Monday, March 16, 2009

Family emergency

Sorry, I haven't been around lately but Bob and I have been trying to deal with his mother's serious health issues. Bob's Mom and Dad live in North Dakota and Mom has had pneumonia and congestive heart failure (she's 89 years old, btw). She was in the hospital for about a week and then sent to a rehabilitation facility and then sent home. Home is an assisted living facility in Minot and they give pretty good care.

Well, she took a turn for the worse and was back in the hospital because she was having an extremely difficult time breathing and her kidneys were failing. His father and sister called us, both in tears, and we got an email from his aunt basically telling us that she was not expected to live. Well, Bob and I caught a flight out there fully expecting to attend a funeral. But somehow over the course of that week she got better. She started breathing better and could go to the bathroom on her own and sit up in a chair for most of the day. But she still was not eating much. The nurses were calling her "miracle girl".

After about 6 days in the hospital the doctors thought she should go into a nursing facility (which I was in favor of) but the assisted living facility assured Dad that Mom could be cared for there. Dad wanted her home and Mom hated the idea of a nursing home. So home she went. We stayed two more days and just got home yesterday (Sunday).

But ... bad news... today she is back in the hospital with failing kidneys. His sister called again in tears, and Dad is not doing too well either. He caught a bad cold and can hardly talk plus his gout is acting up and he can hardly walk. I'm feeling exhausted and depressed about the whole thing but that is nothing compared to how Bob is feeling. It is so hard to have sick parents and be 1200 miles away. It cost us about $2000 in airfare even with their "special" medical emergency fare. We will see if she makes it through the night. Dad is 86 and getting terribly forgetful and his hearing is just about gone. Right now I just feel like having a good cry. I love both my in-laws very much and this is just so hard.

Update: I got the call at 1:30 am (today, March 17th) from Bob's sister... Mom passed away. Her heart stopped and they tried to revive her (which surprised me cuz I thought they had a 'do not resuscitate' order). Bob called our son and daughter first thing this morning. I just talked to my daughter and tried to be strong but I ended up breaking down in tears and made her cry too (she was at work). I adored my mom-in-law and feel just as bad as when my own mom died 10 years ago. She was a wonderful mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother and will be greatly missed.