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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In The Sweet Bye and Bye

My Mom passed today at around 12:30.  Eventhough I knew it was eminent it nearly knocked me off my feet. I felt, dizzy, then nautious, then weak and wracked with sobs. My husband and son were very kind. They put me to bed and lay down with me just patting me for comfort.

My sister and father said that she passed very peacefully. They were sitting by her and she just stopped breathing. They were not even sure that she had passed until the hospice nurse came in to confirm it. It is very sad eventhough I know that there was no more quality of life left for her. I will miss her terribly.

Thanks for all of your prayers and kind words. They meant a lot to me. I will fly back to Florida one last time to spend a few days with my sister and father. It seems so odd not having a service right now. My Dad wants to wait till he brings her ashes back home in the Spring. She had last rights and communion several times before she died. We all said we loved each other and that we will meet again in the sweet bye and bye on the other side. There was no unfinished business.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Hope, Too Much Hope and Finally Slipping Away

My Dad called and put my sisters on speaker phone.  He explained that the Dr. said there was no hope for my mom. He had performed an emergency operation on her groin to remove the blood clot and put in a screen after she was rushed to the hospital in screaming pain. Three time the Dr. removed the clots and three times they formed again. She has clots in both her veins and arteries in both legs. Dad said if they amputate her legs she will only survive a little longer or maybe not at all. Her heart is too weak to withstand a surgery.


After this desparate conversation I tried to get another flight to Florida. It was very hard to fine because of President's day weekend. DH wanted to come with me in spite of his recent foot surgery. I am glad he did as his compassion and sense of humor helped me compose myself time after time.

On Sunday Dr. P told us that Mom had a 80 percent chance of recovery with an amputation of her right leg. We convinced her to do it eventhough she was reluctant. The right leg was going to kill her if it was not amputated. There was no circulation and gangrene was setting in. Dad said he could help her learn to use a prostethis. He did not want her to die. He would take her home and take care of her. He told her the other leg was getting better. She said, no, it is getting worse. In the end, she went with hope and the amputation.

It worked for about one hour. For about one hour she was in less pain and more alert.The Dr's said she was getting better. I flew back home only to find out that the other leg is bad and her kidneys are failing. she was transferred to a hospice center where at this point she is mostly asleep. My sister took family leave until Wed. I will go back when she leaves or sooner if they tell me she is dying that day. I am a wreck. The pain comes and goes in waves. I do not want my Dad to be alone when she dies so I am waiting my turn but I WISH i had stayed. It keeps changing back and forth.

As my husband says, we were so tired, exhuasted and confused that we could hardly put our socks on. Then they come at us with contradictory and constantly changing information expecting us to make life and death decisions. I pray we have done right by her. She is resting comfortably now.

My father is by her side constantly. He has been very devoted.  Everyone said there goodbyes. She had no unfinished buisiness. We have all long ago put aside any differences that we had. One good thing she got from having a bad heart for 24 years was that we all treated her well. We always knew that this time might be the last time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New AGE

It seems I have entered a new stage in life. My parents are failing as are the parents of my friends. Did I think that this would not happen to me? It was more fun when we were getting married and having babies.

Mom is in a lot of pain. During my visit there they thought it was from sciatica. Now they have found a blood clot. They only looked for a blood clot after a desparate call from my father telling me that she was much worse. I called the hospital administrator, her attending physician, the head nurse, the hospital she transferred from and her general practicioner. Amazingly, they had not communicated about her records and history previously!

Beth has been calling my Dad. That is nice of her. She visited her Nana today and brought her Dad lunch. All this with no requests for money!

I talked to Tom at recovery helpdesk on Wednesday. He gave me some good ideas that I had not thought of. He seems to think that Beth is either not using, has switched to something milder or has cut down greatly given her behavior. For whatever reason, it is the kindest and most considerate behavior she has demonstrated in years. Praise God and praise Beth for that!

There is an entirely different theory of how to deal with drug addiction. It follows the established and mainstream approach which is the norm in Europe. Essentially, they try to establish a connection with the addict to get them into treatment. If they can not get the addict into treatment, they try to keep them alive and as safe as possible until they come to their senses. They have a better success rate than we do in Europe and Canada. Less addicts die. Less get and spread aids and HEP C. There is less crime from addicts trying to get drugs.

This approach includes harm reduction, methadone maintenance treatment, needle exchange and other controversial for us in the USA strategies. Housing first is another one of their initiatives. They think that housing is an inalieable right of a human being. Most of us would agree with this concerning dogs  but have trouble with it when it comes to an addict.

I am not saying that I totally agree or that it is for all cases. I am saying that it is worthwhile looking at what they do and why. It is reasoable to balance boundaries with compassion. It is reasonable to help someone who is sick yet we do not want to encourage substance abuse in any way.

Every time I hear of an addict who quits or just makes progress, I am happy for them and their families.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flying to Florida

Flying to Florida to see my mother on Sat. She is still very weak. Now she has developed sciatica on top of everything else.

Beth was here last week. She brought her dad a sci fi movie for his birthday. She also cooked us a shrimp alfredo dinner and sat to watch the movie with us. She finally got her car back the day before. She sure was happy about that.

Looks like she mostly living with the boyfriend again. She goes back to her apartment a few time a week. She seems happy and they are getting along for now. He quit drinking and looks good. He never did do major drugs. He used to call me up and rat her out when she relapsed. Maybe they will get along better this time. If only they could bring out the best in each other then they would really have something.