Hi all, I am brand new here today, and fell in love with everyone's posts from the other discussions.
My FIL just called to say my MIL, who has advanced ALZ, was told by the doctor's that she has 2 weeks to live. She spent the last few days in the hospital due to being difficult to awaken in the AM, finally becoming unresponsive. She is not eating or drinking. Except for a UTI, they could not find anything else wrong with her, and discharged her home. I suspect they are not excessively testing due to her advanced state. As an RN who works in Long Term Care at a NH, I know this is her body saying it's had enough. It is so hard to evaluate since I am not there with her. I hope to get to speak with the Hospice nurse once she is in place. MIL has had ALZ for years and the last few she has needed complete help with her ADL's. She doesn't talk much if at all, but usually follows directions given to her. All care has come from my FIL. They are both 78. It's so hard because we live 700 miles apart, my FIL had no additional information to give us, except that he was told to get Hospice in place. My spouse is really struggling with the Dr saying 2 weeks. I tried to explain from my experience, she most likely couldn't live more than 2 weeks without food and water. Especially since she isn't really swallowing. He didn't like my answers, so I have backed off. We see them once a year because we live so far apart. I know my spouse is sad that this has come out of no where and it is his mom. My FIL has his other son close by so that is good for him. FIL is really upset, but he also knows this has been coming for awhile. He couldn't go anywhere with out her, but she didn't like to leave the house, so he was trapped at home. Good care was hard to find, even though he had enough money to pay for it. I hope at some point, I can lead him to this site. I found it so helpful and I think he would too.
I'm trying to convince my spouse that we need to make a trip to see her, come back and then wait for the phone call to come in. She will be buried near where we live. I've seen enough families in the NH to know that not going to see her now would be a mistake, and we shouldn't wait until she passes.
Our other issue is, we planned a vacation in a few weeks and as far as I know, nothing is refundable. I don't know if the condo owners will refund our money. I know I can change the airline tickets for a fee, but in total it was a lot of money. I know I sound selfish. I apologize. My spouse and I are both 50, and now that our kids are older, we finally have enough money for a nice vacation. I don't even know if we would have fun, especially him. What if she doesn't pass? I welcome any and all feedback. Just throwing my thoughts out there. Thank you for reading this long thread.
We made the trip and he was very happy to see us. MIL is hanging in
2. Go now. Do not wait. This sounds like my husband in October when he got the same call about his mom. It is like he just could not process what he was being told by the doctor. So I literally got the plane tickets, packed his bag, put him on the plane that day. I knew he would never live with his self if he didn't do it. In fact (he was flying from China to Atlanta - at best a 24 hour door to door trip) I even made him get an additional ticket that got him to Atlanta sooner when he landed in LA because his original ticket had a layover was so long - and I was right to insist- she passed 3 hours after he arrived at her bedside. You will never regret going - you will regret it you don't go.
Sorry to hear about your MIL. My spouse was the same. He could not process what anyone was saying. It feels good to have no regrets.
Thank you for responding.
I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Getting all together and going through pictures sounds great. The brother went home and hasn't returned. DH was very resistant to going, but he did give in. I know the end of life process, but DH doesn't and doesn't really know what I do and go through at work. We did make the trip to see them and FIL was very happy. DH feels at peace with his mom. I gave up and Hospice did an excellent job for me. She had antibiotics and fluids at the hospital and rallied a little. She came home and Hospice is in place. We are all hanging on waiting to see what will happen next.
It's great that you said good bye to your dad with happy memories and no grief. I hope we can have the same.
Thank you for reaching out to me. Hugs for you and your family.
Men can be so resistant. We made the trip and very happy we did.
You are so right. My FIL has been doing this alone for so long. I hate that we live so far away. They made the move 20 years ago and missed most of our kids lives, but I understand they are entitled to their retirement. We made the trip and my FIL was very happy to see us. It's been great to see them both. FIL was able to get some aides to come in and help out so that was really helpful.
Thank you for responding.
You are right, no excuses. I do see death on a regular basis and it is so hard on the families. We made the trip and FIL was very happy to see us. Hubby is more at peace now.
Thank you for responding!
There's no question about going sooner or later. I would at least have your husband go as soon as possible. She may go sooner like my dad did, or live a few weeks longer, you just never know.
Take care, I know these are tough decisions.
I'm sorry about your dad. End of life is so uncertain. Thankfully you had a feeling that your mom needed to visit and she got to see him. Some Hospice people are more experienced than others. That can make a huge difference. I have seen residents at my job pass quickly and others take weeks, then the families are mad at us for it not happening sooner. NH are tough places. They can be very depressing and it can be challenging for loved ones to see their family member so weak and in need of assistance when they had been so strong their whole life.
We did make the trip and are happy we are here. FIL was happy to have company and be able to leave the house and walk the dog. MIL is hanging on so we are taking one day at a time. Only God knows when she will pass.
Thank you for reaching out.
Get on this today.
I would just tell my husband that I know this has been a long journey and he needs to decide and I will back his decision no matter what it is, then leave it alone. He needs to process this is really the end.
Hugs to both of you, it is such a difficult journey.
Thanks for the hugs. DH was very resistant to going, but I was able to convince him to go. FIL was very happy to see us. DH was having a hard time accepting her dying, but Hospice was wonderful where I was unable to help him. MIL is hanging on, so we are taking it day by day. We did postpone our vacation for sometime in the future. The condo owners were very nice and refunded our money.
Thank you for reaching out again
Thank you all for your heartfelt responses. We made the trip and are with them now. Funny thing, MIL is doing a little better. A little fluid and antibiotics have plumped her up a little. She is being fed a little soft food like pudding. Hospice is still on board. They have been amazing!!! In the NH, we don't use Hospice as much because there is care and pain meds available, but they provide an awesome service that no one else provides. They helped my husband understand what he would not let me explain to him and have been a huge asset to my FIL. We postponed our trip. The condo owners were both so nice!! They refunded all of our money and wished us well. Now I am working on the airlines.
Thank you all again!!! You are all amazing people for helping out strangers in their time of need. I am going back and answering all of your posts individually.