Been a long past couple of weeks, so thought I’d catch up with a quick post. Mom is still in the hospital and not improving. Every time I’ve gone to see her, she has been pretty much out of it. The case worker is staying in touch with the staff at her facility, which is great. On Monday, I got the call I was expecting. The doctor and care team want to meet with me about placing a permanent feeding tube. That tells me they don’t expect her swallow to recover to her previous baseline. It’s understood the dementia isn’t going to get better, of course, and eventually people with dementia often do pass on from dysphagia, when their bodies forget how to swallow. But a tube doesn’t really decrease the risk of aspiration, and doesn’t improve quality of life. A family member’s friend was persuaded to place a permanent tube in her mom, who proceeded to linger for nine years in a near-vegetative state.
I have to find out what happened, though. Y’all know, if you have been reading my blog posts, that mom has been doing pretty well—eating, socializing, behaving, remembering some things. Then suddenly, things blew up. Last Friday the hospital called about doing an MRI; I don’t know what the results were, although it was good that they called. There are specific questions about medical history that they need to know before doing that test; medical history, any metal in the body, et cetera. Obviously mom couldn’t answer those, so they called me about them. I need to know the results of that and the other tests they have run. They tell me her temperature and blood pressure are not stable. Dementia affects the autonomic nervous system, which controls those and other functions, so it’s possible that is starting to break down.
The friends in the dementia caregivers group I belong to on facebook have been a godsend. Many of them have been through what I’m going through right now. They understand, as other people sometimes don’t, that caregiving does not end when the person you are caring for moves out of your house. It doesn’t end until they do, and really for a while after that, even. So, I’m going into this meeting in a little while. My aunt is going with me, thankfully, but I would appreciate prayers, good thoughts, white light, whatever you do, directed in my direction as I gather the information I need to come to the best conclusion for mom.
Other news will wait till next post. Like I said, this is just a quickie to update y’all who are interested. Next time, hopefully, we can talk about some lighter things, like football, mildly objectionable cross-stitch, and job hunting.