Monday, March 26, 2012

Background Information on Mom


Mom is 74. Up until she was diagnosed with heart disease Mom was a heavy smoker. At the age of 40 she was diagnosed with severe coronary artery heart disease and she underwent her first double bypass open heart surgery. Six months later her bypasses failed and had to undergo another double bypass. We were told she would not live to the age of 42 and Hospice was brought in. Needless to say Mom lived beyond her given lifespan. In 1994 she had her third bypass, this time a triple. It was a risky surgery, we all said our good-byes to her before she was taken back to the operating room because we knew the odds were not in her favor. Mom actually died on the operating table and was brought back with the shock paddles.
Over the years she had several angioplasies and received a stent or two.

Since all of this Mom also was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, a host of other smaller but difficult ailments, and now dementia. She also has an inoperable leak in one of her main heart valves (I can't remember the medical term for this) which requires her to be on oxygen. Because of all of these medical conditions the typical medication used to treat symptoms of dementia are no good for her.

My parents still love each other deeply. My father stayed by my mothers side through it all, never once having an itch to leave. A true love story. Much of the time throughout Mom's illnesses my father was a single father. Mom was in the hospital for months on end.

My father is struggling so, losing his bride of over 50 years this way. He still doesn't believe it and (I think) has adjusted his reality much of the time to hers, believeing that her truth IS the truth. To my sister and me it is frustrating but apparently it is his way of coping. I cannot imagine his pain and grief. My sister and I are in pain and grieving too.

1 comment:

Amy said...

They do their own way of coping that is hard for us to understand. I remember how my grandfather handled my grandmother's stroke and her inability to speak. All we can do is try to be supportive.