Tuesday, March 08, 2011

{Virtual Coffee} #4

Good morning. The sun is brightly shining outside, but it's still -16 Celsius (3.2 Fahrenheit), and the mounds of snow outside makes me glad to stay inside at the moment. It's time to put on the Virtual Coffee pot again ~ welcome! If you were here with me this morning, I would give you a piping hot mug of coffee and then tell you about what the last 16 days have been like.
You see, my sweet mother-in-law (MIL) and my children's cherished Granny, Irene had a massive heart attack on February 19th, and we have been back and forth to the hospital visiting every day. She was in the Critical Care Unit for about a week and then transferred to a Cardiac Unit.
A couple positives that came out of this is that we got to spend time with my MIL and 
my sister-in-law who came from out of province to spend time with her mommy!

Yesterday, the doctor sent my MIL home. I have very mixed feelings about this. Of course I am happy that she is healthy enough to leave the hospital and continue recovering ~ she needs open heart surgery, but her heart must heal more before that is possible. However, she is not a lady who likes to sit around. She also has a lot of stresses at home ~ namely her husband and a couple of sons who demand far too much of an 81 year old woman.

Before her heart attack (which she barely survived ~ flat lining upon arrival at the hospital), she could out-work me, I swear. She would wake up around 4:30 a.m., cleaning, taking time to read her Bible and a wee bit of CH Spurgeon, cooking a full healthy breakfast for "the boys", starting her physically disabled son's van (and I imagine brushing off snow when necessary) so he could get to work on time, and then she would rest. Her first catnap of the day occurred around 8 a.m. then it was back to housework again....

If you were here, sipping your coffee with me, you would no doubt agree that now there must be changes made.  There's the necessity of hiring a cleaning person to come in from time to time (my mother in law has always kept a very neat and clean home). Then there's the meals to consider. Irene is one of the best cooks I've ever known ~ everyone has always loved the opportunity to sample her delicious meals. But now, someone else needs to do meal preparation. We know now too, that she is diabetic, so her eating habits must change ~ for example, the 4 heaping teaspoons of sugar per cup of coffee is a thing of the past. Then there is salt ~ another big enemy ~ one that she always used liberally. Another thing that has to go is her 60+ year smoking habit. Of course, this is a major contributor to her heart attack (along with her enormous stress load). The entire time she was in hospital, she didn't smoke once. We are hoping that she won't give in to cravings ~ especially when faced with stresses ~ and that this deadly habit is conquered once and for all..
Are you still with me? If you were here, I'd give you a warm up on your coffee ...
Decisions will have to be made about living arrangements. The large house on the acreage is not feasible anymore. It actually hasn't been for years. My father in law has had cancer for a long time, and when he was first diagnosed many years ago, some of the family suggested that a move may be wise ... way back then. But no, that idea was ignored and quashed. Now, there is simply no choice. So we will see what happens in the days to come. Because of the family dynamics (ie., Father knows "best" ... well actually Father knows EVERYthing!), my husband and I will be left out of any family discussion or decision making in the days to come, so we can only hope and pray for the best.
Thank you for spending time with me this morning, and have a great week. 
Please check out the other {Virtual Coffee} participants here!


Kim Mailhot said...

It is so hard to deal with helping our elderly parents adjust to new ways of being as they age. I can imagine how hard it is for them to accept things that get dropped on them from one day to the next when they have been doing things the same way for many, many years.
She is lucky to have you love and support as she transitions. You are also providing a beautiful example for your own son about what it means to care for an aging parent.
Sending prayers and light and love always !

Andrea said...

Wow, I do think I would like that woman. My prayers and thoughts go out to her and your family.
Thanks for the great coffee.

Jade said...

Oh man that's so tough. Many prayers for you and your family in this time.

christi said...

that is so tough. we moved my grandparents into a home recently for several of these reasons and it was not easy. but they are SO happy and just love it there and that makes me happy. i'm stopping by for virtual coffee. i have tea on tuesdays, please link up sometime!

Claire said...

lovely to 'meet' you over coffee, dawn :)
so sorry about your m.i.l. - it is a worry! i hope she can indeed quit smoking - NOT easy! and with planning and care, she should be able to control the diabetes (i've been diabetic for over 10 years) - one trick is regular, healthy-ish snacks...
my thoughts are with you all :)
PS my dh and i saw the king's speech at the cinema and loved it!! i still think colin firth should have won the oscar last year for 'the single man', but i'm so glad he got it this year.

rochambeau said...

Thank you for the Virtual cup! Good thoughts and prayers for Irene's healing and no more smoking and for you and your family too, Dawn!