Thursday, October 13, 2005

All the news that's fit to print

Well, hell! I'm not sure how to say this so I'm just going to dump it out here. Yesterday my wife took her mother to the doctor and after hearing about her condition he said he was ready to write her a prescription for Hospice care. This is the pulmonary specialist that she's been seeing for about a year. He's the one who put her on oxygen; he's the one who has been boosting the amount of oxygen that she gets from the machine; he's completely familiar with her case and is basically saying he's done all he can so now she is beyond further assistance.

We just didn't know what to say; either my wife at the doctor's office or me when she told me about it. We were certainly flabbergasted. Speechless, in fact. If you aren't familiar with Hospice, it is an organization that provides comfort to those who are considered terminally ill. Usually Hospice gets involved when the person is considered to have six months to live. That is the idea anyway. They got involved with my mother when she suddenly lost 10 pounds in a week. She then continued to live for another two and a half years. But they did contribute substantially to her comfort. They have special chairs for the wheel chair bound; beds; lots of equipment; but also counselors to assist the patient and the patient's family and even some medical assistants to, say, give the patient a massage.

In this case, the doctor was not saying that he believes the MIL is going to die in six months but rather that there is nothing more he can do to help her so having help to be comfortable in her own home is the best that can be done for her. Like many elderly people, she has a whole raft of illnesses, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and severe osteoporosis being a couple of the more serious. She is getting to the point that drugs used to treat one condition aggravate a different one. Not a good situation.

So anyway, within a month of my mother's death, my MIL is a candidate for Hospice. Could be an interesting year!

1 comment:

Cinnamon said...

Oh boy, you guys are really getting hit with a lot of health worries, such bad timing, too.
I'm thinking good thoughts for you - hope you are ok with the new hurricane blowing through too.