Thursday, February 18, 2016

The State of Things

Hi there! Dave-El here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. And to my readers in Norway, velkommen til jeg er Glad for min lidelse morer deg.

I'm finally kicking loose from the pneumonia that has plagued me (PLAGUED ME!) for the last three weeks. I've had pneumonia before, back in 2007. I remembered the experience was a bit more intense (coughing, fever, etc, were stronger) but not lasting as long (I was back to work after about 10 days.) 

The most basic element in fighting off pneumonia is rest and it seemed that was something I really had a hard time doing this time. Despite various meds designed to help me sleep, I never felt truly at rest. My head would hit the pillow and within seconds, I would have a major coughing fit that would make my eyes water and leave me gasping for breath. I think I could've kicked this a lot sooner if I could've gotten some proper rest. 

Life, as they say, is what happens when you make other plans. And I definitely had other plans, particularly relating to the change in status quo regarding my mother.  

As I've mentioned in prior posts, my mom has been in declining health for sometime due to advancing dementia. Efforts to help keep her in her own home were running up against several limits including financial assistance. I was paying out of pocket for in home care that only provided assistance to my mom for a few hours a day. 

The thing is my mom is not that far gone. There are moments when she is as sharp and aware and funny as she has ever been. But there were too many moments where she was clearly unable to tend to herself or make sure she was taking her medications. And the family was reaching the limits of what could be done to help her.  

This meant going into assisted living. This was not a decision that was entered into lightly. My mom has a perfectly fine home to live in and it wasn't like she was completely incapable all the time. But the assessment of her doctors were consistent and firm on this point: without round the clock access to aid and assistance, we would be looking at mom going into hospice within the coming year. Her dementia was deteriorating too greatly. 

Talking to my mom on this subject was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I had to make the case for a course of action that I was not entirely sure I wanted to take. Slowly but surely, she made peace with the fact that she couldn't live on her own and we had no options to keep her in her own home. 

Others in the family were less at peace with this. I spent a good deal of time outside my mom's house pacing about in the cold air engaged in emotional discussions about what to do about mom. (And that's probably where my pneumonia took root.) Family who watched over my mother consistently were on board with getting her into assisted living while others who were less involved seemed to think mom was being rushed into something. From what I understand, this is not an uncommon family dynamic when someone needs to go into assisted living or a nursing home. 

My plan was to visit my mom at least every week or two and keep an eye on the house. Then pneumonia sets in and so much for those plans. Reports from my family is after about 3 weeks, my mom seems to have settled into the rhythm of life in her new circumstances. The first week was pretty hard and she was mad at a lot of people for putting her there, me included. But she's made friends and she gets consistent help with her medicines and health care. All told, it appears the right decision was made.  But even in retrospect, it was still a hard decision.  

So that is the state of things for my mom and myself. Me, I've got to get back into my own rhythm of sleeping at night and working during the day. I really need to get back into a comfortable routine. Let's see what I can do about that. 

Unless life has other plans.

Everyone, be good to one another. 

And to my readers in Norway: Alle, være godt å hverandre.


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