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For Betty

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It all started back in April I guess. Betty, my mother-in-law, who had been in the early stages of congestive heart failure for nearly two years, took a turn for the worse. After two prior run ins with it, we were pretty aware of the warning signs and got her into the hospital right away, and they had it under control within a few days, and all seemed well. However, due to her diabetes, she doesn't have feeling in her feet, and had a few open sores on her feet, nothing too serious, which were bandaged up right quick. A few weeks later she started having severe trouble walking, and was real feverish, so we took her into the ER. We assume it was during her previous visit to the hospital, but at some point she was exposed to mrsa, which attacked the artificial joint in her knee. She was rushed in for an emergency surgery to clear out some of the infection, but the style joint that was there prevented a complete cleaning, so the infection came back with a serious vengeance, and nearly killed her. They ended up stripping the joint out, and filling her knee area with an antibiotic cement, and had her on IV antibiotics for nearly three months. Now the antibiotics have stripped her system so badly that another infection has sprouted up in her colon, which has ulcerated, and now her kidneys have failed. The doctors hope that if they can get everything else back under control that she'll regain at least partial kidney function, but chances are slim. And with the heart failure, and the general toll of the infections and heavy antibiotics, she cannot breath well enough to have her body keep up. Right now, my wife is there with her, working with her on the choice of whether or not to intubate. If she doesn't she will die, soon. If she does, we have no way of knowing whether she will be able to fight off the rapid onset of sepcis, ever live without a tube, or at least an oxygen tank, or if she'll need dialysis every other day, or even if she'll survive at all.
I know she'd never want to spend the rest of her life tied to a machine, but I don't want the family to loose her. This woman is one of the most generous people I have ever met. She has been a central figure in the lives of my children. My poor wife was the one who, as a teenager, found her father after he died, and may be loosing the only parent she has left.
I have never been much of one for prayer, but the doctors give her chances at well under 50%, and anything that can be done to help boost that in the least would be greatly appreciated. She deserves so much better than this.

Rani Zemirah:
Oh, I am so very sorry for all of her pain, and that of you and your wife, as well.  I will be praying for all of you, sending light and healing energy, and keeping your family in my thoughts. 

Merlin the Elder:
It is so very difficult to make such decisions for a loved one. She deserves better, yes. I offer my energies to assist you in the determination of what "better" will consist of. Over a 5 year period, I lost both of my parents, and my mother-in-law. As painful as it was, we did our best to help them with transitioning. That, too, is an act of love.

Blessed be, Hoowil. We are with you.

I wish you and your family strength, and promise to remember you all in my thoughts and prayers. The love and respect you obviously feel for your mother-in-law shines through your message, and speaks very eloquently not  only of her beautiful soul, but yours, as well.
Peace, always.

Things were beginning to look up. Her kidneys both started working again over the weekend, and much better than we could have ever expected, however, it may have been too late. With the kidney failure, she retained so much fluid that one lung completely collapsed, and the other partially last night. They've tapped her lungs, and she is one the intubator. While the doctors are hopeful that they can get her turned around in the next day or two, she is just about done fighting, and may not last those couple days. It all boils down to whether or not she makes it through this week. If so, her recovery should be fairly, but not quite, complete. Or she will pass in the next few days.


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