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I'm a new poster in this area. Long Vent!

Posted by albertar ( on
Thu, Aug 24, 06 at 14:14

Hi everyone
I'm Alberta and I'm new to this area of the boards. For the past 3 months I've been trying my best to help my ailing parents, ages 86 and 82. Dad is now in a nursing home, diagnosed with alzheimers and dementia. He is legally blind and very, very hard of hearing. The dementia started in May of this year, after a fall. He was hospitalized for a week and a CT was done where they found either dementia or alzhemiers or both. My mom has heart problems and has had a pacemaker since 2000. Since February of this year she started telling us that the pacemaker was causing her pain, she had lost weight and it was really bulging in her skin. Late May she was already to have it taken out and replaced, but her coumadin levels were too high and the doctor decided to wait and keep her off coumadin for more than 5 days. During that time she had chest pains and was rushed to the hosptial. A cardiac catherization was done and they found more blockages, stents were inserted (again) and she went home. Two weeks later more chest pain, again hospitalization. Long story short, she was hospitalized 5 times since May, also complaining about the pain the pacemaker was causing. It finally came through her skin and got infected. Next stop a cardiothoraic surgeon. He kept her on antibiotics for a week in the hospital then removed the old pacemaker, a week later the new one was implanted. I took her home a week later, 2 days later she was back in the hospital, again with the infection. She should be released tomorrow.

Since May, this has been happening with my parents. Early July my husband had chest pains and was rushed to the hosptial also. He was diagnosed with something wrong with the left ventricle of his heart, they wanted to put in stents but he refused. A month ago my daughter in law was diagnosed with breast cancer, young only 36.

I have to say I feel like I'm loosing my mind. When it rains it certainy pours. I've applied for medicaid for my parents, they now have medicare and blue cross/blue shield and I've never been so exasperated in my life due to all the documents this case worker wanted. Thankfully one of my brothers is now going to take over my parents banking needs since mom made one heck of a mess of the check book. This is really hard, but I'm doing the best I can.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I'm a new poster in this area. Long Vent!

Alberta, I wasn't thinking about what I was doing when I posted about your parents on your nice reply to my post.

You certainly have had your share of problems lately. Those Pacemakers in the elderly can cause problems. That's for sure!! The skin is so fragile and thin. It's not like they have a lot of fat to bury the thing under. Let's hope that this latest round of antibiotics for the infection will do the trick for her. I know she must be very tired of it all.
Take care.

RE: I'm a new poster in this area. Long Vent!

Welcome Alberta...I think you will be glad you have this spot to vent & perhaps get some sound advice for all the problems your family is facing. My parents are 87 & 84 and Hospice is now involved for Mom. I have taken a leave of absence from work, my sister who has been able to live in with them must leave by Oct 20 to return to work. I am almost frozen in terror of the prospects of what I'll face going it alone, from the medical & paperwork aspects. My DH has said he'll be more helpful than in the past but there are some things I know he won't do.We do have a live in caregiver who is a Godsend, but she's 78 & I worry about her health as it's such a monumental task.I am flying up north for 5 days as my DH has been up there all summer at his old job. He has a cyst at the top of his spine that must be removed & I felt I needed to go even though Mom is so fragile right now.Last Sat. we found out my DH's best man needed brain surgery yesterday. You do get to the point you want to hide under the bed when bad news flows like a river.I do my best by just focusing one day at a time, not looking back & not looking ahead either.I gain more strength knowing there are people like me struggling along with elder care.

RE: I'm a new poster in this area. Long Vent!

Hi Chickaroonie
Oh how well I know that feeling of wanting to hide under the bed in fear, I have referred to it as "paralyzed with fear". I hope your husband does well with the removal of the cyst. Seeing that your parents are in the same age category as mine, I know you know what I am dealing with. I really wish you all the best of luck in the world. I too have been trying my best to deal with one day at a time, there really is not much one can do. Thank you so much for responding here, wishing you well.

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