Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t post last week- another unscheduled absence from my trusty keyboard: What’s up with that?
Yeah, I also had a rather long absence during this past year… so maybe I should just spill the beans.
If you’re a long-time reader here you might recall that in 2017 my wife and I moved my then 94-year-old Mom from California here to Iowa to live with us. All went well with that until the middle of last summer when it became painfully obvious to me, if not to her doctor, that she had a serious health problem. After some prodding, the doctor took blood and had it tested only to discover that my Mom did indeed have a serious problem: Congestive Heart Failure.
Thus, began our journey.
CHF killed my father when I was a teenager, and I knew that it was caused by something else; a larger issue, but I learned that when the patient is 95, almost 96, they like to just say, “Well, these things happen at that age…”
Dear Reader, do not let them say that.
Based upon what I had seen day after day for quite some time, I had a theory that she had internal bleeding somewhere, probably intestinal, and as one having a Medical Power of Attorney, I insisted they investigate, which they didn’t really seem very interested in doing. What they found was a mass of colon cancer so large that they couldn’t get their scope past it…
I’ll spare you all of the unpleasant details other than to say that she has been in a care facility for 6+ months, and even there she managed to break her arm and both hips in falls, yet even so she has been mostly pain-free and almost always happy and cheerful, which was nothing short of incredible.
Last Monday morning, the 17th, I received a call telling me that she had taken a sudden turn for the worse. She was being assessed when we arrived, and the conclusion was that she had four to seven days- 2 weeks if she rallies… maybe.
She wasn’t conscious, but was very clearly struggling… and of course, all of this meant that the time had come for me to be scrambling to make calls and final arrangements. I can’t tell you how glad I was to have a few days.
But that was not to be.
I received another call that evening informing me that she had suddenly passed at 7:10 PM.
As you might imagine, the rest of the week was just a tad hectic and that is why I was absent from these pages. I may tell more of the story tomorrow; we’ll see how today goes as I begin to deal with the business side of things, but for now, I would like to leave you with a thought:
Who is in charge of your Healthcare?
No sir, it isn’t the Government (Heaven Forbid!), it isn’t the insurance company, and it isn’t the doctor: It’s YOU. Don’t let them bully you or push you around: They work for you, not the other way around, and sometimes they need you to remind them of that. In my Mom’s case, she believed them when they told her that at her age, if she hadn’t had colon cancer by now, she wouldn’t get it. It would seem that they were mistaken. Yet up until last July, she was literally in better health than most Americans in their 30’s and that was according to doctors, not just my wishful thinking. In fact, even on her last day her vitals were amazing as her system was in the process of shutting down.
Please understand, I’m not blaming anyone, after all, God is in control of these things, and she lived a healthy and happy 96 years and 6 months (exactly). Yet surely, when it comes to making decisions, there is a lesson in this for all of us.