Angst, Mama, and Love~
It's been a long day and my sister and I are just getting back to my father's house. It's 10pm. The rollercoaster ride was not kind this morning. Mid-day I felt like puking. By evening, my sisters and I were witnessing and absorbing yet another miracle on this curious and unpredictable journey.
On the 24th of February, Medicare determined that my mother had not shown suffient progress in her PT and denied payments. She had had only three weeks of PT! Anyone who has been through this knows what this means...mom will never walk again. That fact did not sink into my head until we were finished what they call "restorative therapy" which is apparently something sub-standard to PT, offered only 3 times a week rather than 5.
Mom doesn't stand a chance. For anyone who has not read previous blogs, mom has Alzheimer's disease and is in late stage.
Her previous residence does not offer skilled nursing, her current place of rehab is a skilled nursing facility but, politely I might add, reeks and isn't fit for any loved one. My sister and I were, in fact, secretly high fiving each other and whispering "Seconal" which is code for how we will take each other out with pills before abandoning each other in one of these God forsaken facilities. This is the about the time I felt like puking!
Oh, and one other small detail....it will cost 12K per month out of pocket to place mom in this facility.
There was only one thing to do. My sister and I picked up our youngest sister, and we went on a road trip. Driving down to Bloomfield, CT we called Seabury and announced our impending arrival in 40 very short minutes. This was the only other place we knew of that would, after mom spent down her money, take Medicaid...and had received 5 stars from our prior research.
A breath of fresh air awaited us. Not only is the place beautiful, but there are no smells, the staff retention is 96%, and we observed first hand how the CNA's interacted with the residents. It was a night and day difference between the two facilities and the cost is exactly the same!
We drove away smiling knowing that we had found the perfect place for mom.
We had no idea the miracle that awaited us. We were rushing as it was past five o'clock and we knew we were going to miss mom's dinner. We arrived around 6pm and mom was still seated, but not eating. Surrounding her, she ate heartedly. We took mom back to her room and fixed the fresh flowers we had brought, dug out the crud in her nails (thank you Johanna), painted them, rubbed lotion into her hands, and massaged her legs and arms.
During this, Mom had settled into a place of peace, and deep awareness that she had her three girls before her. She then spoke about her "kids", her love for us, and with mished- mashed words, conveyed as best as she could her love, her hopes and we believe her understanding of where she was going next.
I will never be able to articulate how poignant this time was for us, or how healing it was to see my sister Becky's tears traveling down her face knowing deeply how important my mother's words were to her.
We were blessed today admist the angst, disappointent and sorrow of how our parents spend the last days, months, and years of their lives.