It’s a funny thing about writing a blog for 6 plus years. It may seem like I lay my life wide open for all to see, but what I actually write about is only about 10% of what really goes on around here.
Let your imagination fly with that one…
Something that we’ve been dealing with over the last week or so has been an experience that I’ve been reluctant to write about, because of how personal it is to our family.
I’ve shared with you that I live in a smallish coastal town. This is the same town in which Fiddledaddy was raised, and we are blessed to be surrounded by not only his parents, but all 6 siblings and their spouses and children. This is a very large and unusual family, in that everyone gets along and there’s not a bad apple in the bunch. A few oddballs, to be sure, but these are people that we love spending time with. When there’s trouble, the wagons circle and you know that these folks have your back.
I have also shared that my in-laws are up in their mid-80’s, and have, up until a few weeks ago, faithfully delivered meals-on-wheels to the infirm for many many years. Many of the elderly in which they serve, are younger than they are. They’ve enjoyed exceptionally good health, and have remained very active. In fact, I’ve never witnessed my mother-in-law ever lose in a rousing game of ping pong.
A little over a week ago, my MIL was feeling fatigued and went to see her doctor. It was discovered that her heartbeat was irregular, and it was recommended that she head to the hospital, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
She walked into the hospital. After a few days, and many tests which included radioactive material entering her system to test for what-the-heck-ever, she was placed on a heart medication. No answers were immediately found, just a lot of speculation.
And then without any warning. She was released from the hospital. Into the care of her 85 year old husband. They were handed a lot of papers, medication, and really no direction or follow up whatsoever. From what I’m gathering, hospital employees assume that a patient and/or care giver know what to do when released.
This is why I feel that every patient, especially an elderly patient, needs a professional advocate. Not every elderly patient has family close by to follow up and make sure they are getting what they need.
But this is a whole separate rant, which I may tackle at another time.
Anyhoo. My MIL, who walked into the hospital, was unable to walk out on her own. At home, she continued to deteriorate significantly. She followed up with her doctor, who was shocked at her appearance, and thought perhaps the heart medication was to blame. There are other issues such as anemia and enlarged lymph nodes.
By Saturday, the situation was such that we all felt it was dangerous for her husband to attempt to care for her, and she appeared to be severely dehydrated. The decision was made to head back to the hospital.
Please know that I’m likely skipping information and leaving things out because we’re all scrambling to piece together all the pieces of this complicated puzzle.
My family went by the hospital on Christmas Eve after church to check in on them. My FIL was dutifully watching over the love of his life while she slept. He informed us that she ate some ice cream on her own, taking it from his hands, and ordering him to go sit down, as I imagine she was weary of him hovering. I thought this was an awfully good sign.
As is our usual Christmas tradition, the majority of the family gathered at my sister-in-law’s house to celebrate. There was a bit of a somber atmosphere, as this was the first year that my in-laws were not with us. But there was also a good deal of silliness and laughter, that we’re known for, which thankfully acts as a healing balm over all of us.
I would like to ask my praying friends to please say a prayer for Natalie, my precious mother-in-law. We want the Lord’s will to be done, but we’re hoping and praying that she will remain with us for a while longer. She is so very loved, and so very needed.
Please pray for answers, wisdom, and most of all, the healing hand of God, who is our ultimate physician.
I hope you all had a very Merry and blessed Christmas!