The Hard Choices…


Sometimes if we are fortunate; these hard choices are made for us by circumstance.

Sometimes if we are fortunate; these hard choices are made for us by other people as a result of circumstance.

Sometimes if we are fortunate; these hard choices are for us to make on our own; and thus we are the better for it…(if we are not the worse off for it; because sometimes those hard decisions have no good outcomes and then it’s a matter of picking the lesser of two evils…but that is for another post.)

Hard Choice facing our family is regarding my grandma. She fractured her femur in the beginning of January. She’d been in the hospital since then as well (although she was at home for a week with that fractured femur as no one knew it was broken because my grandma wouldn’t tell anyone just how much pain she was in. This is because the family seem to have a high fear of hospitals due to the fact that those in the family that go in never seem to come out – myself; my mom; my dad and my cousin are all examples of that not being the case – mind you the only reason that happens to the older generation in my family is because they don’t seek out help until it is too late and then nothing can be done so no kidding they aren’t coming out again.)

Anyroad; the surgery on the femur went like clockwork. However; she now has a severe edema in her right leg (same side as the surgery); her foot is so swollen now it looks as if it would burst at the slightest touch, it’s started to blisters and the skin is looking to start flaking off any day. She also has renal trouble as a result she will require dialysis 3 times a week for 3-4 hours per visit.  Grandma has now been in the hospital for just over a month. This is where the trouble now starts…

She doesn’t want to be there, so she tries to make the Great Escape. The result is all bars have been raised on the bed, and an alarm activated so should she try to make a break for it the nurses will know.

Did I mention she also suffers from Alzheimer’s? She hasn’t been diagnosed as such because the family wouldn’t have her analyzed but having been here before with my other grandma I can see the signs and well my still living grandma exhibits all the signs. As result of this; she doesn’t remember why she is at the hospital; and is slowly losing memories of other things as well…namely the fact that her husband (my grandpa) has been dead 12 years, so she has been asking for him. Other things are now starting to go wrong with her body (and mind) as well. So due to these circumstances; the doctors have made the hard decision of whether grandma needs to go into a care facility; She does…she can no longer live in her home as it’s no longer safe for her to do so…and I cannot provide the level of care she would require, so into a care facility she must go…period…end of story. So the family battle of putting grandma in a home was a terrific waste of time.

The hospital will be doing a 28 page assessment on her to see what type of care facility she’ll need. There are never enough beds so they will assess very carefully – hopefully through this assessment they will diagnose her as having Alzheimer’s. My aunt seems to think Dementia is a disease; which it is not; it’s merely a symptom of a disease.

So the next hard choice is where she’ll be placed; and I suspect the assessment will be what will set the stage for which facility she goes into. The assessment could take up to a month.

There is a rub though; grandma could pass away before the assessment is completed. This is a very real possibility for us; she may not even make it to the care facility. Even if she does, I have my doubts that she’ll make it to her 89th Birthday in November. This sounds incredibly depressing I know…but I need to be realistic in my outlook when it comes to my last surviving grandparent.

The next hard choice for me personally is where I go from here.

I have been living with my Grandma since June of 2013, keeping an eye on her and such. (I can hear you lot now; you obviously didn’t do a good enough job of looking after her if she is in the hospital with a broken femur – I’ll thank you to shut up – I already feel a ton of guilt over this situation as it is). The family wants me to remain in the house until she passes away. And I am ok with doing this; however, once she passes I know I will need to evacuate and evacuate quickly because the feud that will arise out of this will be devastating and I want no part of it. But where do I evacuate too…that is the hard choice. My dad would like me to stay on in Medicine Hat; my mom keeps trying to convince me to live with her in Calgary (neither are operating with my best interests in mind; more their own.) I am not inclined to do either; yet lack the funds to go anywhere at the moment. Yet I have faith that once this door closes another will open…or at the very least a window.

I will also have to do battle with my dad over my stuff…which has been in his garage since 2008. He offered to store it…and now I can’t seem to get it back. I don’t have much to my name anymore…several relocations have seen to that; and there is still more I would like to get rid of…or at least sort through and leave with my dad if he has a use for it. I don’t understand the need to be antagonistic about it. If he wants me to pay for it then I will, I have no trouble doing that; since I would have to pay storage anywhere else.

This next month should be interesting…