A Long, But Worthwhile Afternoon
Monday, June 09, 2014
My Mom has had problems with her left foot for several years. She bought a treadmill which my husband and I set up for her. We were short on time and didn't have a chance to adjust the tension. We told her (emphatically!!!) NOT to get on the Treadmill before we could come back and make the adjustments. She DIDN'T listen!!! She tore a tendon (this happened about 14 years ago and the opperation which would have corrected it was NOT available at the time. Over the years it has been painful, is now deformed, and has affected her ability to walk normally. Two years ago, we took her to a Vein Specialist, who recommended that she have a blockage corrected that was hampering her circulation in her right leg. She was 88 at the time and said that she DID NOT want surgery at her age. About a month ago, her right ankle and foot became very painful and a redness appeared over her ankle. She can hardly walk now and has to use a walker to go any distance. She knew that she should see a doctor and I suggested a Geriatric Specialist. We went to him today. Her appointment was at 1:45 PM and we were there until 4:30 PM. We saw a Nurse Practitioner, the Geriatric Specialist, and a Social Worker. This time I brought my brother and his wife along. When we were discussing her circulatory problems, he asked her why she did not have the surgery suggested 2 years ago to correct the blockage. Her answer to that has always been, that at her age, she didn't expect to live THAT much longer and did NOT want anymore surgery. His next statement to her was that if she wanted what was left of her life to have quality, she had better get the surgery or she could end up with an amputation which could land her in a nursing home. Then he was called out for a couple of minutes and my brother and I re-enforced what he had said. We tried to tell her that NONE of us knows how much longer we will live and that our goal should be to be as healthy as possible so that our time left is quality time. She finally agreed. She lives in an apartment and loves it and her neighbors. She wants to stay there as long as possible. This is a great motivator. My brother and his wife and my husband and I are going to work as a team to do everything we can to allow her to stay in this apartment for as long as she can. We will do her grocery shopping, take her to all appointments, do her laundry, and anything else that she is physically unable to do at this time. She is sharp mentally, does all of her own cooking (and eats very well-balanced, nutritious meals), keeps good track of her medications, is able to care for herself physically, is very social, and is very close to her neighbors. I consider all of the time we spent today to have been very WORTHWHILE. I think that we finally got through to her. This is a different role for my brother and I. She always held our hands..........Now we are holding hers.