My Mom and Very Hard Decisions

I don’t normally post about my parents.  But this post is devoted to them.  I want to use my blog today to communicate to folks about a part of my life that many don’t get to hear about!

My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease 7 years ago.  It has been quite an adventure! I asked the doctor about life expectancy when she was diagnosed.  I was told that no one could predict but the doctor predicted 7 years!  And here we have surpassed the 7 year mark by a few months!

These past few months my mom’s health has declined pretty rapidly.  I made a trip to be with them back in October for a week.  My dad has had his plate full to say the least!

Over the past few months my mom has lost about 40 pounds.  Her mind has gotten worse.  She has also had some other health issues going on as well.  Some intestinal problems.  Several UTIs.

Last night about 11 my dad called me to tell me he had taken my mom to the ER and I needed to talk to the nurse! Over the course of the next two hours, I had two conversations with the nurse and I made some very difficult decisions.  Actually, I think my mom made the decisions years ago, I just chose to say it is time to follow advance directives.  So I instructed the nurse that yes she could give my mom fluids and do blood work.  But nothing else.  No GI testing.  No Cat Scans.  No MRIs.  Nothing!  We will no longer take measures to sustain my mom’s life.  We are not going to figure out what is going on in her intestinal track.  My mom will go home fully hydrated!  But from this point forward, we will focus on treating symptoms and making her comfortable!  We will love and care for my mom well!

No matter how much you think you are ready for this decision, when you speak it out loud, it is a heartbreaker.  But beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know that it is the right decision!  My mom knows Jesus.  Her future is secure!  And there is a day when her mind will work, her body will work, and she will talk coherent sentences.  Yes, there is a sadness that comes with this decision for family.  And yes, there is somewhat an overwhelmed feeling as well. But there is a place of healing and wholeness for mom in the future and that’s hard to be sad about!

My mom will be released most likely tomorrow from the hospital and will be going home.  She will be under the care of hospice.  We will be hiring a CNA to work alongside our sitter so that my dad has help 7 days a week.  Please understand, this does not mean I expect my mom to die in days or weeks.  There is nothing that leads me to believe that is true.  Her vital signs are good.  They have been off due to dehydration but are leveling out with fluids.  I can’t predict what her future holds.  What I do know, is that hospice will provide much needed resources for our family.  They will help us love well in the last season of my mom’s life.  And they will remove some aloneness for my dad as he cares for my mom!  She is alert, smiling today, and feeling much better.  She wanted our wonderful sitter to put her clothes on today!  That means she’s ready to take flight!  Good thing there’s an alarm on that bed of hers!

I decided I wanted to go ahead and write a short update on my mom so that others will not be left to make assumptions.   My dad and I talked about this and thought it was a wise decision!   Is my mom in the last season of her life…yes.    Is she on her death bed today…no.   We can not predict what her future holds.  We can not predict the number of her days.  She may have three weeks and she may have six months, heck, she might have a year!  We simply don’t know.  We will also never know what is causing the extreme intestinal problems.  Nor will we know how those health issues will impact her life span!  But we will love well!  I told my dad today that it is somewhat overwhelming to look to the days ahead.  But instead we are going to look back and see God’s faithfulness in the past and walk confidently knowing that He will be faithful in the season to come.  We believe this is the best decision for my mom!  And we believe that this is my mom’s desire to not prolong life any longer!  And in this season, we believe that God’s grace is sufficient!  And in this season, I am so grateful for my dad’s strong faith!

As far as ministering to my parents, they need lots of prayers.  You can pray for the changes over the next few weeks as we will have a new CNA joining our care family and hospice coming on board as well!  My dad is going to have to change his way of doing things and that is going to be hard.  It’s just plain different to have someone else living with you most all the time!  You can pray for my dad’s sadness to be met with some wonderful compassion.   And pray that we would all walk in confidence that our decision is a good decision and not spend our time second guessing ourselves or wondering if we should do things differently.  I want us all to walk in confidence knowing we are implementing my mom’s desires!  Practically speaking, my dad loves visitors!  So anytime you want to stop by you are welcome to.  My dad could use some encouragement to get out as well.  Ask him to meet you for coffee or lunch or go to a Bible study with you.  He is going to have more help in a week or so and he is going to be able to venture out a little bit more.  I’m sure he needs encouragement to do that!  He doesn’t do well getting out these days!  And I forsee that being even more difficult in the coming season.  Also, feel free to surprise them with some treats on occasion!  I’ve never known my dad to turn away food!  🙂  My mom isn’t eating much these days!  But I’ve never known her to turn away cookies or lemon cake.  Hmmm….I wonder where I got my love for those two items!!  Those are the things that pop right to the top of my mind when I think about others loving them well!

So my Foreman and family peeps….please know our hearts and the facts of where we are.  We don’t want dad to have to face rumors!  Nor do we want to leave people wondering what is going on as that causes rumors!  So please don’t let the word hospice scare you!  Hospice is a wonderful program and it is a good thing for our family!  And hospice doesn’t mean my mom is going to die in the next week!  It simply means we have more support and more help in this place!  But do let the word hospice cause your heart to be quickened to pray for this season of life for my family!



Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Derenda Mydland

    My prayers are with you. Second guessing is hard not to do, but having the confidence that you know what she wants makes it easier. Focus on today. Dealing with one day at a time makes it a little easier.

  2. Derenda Mydland

    My prayers are with you. Second guessing is hard not to do, but having the confidence that you know what she wants makes it easier. Focus on today. Dealing with one day at a time makes it a little easier.

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