his main profession is roofing which he still does to this day. Any limitations he may have in the care of my mother I believe are character limitations rather than physical or mental impairments(?)
I do feel confident I know what is going on (which I’ll explain in a new post). I did file a report with APS. According to mom the lady that came out to see them but Ed was shoveling the driveway when she arrived and they spoke at length outside then only a little with mom while he was in the room so yes, mom was hesitant in what she said as well as struggling more with speech out of nervousness. (mom said the lady appeared frustrated trying to understand mom-seems they should have scheduled with a speech therapist or the like to be there-gave them all that information when filed report) then the APS lady spoke with Ed more before she left. I even had a lot of evidence but as far as I know nothing came of it. They won’t tell me anything and he won’t mail the letter for mom to get information on her own case. Seems all that did was make him angrier. I did request welfare check. According to mom (and what the officers report states) Ed saw the officer approaching (home security cameras) and became yelled at mom she was anxious before they even got out of the car. Mom told them everything is ok THAT DAY…as in “today is ok” so they left it at that. I’ve spoken with one speech therapist mom had for a short time (another of many issues not getting or keeping the care she needs) and she noted the heavy tension between mom & Ed but wouldn’t go further and in fact directed me to her supervisor because they can’t “get involved…call APS”. Attempting contact with any other healthcare workers fell flat. No responses. I finally got some of her medical records after sending multiple release of information/HIPAA forms to mom to sign (at her request) but Ed only mailed out two of them. There were 9 total including release of financial information. This was suggested by one of the attorneys I spoke with. Atty felt that since mom is of sound mind there was no point in the costly process of POA especially since Ed is not going to drive mom to the law office or allow them alone with her in their house to go through the process, not to mention the fear of his anger after said meeting. Mom signing releases should have worked for the meantime but he “put in pail” (trash) She has no one there. I am all she has so I’ve done all I can to work with her and him from afar. Oh the times I’ve had to bite my tongue and paced and lost sleep from trying to do all this long distance AND create/maintain amicable communication with him.
Now she’s made it vehemently clear she wants me to come there to file divorce, pack her up and move her to Austin to live with me. I’m flying out next week and while I have a good feel for what I am dealing with (my next post will clarify that I’m sure)…I still don’t know HOW to deal with it. With all the work I’ve done, the research, the calls, 24/7 for weeks now…I am afraid. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. If she wasn’t married, especially such a toxic marriage, it’d be easier. Now I have to deal with who knows what kind of backlash/fights/time and money consuming nonsense just to do for mom what she as a woman of sound mind wants so badly to do!? I’m tired and sick and scared. That’s all.
*note*She was working on an “exit plan” to divorce and move to Texas in the weeks before this stroke.
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ExhaustedPiper May 11, 2019
Lucee my heart breaks for you, sending a huge hug your way. You are NOT alone. I am so glad you found this place. It has been a God-send to me and it will be for you too. Keep coming and posting and you will get through this. There is a saying- How do you eat an elephant? ... One bite at a time. That's how you will get through this, one step at a time.

My first bit of advice is to get your mom to Texas and away from Ed ASAP. Thankfully she is still mentally competent enough that she can make legal decisions from Texas to get out of the marriage and protect any assets he may be trying to scam. The main thing is get him away from her and to the safety of your home. Ed won't be able to do anything then, he will be in Ohio. When he gets served the divorce papers or any other legal work and he gets angry-- so what he can be angry from afar. Your mother will not have to even speak to him, and neither do you! Let a lawyer handle it. Don't take his calls.

Your mom can tell Ed she is going home with you for a visit. Pack her most important things, as much as you can as to not cause suspicion with Ed and get her out of there safely, then once she is in Texas-- BAM, get the creep out of her life for good and have a lawyer deal with him. Other items can be shipped. Her safety comes first.

How is your mom financially? Does she have a joint account with Ed? The sooner she sever ties with him financially the better. That can also be done from Texas.

Hang in there, and keep letting us know how it's going. You will get much support and guidance. I know it's scary but you can do this. You will feel 100 times better when she is away from Ed. The toll of the worry from afar has been very intense. That will calm down once she is in Texas. There may be new challenges and health issues to deal with but that will come later. Like I said..... one step at a time.
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Bottom line sounds like you are not really certain what’s going on with Mom and her husband. Does new husband have mental issues? Dementia?

Long-distance caregiving is extremely difficult. It’s hard to ascertain what’s really going on with mom. You have your suspicions but can’t confirm any of them, really. And, the problem with calling APS is that if her husband is around when they come out, she will be afraid to say anything to them. If there are no physical signs of abuse or neglect, there isn’t much they can do.

Can you bring her to your home for an extended stay?
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Lucee55 May 10, 2019
thank you ahmijoy. i just posted a blanket response to those who have offered advice so far. i failed to mention the physical abuse (which seems very little but enough for me). i'm hoping to add a new post/question tonight that will fill in the gaps i left out in my first (3) newbie posts ...thank you all for trying to help and bear with me as i learn how to do this here.
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How have you been able to get her health records? Do you have medical POA?

You could call APS but will Mom tell them how husband treats her? Where could Mom go?
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Lucee55 May 10, 2019
thank you so much joann29
i just posted a blanket reply to you all that have offered advice so far

i did call aps
the only place mom can go is here with me in texas
she has no one in ohio and it is too far for me to keep check and just overall breaks my heart to imagine leaving her there so i plan to bring her to texas
its going to be hell doing that which is the main reason i am here seeking advice and support
i've been so clumsy in getting all the information out there so i'll try again in a new post tonight
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From the moment she arrived she began speaking of the very questionable behavior of her husband (starting with not getting her to a wheelchair at curbside to wait for the attendant I’d requested for her…just left her wobbling on the curb saying he would get a ticket if he stayed longer than a minute. Mom hasn’t flown much so she didn’t know (though I’d given all these instructions to him). From there it was a little here and there that grew more and more descriptive and emotional as the days went by. She was here for 7 days and by the 3rd or 4th day I was stunned to silence the things she was telling me. Stunned and not happy about it but not fearful either. She again downplayed it. I listened and gave emotional support then finally asked what could I do to help her? Is she happy? Are these just rough patches? She began laying out her exit plan…she’d clearly been thinking of this a very long time. She wanted to move to Texas to be near me and away from him but longer story short there’s so much that needed to be done to make this happen. I told her I’d help in any way I could. She’d only just gotten a good start on this exit plan when she had another stroke February 15th 2019.

The way he handled that is beyond questionable. The way he treated me when I called for updates or test results was at best bizarre.
He took her out of the hospital against medical advice on the day she was moved to a step down room from ICU.
Her aphasia is worse than the first stroke in that she can barely use her right hand or leg and while she can somewhat write things down and perfectly understands what is being said she can’t get her thoughts to words. She was able to get her thoughts to words within a month of the first stroke but now months later she still can’t and the frustration is palpable and so very heartbreaking to witness.
He canceled her first follow-up appointment. He canceled her first home health appointment. He shut off her cell phone, the house phone and the internet.
The only way I could reach her was via his cell which he went days without even answering a text.
When he finally did he was telling me she wants a bath but he can’t help her with that (that’s what home health would have done and he has zero physical limitations) but she’s so stubborn she’s drawing the bath anyway and “lets see how she likes it when I have to get help to drag her naked a** out of the tub”
Once I got my composure I say, it’s been nearly two weeks she needs a bath…and before I could finish he yells no, “she’s got to learn to take no for an answer!”
When I spoke with mother via his cell later all I could make out was ‘scared, scary, ransom note, trapped, angry scared, help, come there, help her out there’ and such
My baby sister and I were on a plane the next day. Oh god, it was so bad and such a long story even when I try to make it short.

I’ll have to fill in those blanks another time if need be.

My sister has fallen off the face of the earth. She and I have always been very close and she was just as concerned about mom as I was…in fact in tears when we parted ways wanting me to go back to Ohio with her but neither of us could afford it or her the time out of work so decided we’d revisit in a couple of weeks then poof!

My sister and I are both in ill health ourselves and my sister’s marriage in disarray and she works constantly so I chalked it up to that but it has been 3 months. Point being I’m alone in this.

Mother’s health has gotten worse.
I got a grandpad for her that I control and pay for so as to keep communication between us and lately there have been days she called 5-6x in one day. The list of reasons and issues and lions and tigers and bears is also too much to go into.

The husband refuses to help in any way with giving information or helping her with information sharing/hipaa forms but she managed to do some of it herself.
Several times as I tried to calm her and reassure her he’d say the oddest things, fo
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PandabearAUS May 11, 2019
Let me guess. The new husband had no assets when he married your mother
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Perhaps get social services involved tell them you are concerned about Mom's health and perhaps she should be in a more controlled environment for health care, nursing home, et...

Significant other is not capable of taking care of a senior citizen with physical health issues.

It is a hazard for both parties involved.

Call the local social services, the local hospital and ask to speak to someone regarding mom and getting her the attention she needs.

Who has Power of Attorney for her health ? If not, it may be worth another trip to get POA so someone, loved one can help with health issues.
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Lucee55 May 10, 2019
i agree. i made all those calls. i've worked night and day since i was last there (left march 5th i believe it was) and gotten no where.

i posted a blanket response to all of you who took the time to try and give me advice...i'm not only new here but i guess so stressed and sleep deprived i didn't give the right information in my rambling (3 part) first posted question

anyway thank you...i wanted to thank each of you individually for taking the time to try and help me
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You need to call APS in your mother's home town immediately. And or call the local police and ask for a wellness check.
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Lucee55 May 10, 2019
thank you so much for taking the time to try and help me.
i posted a blanket response for all of you who attempted to help via my rambling/not enough adequate inforamtion first post(s) but wanted to thank you individually. its people like you that i most need right now. i'm am grateful. thank you
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