Category Archives: death

But she’s my mom…


(Very to the point here or this could go on and on…Reader’s Digest version, so to speak)

Mom.

Her health had been much better for a while, after going into the nursing facility.

Not now. She has been in and out of the hospital throughout her time there, more and more as time goes on.

Beginning last November, she has been in and out of the hospital averaging every two weeks, for pneumonia.

We had gone to get a pedicure and she was fine, better than in a while, as a matter of fact- or so I thought. That evening, she was rushed to the ER. Pneumonia – again.  They did a bronchial lavage. They found spots on her lung. The doctor said probably cancer, but her health puts her at a point where there would be no point to treat it. They did other tests and found a spot on her colon. It is most likely an ulcer. Again – nothing to be done.

She had been in the hospital the beginning of October, and was in rehab at the nursing home. The day before the pedicure, she had scratched her foot on the pedal of the exercise bike. Was no bigger than a cat scratch. Three days later, her foot was blood red and twice it’s size. The scratch had gotten infected. She had to have surgery to remove the infection. It was quite scary, and is still healing now, 2 weeks until Easter.

She was released right before Thanksgiving and was in isolation for MRSA, which she had had before, and probably got again this time from the foot infection.Thanksgiving dinner was spent with her in the isolation room, in gowns, face masks and gloves. Much fun.

She was released back to her room, and two weeks later, back in hospital. Same routine until about the middle a February, the worst case yet. There was a day that I truly thought she was going to die. Then the next day – back to her normal self. That’s my mom…The next day, she was diagnosed with C DiFF, and back into isolation she went. Finally released back to nursing facility, and this time, while still isolated, they moved her room mate out so she could be in her own room.

Throughout this last stay, she made the decision to allow hospice to take over her care in the nursing home, and to not treat the pneumonia if it comes back. No more antibiotics or emergency room visits. No hospital stays. If she gets ill again, hospice takes the place of the hospital, she moves to their facility until she either gets better, or passes.

I understand, but am still not sure how I feel about it.She has finally gone blind, so there is that. I know she is tired of the pain. She is tired of depending on others for everything. I know she is tired of being sick. Tired of all the hospital stays. Tired of all the poking and prodding she goes through with each stay. To be honest, so am I. I hate seeing her sick and in pain.

But she’s my mom.

http://www.cdc.gov/hai/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff-patient.html

 

 

Things that make you go…GRRRRRRR..


(as always, this is the way it is in the world in which I live…)

Between the racist basketball owners, who can technically say what they want – freedom of speech and all – let them be racists if they want – and I agree – ban these idiots from the NBA – but you can’t  force these idiots to sell their teams – capitalism and all. You know? The American dream type thing?…

The insanity of Oblowme Care..

Common Core turning our children gay…

We are still trying to figure out what happened in Benghazi (like we all don’t know at least the general gist of it)..

Then the VA Hospitals – unbelievable! Our soldiers deserve the absolute best we have to give them and there are people who have no problem allowing them to die for the all mighty dollar?

I am certain the world is going to hell in a bucket – at least our part of it..

Then there is the guy I heard about a day or two ago..

…from Texas…

“Teen faces life in prison over hash brownies”

http://news.yahoo.com/life-in-prison-pot-hash-brownies-texas

(Not sure I have ever mentioned it – I am anti-pot, however, I think this is insane!! A pedophile doesn’t get this much time..I won’t go into why he has the possibility of this sentence, because it is not the point here…)

ANY-who..

After I saw this, I started thinking…

It costs $10k a month – which is $120,000 for my mom to be in a skilled nursing facility, and I am having to jump through so many hoops I should go for the Olympics when we are done.

So I looked up how much it will cost to keep this man in prison, not necessarily his whole life, but per year. It is $17, 338. 

Six figures compared to five. The five being for people who have broken the law – stolen, beaten, abused, sold drugs, raped or killed people.

 

*The Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNiF)  generally take a residents entire social security check (well, in my mother’s case and most of the other residents of her facility) – they leave her with $35 of it a month, bringing me to the *phone – which they charge an extra $20 a month for – so, if they have to get their phone through the facility, the are actually left with $15 a month.

*The Day room with TV/Cable  and TV – the SNiF has TV in a Day Room where all of the residents can watch television together…and the nurses control the station..and the other day..these seniors were stuck watching Sponge Bob Square Pants.. Inmates also have a Day Room with a TV in it also controlled by someone in charge (instead of nurses, the guards).

While the residents of the SNiF do have televisions in their rooms, some inmates do as well, have small TV’s donated that they can have in their rooms.

Yes, rooms – as many are in dormitories, not cells. So they are even there, to an extent.

They all have access to medical care and dental care and church. 

So…here is my question? Why don’t I bring my mom some hash oil brownies, call the police, have her arrested and then the government will pay only $17,338 for something it already pays $120,000 for ….

Medicaid (AKA the government and tax payers) pay for the (very very ) large portion that mother’s Social Security does not.  Remember I said $10k a month? Her check is $953 a month..

 

(Inmate info is for FL Dept of Corrections)

All Who Wander are Not Lost…


This past weekend, I went home to Atlanta, for many reasons, but the most important of them being a memorial for my friend Kelly who had passed at the beginning of March.

He and his family had been estranged for many years, more years than not, really. So, they truly did not know very much about him. As his friends, the closest of us, anyway, he shared much and was a giant of a man with the heart of a teddy bear. He was also one of the smartest people I have ever known! Scary smart.

He was a martial artist, a student and teacher of the art of Jiu Jitzu. He made an incredible impression on those he met.

Kelly also lived a”colorful” life. He was an addict, forever recovering and slipping, as addicts do. Yet, the past year – he had been clean and sober. He was getting his body in shape and had found a renewed connection with God.  There were really not many of us who knew these things about him. Kelly, to most, was the tough guy always looking for a party.

I had known Kelly since high school, though, like most friends from that time period of my life, had lost touch and had only reconnected about 5 years ago. I was amazed at the changes in him even then.

However, Kelly was also a very troubled man.

During his Memorial, the preacher asked if anyone had anything they would like to share about Kelly. The coach of his football team when he was 12 years old spoke…Kelly was 45 at his death and this man remembered him from 35 years before. He had a few other friends speak, and while I really wanted to, when I speak about Kelly, very colorful words tend to flow too easily from my mouth and it just wouldn’t be proper in the house of the Lord.

After everyone spoke, the preacher said that the family asked that he mention that Kelly had a drug problem. “We’ll never know why he used drugs or the effect it had on his life “..then went on to preach forgiveness. WHAT?

A Memorial Service was not the proper place to mention that and we, his friends, his true family, we appalled that it was even mentioned. Disrespectful. We wanted to get up and leave, but we could hear Kel saying – just let it go…

I can not just let it go. It is crawling all over me.

However, I believe I can shed light on the reason for Kelly’s drug use.

Kelly had been diagnosed bi-polar, though I am not sure how many years ago the “official” diagnosis was made.

Bi-polar disorder is a mood disorder, more commonly known as manic depression – because we go from extreme highs to extreme lows. I say we because I, too, am bi-polar (https://annasmind.wordpress.com/2007/11/22/so-about-me/).

It often begins in late teens, but a traumatic event can bring it on in a child. Kelly’s mother died when he was very young, and his father told him to “get over it.” Not exactly father of the year material this man. I am sure he was going through his own grief process, but a child needs more help to deal than “just get over it.”

As the disorder takes over, people in general tend to attribute it to normal teen moodiness, hormone changes, puberty.. but it is much worse. We usually begin to self medicate – generally starting with alcohol, and when that quits either numbing the pain, or quits being fun (in the manic phase), we move on to drugs.

If a person is lucky, there is someone who loves them enough to notice these things and will get them help. I was. Kelly, not so much.  Once disgnosed, medications, such as anti-depressants, lithium, mood stabilizers and sometimes even medicines used to treat psychosis. Once we begin the meds, we feel better. We feel better, we think we do not need the meds anymore. It can be a terrible, vicious cycle. Again, if the person has someone close who loves them and cares for them, they will notice these changes and help them with treatment again. Rarely are we “fixed” the first go around. Or second. Took me 4…

Meds are a trial and error with bi-polar disorder. People react differently and need to be monitored until the right ‘cocktail’ is found.

Not everyone has the patience for this.

Not everyone has someone around who sees and understands and cares enough to help.

When the meds don’t work, we often go back to self medicating, and, too often, become addicts, as happened in Kelly’s case.

Kelly could be the life of the party. He was the sweetest guy who made huge impressions on everyone he met. He could also be so terribly depressed he absolutely had no idea how he could go on. He called me many times, saying maybe it would be better if he were gone. More than once, he had a suicide plan made. Luckily, he never followed through.

The last couple of years of  Kelly’s life, he had, as I said,  begun a new relationship with God. He was getting his life in order. His body and mind. The doctor wanted to put him on meds for not only for this, but for the extreme pain he was in. He had done serious damage to his body through the years, not just with the drugs, but the Ju Jitsu and MMA fighting he did. His weight had gone way up at one point and he was quite proud to get it back down. The point is – he did not even want to take the meds the doctor prescribed. Whether they were for his pain or psychotropic/psychiatric medications.

He found alternative methods to treat his pain – yoga, meditation. But the brain – bi-polar people – we have a very very difficult time dealing with the day to day – hell – with or without meds. Again, it comes back to the support system – which Kelly just didn’t have often enough.

So this, dear hypocritical preacher man, and family – is the why of the drug use, at least, I suspect. I am though, only speaking from my own experiences…and knowing Kelly.

When I found out, my first thought was – he was finally happy! Why now?

My second thought – He was finally happy. So, he died happy. 

The good that came out of it? I have spoken with the men he worked with at Capitao Jiu Jitsu and MMA in Fort Walton Beach, told me his students are making patches for their uniforms in his honor. He told me he was working with friends on writing a children’s book. He had the life experience that he could tell a young person – that is not the direction you should be taking your life.

Kelly was a wonderful man, a true friend and confidant. He was always there for you when you needed him. Maybe if the family had tried, they may have known this side of him, too.