01 November 2010

The day has finally arrived

I had a voice mail from my sister-in-law Connie today.  Tomorrow is "the" day.  The day we've all known was coming.  The day we've dreaded so badly.  The day John's mom begins her journey to the nursing home.

Connie has told her she has a doctor's appointment tomorrow, but she, Danny, and Linda will be taking her to the hospital for a 10-12 day stay in the geriatric psych ward, and then she will go from there to the nursing home.  This is the easiest way to get her to the nursing home, and Connie said once that it is the best way to go to avoid more out-of-pocket expenses.  Unless I misunderstood, having her go to the hospital and then to the nursing home under "doctor's orders" cost less than what it would cost if the family were to place her into a home.

We all know that this is what is best for Billie, but it doesn't make it easier.  She doesn't always eat like she should or take her meds on a "schedule" like she should.  (She takes her meds, but I know that on the weekends we're there, it might be noon before we remember to give them to her.)  And if you read my post from the last time we were there, you know she doesn't shower like she should.  Trying to get her to do anything other than sit and stare at the four walls is next to impossible.

I knew the plan was for her to go to the hospital first, but when Connie said she would be in the geriatric psych ward first, it felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach.  (I've had that feeling two too many times in the last week.)  When I think "psych ward," I think "psycho" and she isn't psycho.  In a way, it helps me to know that Karen has had to go through this with her mom because I know her mom isn't psycho.

For years, Billie has said that she hoped she died before she ever got to the point of having to go to a nursing home.  Of course, her memories of nursing homes are what they were 30 or 40 years ago, and while not home, they are certainly much, much better than they were then!

The next few days and weeks will be difficult!


Ms. Marty said...

Like I told you on the phone, you all know this is the best for Billie. The people at the hospital and the nursing home are trained professionals that know exactly how to treat people with this dread disease. And you know it is kind of a blessing that Billie can't remember that much because she will forget who took her there or why. She will soon be around other people much like herself and you all can rest easy knowing she is OK. Love you.


You and I have walked the same path for quite a while. I know this is a hard time....but as I have learned over the past year....it is the best for her...and for you guys. Living with dementia is one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with and I don't wish it on anyone....God will take care of her and she will be ok....and so will you guys. I love you my friend. I am just across the hall if you ever need to sound off.

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