Candles for Prayer => Candles for Prayer => Topic started by: Hoowil on October 16, 2013, 11:06:12 PM

Title: For Betty
Post by: Hoowil on October 16, 2013, 11:06:12 PM
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.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Rani Zemirah on October 17, 2013, 01:51:43 AM
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. 
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Merlin the Elder on October 17, 2013, 06:35:25 AM
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.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: RefMom3 on October 20, 2013, 09:05:16 AM
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.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Hoowil on October 22, 2013, 12:55:41 PM
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.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Rani Zemirah on October 22, 2013, 05:15:29 PM
Praying, still... for strength for all of you, easing of pain, will to fight and healing. 
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Hoowil on October 23, 2013, 12:19:57 AM
My earlier optimism was unfounded. We met with the end of life specialists at the hospital this afternoon. We never got the complete picture until today. Each of the specialist doctors we spoke to had mainly good new about their field, but nobody gave us the general consensus, which is that her condition is terminal, and that she will most likely not survive more than a week. It pains me to see this strong sweet woman so sick, and it tears me up to watch helpless as my wife looses her mother, but at the same time, I know Betty, and I know she is ready for this. Ready for the pain, the sickness, and the fight to be over. Ready to finally rejoin her husband after nearly 20 years. With her consent, we've made arrangements for her to stay hooked up to the intubator long enough for my sister-in-law to travel in from out of state, and then it will be time for us all to say goodbye.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Merlin the Elder on October 23, 2013, 10:43:28 AM
My young friend, it is so very difficult to say goodbye, but take comfort that she is ready.  That was what made things more bearable as we said goodbye to both of my parents, Pop in `07 and Mom in `12.  They were both prepared and ready. My mother-in-law fought it tooth-and-nail, and it made things so much more difficult for her, and for her family.

You will keep her alive in your heart and in your memories. You will cherish even the times she perhaps got miffed at you, or you at her. Life does not end. It merely changes state. May you and your families find all the strength you need to help Betty pass comfortably through her final hours.

Blessed be.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: RefMom3 on October 23, 2013, 10:48:57 AM
I think she is likely taking a lot of comfort, knowing that those she loves are helping her continue her journey.
Peace, always.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Rani Zemirah on October 23, 2013, 11:35:09 PM
Praying for a peaceful cessation of pain... and for Betty to be surrounded by loving family to help her through her transition... and for all of you who love her to find comfort in each other, and in the act of being there for her.  This is a true measure of love. 
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Hoowil on November 04, 2013, 11:54:23 PM
I wanted to let everyone know. We don't know if it was hopes, prayers, and warm energies or what, but it looks like Betty should pull through after all. The morning after we spoke with the end of life team at the hospital she was a different person, wanting to fight. In the past two weeks, she has been able to be off the respirator, with only low level oxygen, off the breathing tube, has more than 50% function in both kidneys, and seems to be fighting off the cDif. The mrsa is even apparently in remission, even if we have been told the extent of the infection means it will most likely never truly go away.. She is still very weak, and has been on a feeding tube in order to be able to get a constant slow feed, as there have been issues with nausea and lack of appetite. She was actually doing well enough today that the hospital sent her to a long term care facility to rest and regain her strength, with daily physical therapy. We don't know if she'll quite fully recover, but she has done what we were told was impossible. While there is still a chance that things may swing around to the worse again, she has proven to be a determined soul, and our hopes are higher then they've been in weeks.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Merlin the Elder on November 05, 2013, 02:37:05 AM
We'll keep those energies going!
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Rani Zemirah on November 05, 2013, 11:57:58 PM
Oh, how truly miraculous!  I will keep praying, and sending healing energies... and keep all of you in my thoughts!  How wonderful! 
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Hoowil on June 02, 2014, 11:41:30 AM
Betty's road to recovery was slow, slower than even the doctors expected, but she was making progress and looking forward to the final replacement of the knee that started everything. A little over a week ago, we started to notice a rather drastic shift in her behavior though. With a family history of dementia, we had an examination scheduled for last Friday, which she missed due to suddenly being too weak to transport, and a complete lack of focus. After a long discussion with the advice nurse, it was decided that she needed a medical transport and immediate evaluation. The short of it is, what we had hoped was an issue with her medications, or perhaps even the early stages of dementia (which can at least be partially managed), instead they found a large tumor that incorporated the frontal lobes of both sides of her brain. In her current weakened state, and with the already advanced nature of the tumor, surgery is out of the question (it would effectively be a total lobotomy, and only delay the inevitable if it worked at all) and hospice care has been ordered. So after all the trials an tribulations, all the miraculous close calls of the last year, it looks like my mother-in-law will face one final summer. We can only hope that it all goes peacefully, and that the impact on her mental clarity does not get any worse. My main fear now is that my children will have to spend the next up to six months watching their grandmother descend into madness.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: arbcoind on June 02, 2014, 12:59:09 PM
Hoowil, I'm so very sorry about your mother-in-law. 

Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Merlin the Elder on June 02, 2014, 01:35:51 PM
I am so very sorry to hear this, my friend.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Rani Zemirah on June 11, 2014, 05:00:18 PM
I am so very sorry, Hoowil.  It's so difficult to watch those we love lose themselves to illness... but I am so very glad that she is surrounded by so many who love her, and wish only to ease her journey.  I firmly believe that whatever it is that makes Betty who she is will hold onto that, and cherish it, even if she is unable to share that with any of you.  I wish you all peace. 
Title: Re: For Betty - May you have peace
Post by: Hoowil on August 02, 2014, 11:23:44 PM
Last Sunday evening, just after 5:00, Betty passed away. She never faced any pain from her cancer, but it so quickly devoured her that even though we knew her time as short we were all unprepared. I hope she has her peace and is free now. Goodbye Betty, you will be missed and your memory cherished.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Rani Zemirah on August 03, 2014, 12:07:42 AM
I am so very sorry for your loss, Hoowil.  I will be praying for peace and an easing of pain for you and your family. 
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Merlin the Elder on August 04, 2014, 07:36:12 AM
We can offer you condolences, good Hoowil. I know they don't always ease the pain, but you must know you have friends here, oft never met, that care.

Blessed be to you and your family.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Rowan MacD on August 04, 2014, 08:30:36 AM
  My condolences Howill.
 May her spirit be light, and her journey swift.
“To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.”
- Thomas Campbell
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: Butch on August 04, 2014, 09:36:19 AM
My sympathies.  Prayers sent for the survivors.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: RefMom3 on August 04, 2014, 12:35:07 PM
I wish you and your family peace, Hoowil. The love and honor you feel for your mother-in-law speaks volumes to how special you all are. A beautiful legacy for your children.
Title: Re: For Betty
Post by: PollyPoPo on August 05, 2014, 06:53:00 AM
Blessings on you and your family.