We brought her home from the hospital and brought Hospice in to help us manage her last days. They estimated she may pass away within the week. Our family gathered at our house for Thanksgiving. We all expected Dottie to pass away anytime.
It was pretty shocking when she somehow managed to get out of bed and stumble into the kitchen to join us. We all looked at each other in complete disbelief, but I got up and offered her my chair. She sat down, picked up my glass of red wine and thumped it! WTH?! I still can't understand how she could go from having zero ability to move, being fed like a baby bird in bed, to walking. It was like the bounce back of all bounce backs!
She had a complete physical comeback. But between the brain bleed and her Alzheimer's disease, her mental recovery wasn't as good. Hospice had no choice but to fire her, because she no longer qualified as a "terminal patient" with "active signs of dying."
That's when taking care of Dottie started to get really hard! Her ability to communicate and understand was significantly affected, but she was able to ask a handful of questions... over and over and over and over and over again... to the point she almost drove my mom insane! She also became completely dependent on my mom, dad, and I for everything. Even daily tasks like going to the bathroom.
Caring for her also added a lot of stress to their financial situation. At the time we had NO IDEA it was so bad. I had a work-from-home job that paid well and allowed me the flexibility to help support them both finically and taking care of everyone. Dad was of course doing the revolving door of surgeries and constantly recovering himself. Mom got phenomena a few times and landed in the hospital without health insurance. Then her health problems started to get more series, but she wanted to "wait until she was 65" to go to the doctor... then she "would have Medicaid and it would be covered and we wouldn't have to worry about losing the house." As we debate the issue of healthcare in this country today, this all plays like a broken record in my head.
Mom did a good job of holding the financial stress all by herself. She managed absolutely anything financial and dad trusted her implicitly to do it. Now that I've felt this financial stress myself, and seen it's affect on dad... I know without question why she didn't tell dad about the balloon payment. She loved him too much to cause him that stress. By then of course, mom also knew there was no money to pay the balloon payment. Grandma had told mom for years she would be the beneficiary of her brother's life insurance policy, but when David passed away, grandma decided to invest it instead... with the help of her friend Yeter!
"This Too Shall Pass"
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