I am on bended knee. This past week on Monday, the hospice informed me that every symptom of impending death that Addie had when she moved into our home is GONE! The chest fluid–gone. The cough–gone. Blood pressure normal, pulse normal, lungs clear, chest cavity clear, color good, no pain, no medication, appetite up and down, which is to be expected in a dementia patient. Generally she eats like a horse. She’s GAINED weight.
We have come together as a family and loved Addie back from death’s door WITHOUT ONE OUNCE OF MEDICAL CARE. NOT ONE, NOTHING. Since Addie walked through our door a little over 4 1/2 months ago, she has seen no doctors, had no tests, taken no medication except the occasional sleep aid.
At the hospital in Evansville, we began to flatly refuse all the things they wanted to do to her. We had educated ourselves enough on what these types of things do to a dementia patient. We decided, as a family, that it was best to make whatever was left of her life about QUALITY. When we did that, the medical professionals began to treat us like dirt. They literally refused to drain the bloody chest fluid anymore for the simple fact that we refused to let them cut her open to try to diagnose something that they could not cure or even relieve short-term, no matter what they found. They told us she would drown in chest fluid and it would be ugly and painful.
Before Ron ever passed, Addie was already well into dementia. Her whole life was taking care of Ron. After he died, Addie’s life became filled with loneliness, fear, & anxiety. She began immediately to have health problems when she had made it to 78 years old with literally NONE. This is the healthiest woman I’ve ever met in my life. Terrible things began to happen to her one after another after another. She feared most of all that we wouldn’t “let” her stay in her home of 42 years. She tried to hide how bad things were for her, even though we knew. We everything but set ourselves on fire trying keep her there, at her insistance. We believe she WAS, in fact, going to die had we not intervened.
All this time, what we thought were signs of getting closer to death were actually signs of her dementia getting worse. We can now get Addie to where she needs to be to get rehab services to keep her on her feet, which needs to happen fast because she is barely still walking. The rest is between Addie and God. Always has been…
Sadly, she will have to move to a nursing home. But those of you who know me well, know that I’m going to make that a good thing for her–as good as it can possibly be. Not saying much, I know. I generally try to speak softly and carry no stick. But go ahead, piss me off. Mess with someone I love. Dare ya. 🙂 A nursing home employee who mistreats that woman in any way will deal with me, and I promise they’ll be sorry for the rest of their lives.
When Addie left fear and loneliness and came to a place filled with love and life, with people who wanted to show her that her life has meant something–that we are all better for having had her, she healed. Love healed what medicine could only destroy. I am in awe, my life is changed forever.