Positive update on my mom
by Joe Kalis
About a month ago I wrote about how my mom was dying. Well, at the time that I wrote it, it certainly seemed like she was…even acknowledged by all of our hospice nurses. For about an entire week, my mom essentially didn’t eat a thing, slept almost the entire time (pain-medication-induced), couldn’t really communicate at all, and was taking in no liquids except for, literally, sponging a couple drips of water on her tongue a couple times per day. So…….we were all on alert, and I wanted to make sure that everyone knew about her condition in case she did actually pass away and anyone wanted to see her before that potential fate would transpire.
So, here we are, over a month after my initial post, and a lot has changed.
About a week or so after my last post, my mom seemingly snapped out of her funk. She was responsive again, talking a little bit, eating again, and drinking fluids. There were a few adjustments made that may have contributed, but we still don’t really know why she was in such bad shape for that full week in early November.
To spare the intimate details…after she snapped out of that week-long funk, it became pretty clear that my dad was no longer able to care for her needs in the way that she needed to be cared for. After a 16 year run with Multiple Sclerosis (still going), my mom has obviously been through one hell of a tough ride, and my dad has gone above and beyond to care for her…essentially giving his life to care for hers. That’s something we’re all extremely proud of, and the way they’ve been there for each other over the years is certainly something to honor.
My dad made my mom a promise…that he would care for her as long as he was able to…something that, I would guess, the majority of men in this world would not commit to. We never knew how long it would be, but apparently 16 years was about the extent of what was feasible, and we’ve made a decision as a family to move my mom to a nursing home, not too far from their home in Grayslake.
The big move happened on the morning of Saturday, November 22nd, so we’re going on the 4th week there. We’ve been getting to know all of the nursing staff, and getting her acclimated to her new residence. To our surprise (only because we had no idea what to expect), she has improved fairly dramatically! She is able to have a conversation, and is back eating normal food (we were puree’ing it for a while, as she wasn’t really able to eat). Obviously, some days are better than others, but the bottom line is that the full-time, medically-trained staff there is much better suited to caring for her needs than my dad can any longer, and she’s seeing improvement in a few different ways.
My dad visits every day, my mom’s brother and sister have been there several times and continue to visit on a regular basis, as well as Dan and I and our families…and we are doing our best to dress up her room to make it feel more like home. If anyone reading this would care to visit her, you can feel free to email me at email@example.com and I can get you the relevant details.
We, as a family, appreciate all the thoughts and prayers sent our way when I made my original post, and we’re glad to update everyone with an encouraging note that she is doing much better right now!
November 7, 2014
May 22, 2013
April 3, 2012