Amazing the difference a day can make. On May 7th 2011 the family was celebrating the graduation of one of my nieces the next day our Nana took a nasty fall in the parking lot of the hotel. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital and while she had a couple of nasty bumps and bruises on her forehead and a laceration on her knee she was cleared for discharge home. Later that month, we had our 5th annual Smith Family Reunion and Nana was not able to attend because her knee was not healing. In-fact because she is a diabetic it was progressively getting worse. She was so disappointed she was not able to attend as she loves being surrounded by family and friends.
The first of June Nana returned to the doctor to find out she had a nasty infection in her knee and would require IV antibiotics…After long term antibiotic therapy and 6 knee surgeries our Nana took a turn for the worst last Thursday.
One day she was celebrating the graduation of her granddaughter…the next she sustained injuries from a fall.
One day she is getting a manicure, pedicure, and her hair done while sitting on the side of the bed…the next she is in ICU engaged in a battle for her life.
Our Nana remains in ICU in septic shock…She is on a ventilator, receiving mega doses of antibiotics, feedings, and dialysis…
All of this from a FALL…
I share our Nana’s story for three reasons:
- To Remind Everyone to Put Safety first!!
Falling is the leading cause of unintentional injury at home among Americans 65 and older. Older people sustain such injuries by stumbling on stairs; slipping in bathtubs; falling off ladders and step stools; and tripping over garden hoses, dog leashes, and household appliance cords. Nana fell in a parking lot…
- To Remind Everyone to Talk to your family about your wishes!!! What do you want if:
Your heart stops beating or you have a lethal arrhythmia: Do you want someone to try to get your rhythm back by performing compressions or shocking your heart with a defibrillator?
You quit breathing: Do you want to be intubated and placed on a breathing machine?
You are not able to eat: Do you want to sustain your life with feeding tubes?
Your kidneys shut down: Do you want to have dialysis
- To Remind Everyone each day is a Gift!!!
We are not promised tomorrow so…Grab every opportunity you have to tell your family and friends how much you love them.
I am touched by your post today. I have gone through a similar situation myself with my mother, only her situation was more dire. In fact, I had to make the medical decisions regarding her care while she was suddenly and unexpectedly ill and unable to make such decisions herself. I had no idea what her wishes were for herself in such a state, and the guilt, fear, heartache, and indecision I felt were overwhelming—especially since I was handling this alone. Everything was a haze. So, please, please, please let your loved ones know (or do the paperwork in advance yourself when possible) and spare them the gut-wrenching pain of having to make such decisions during an already emotionally overwhelming time when all they really want is to have you happy and healthy. I will keep your Nana and your family in my prayers.
Sister, I am so sorry for your pain…Thanks so much for sharing your story and heart. As a nurse I have seen family after family working through the agony of making end of life decisions. Thank you for your Prayers…Love Lee ♥