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Been a long time, news not good

Discussion in 'NFC Forum' started by Carl_Auer, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Carl_Auer

    Carl_Auer Groovy

    Arvada, Colorado
    It has been a while since I have been here... For those who do not know me, I was member 50 of Seattle X1/9, I have owned a couple 77s, a 78, a 76 highly modified, an 81, and for a short time a Scorpion.

    As many of you may remember, I sold my 76 (formerly Warren's in Canada) to move to Alaska. I planned on spending a year there refocusing my life. I am a photographer, photojournalist to be specific, and in Seattle I was a small fish in a big pond. I moved to Alaska, planning on spending a year with my mom who was in her early 80s and had suffered a TIA and a heart attack in the previous five years. Less then a week later mom was diagnosed with heart failure and my year in Alaska which started in 2003, would end up changing my life. Four years later mom had heart surgery, and signs of dementia started. After years of taking care of her, shooting high school sports, college sports, semi-pro sports, Iditarod, and senior photos, family situations ended up moving us to Denver, Colorado. I was able to buy my 81 and ship it to Alaska, and I brought it to Colorado, but had to sell it.

    Once in Colorado, I immediately started shooting. My first assignment was coverage of the Dark Knight theater shooting. I shot everything I could and was making a name for myself. I was a semi-big fish in a large pond, but then moms dementia started to get worse. Worse to the point, I could no longer leave her alone. So, I started working from home. That has been my last three years, up until this past Father's Day.

    On the morning of Father's Day, I woke mom up and got her out of bed (she could walk with a walker, but standing up was impossible on her own. She has no cartilage in her knees.) and we head out to the living room. Normally, she parks her walker about 2 steps from her chair and sits right down. I walked around the corner into the kitchen to get her breakfast and she fell down. I was immediately on top of her, checking her out. She appeared fine, no pain, no signs of any injuries. I got her up and she walked to her chair and sat down and ate all of her breakfast. I sit a couple feet away from her working on my computer and when it was time for lunch, I fixed her food and asked her if she wanted to feed herself. Breakfast she normally fed herself, but lunch, sometimes I had to feed her, and dinner, always...She said she would feed herself, took two bites and was done. I tried to get her to take another bite and she passed out. I got her to wake up and told her we were going to the hospital. I picked her up to carry her to my car, but she passed out again. So I called 911 and had an ambulance come get her. She had broken her pelvis, had a UTI, and her kidneys stopped working right. Over a week they got everything stabilized, except her kidney function and sent her home under home hospice.

    She is now in a hospital bed in the living room with me sleeping next to her on the couch. I am not giving up on her that she will pull through, but my family is negative and just wants her to die. They do not see her laugh, smile, tell me stories, or anything, they just see her worn out after a CNA or nurse comes in, or after I change her, and think that she is done. So I am fighting for both me and mom. If she dies, I do not know what I will do. I will have to sell the condo we live in, because under the mortgage, she has to be the primary resident, and I do not make enough to take on the mortgage. I ask you all for prayers and good thoughts. My fiancé is in North Carolina and we are trying to rush getting her out her with her family to spend time with mom and so we can get married before she dies so she can see that everything will be ok...but it is not looking good....we need prayers and a few miracles here....I hope all are doing much better than I am right now.

  2. Clark

    Clark True Classic

    Arthur, Ontario
    Praying..... I hope things work out for you guys Carl
  3. dragonsgate

    dragonsgate True Classic

    I can relate Carl, having gone through similar scenarios. Some thing to keep in mind is it can be harder on the care giver than the patient so try to take care of yourself as well with rest and proper nourishment. Care giving can be a mental strain in many ways as well. You should consult your doctor about this. The hardest part is when you are finally alone. It is tricky but do not let yourself get to depressed. This is hard to explain because not everyone reacts the same but in your grief do not close in on yourself. Best wishes of strength and happiness to you.
  4. Ulix

    Ulix True Classic

    Stuttgart, Germany
    Carl, having lost my mom three weeks ago, I have some thoughts on this.
    My attitude now is, it is quite normal to age, become frail and eventually pass away. It is the natural cause of events, it has to be this way.
    It makes us very sad for a while, but it is not a catastrophy in itself.
    We want to be there for our elders and help them during this phase.

    Just don't make this your number one priority in life. It is not. You are in a phase of your life where your number one priority needs to be looking after yourself, your spouse, possible starting a family, having children and supporting them.
    You might feel that it is your obligation to now give back the love and care and attention that you received from our parents.
    I believe instead that first priority is passing this love and care on to our children. This is how we are to "return" this love.

    I am not proposing you stop looking after your mom, but I am saying, make it your number two priority.
    And if you haven't done so already, prepare yourself to accept the fact that she will eventually be gone and that finally then, your focus needs to be on YOUR life. I have seen someone completely give himself up for his mom for a long time and when he was finally without her, he looked around and realized that his life was in shambles and most of his good years had passed.

    These are just my own views based on my personal experiences.
    Seeing my two small children develop every day really drove home the point for me that "new life replaces old life" is the natural cause of life and needs to hapen this way.
    Eastep likes this.
  5. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    Carl, I understand this is a very profound and fraught experience for you. I had a similar experience with my mom as she endured ALS which led to her passing. Death is not a bad thing, it just is what it is and inevitable which I'm sure you grasp. It can be a powerful beautiful experience when people accept that it can happen anywhere anytime to anyone like you have documented with your photos. Death seems to be a bad regrettable thing only when we try to tell ourselves it's not happening and haven't shared our deepest best selves with a loved one. I would encourage you to speak openly about it with your mom if you haven't so it isn't an elephant in the room. Then get busy living loving and sharing the deep stuff that you haven't brought up yet. I wish you and your mother well.
  6. kmead

    kmead True Classic

    Grand Rapids, MI
    First what you have been doing and have done is admirable. All of our thoughts are with you.

    In hospice the intent is to provide good palliative care that allows the person to pass in relative comfort and peace. Given that her kidneys are no longer able to function fully, her passing is inevitable. Your job is to make her passing as easy as it can be.

    Your other job is to prepare for what will come next, the arrangements for her body, the celebration of her life and then the reality of dealing with her final affairs. During that comes the grieving you sorely need to deal with the reality of her passing.

    Your time will soon be about you and what comes next in your life. Be ready for all that you can make it.

    Best wishes and I hope for your sake that it all happens peacefully and with minimal pain.
  7. Carl_Auer

    Carl_Auer Groovy

    Arvada, Colorado
    At 9:30 pm mountain time my mom joined my dad in heaven. Thank you all for your prayers
  8. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Missouri, USA

    My condolences on the loss of your mom. You are a good son.
  9. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Philadelphia, PA
    Hi Carl,

    My condolences and sympathy to you and your family.

    From experience: Be happy for her that, at long last, she is no longer in the clutches of that terrible, horrible, merciless, and malevolent disease.
    kmead likes this.
  10. kmead

    kmead True Classic

    Grand Rapids, MI
    My condolences to you and yours. I am sorry for your loss, made all the more poignant by the investment you had made in her care for so many years.

    Grief is something without a beginning and will never end. It changes over time to be a part of your life but no longer your whole life.

    We all wish you well.
  11. Kevin B (Asheville NC)

    Kevin B (Asheville NC) Administrator Moderator

    Asheville, NC
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Carl.

    Please find solace in that you are a great son, and a good caregiver.

  12. budgetzagato

    budgetzagato Administrator Moderator

    Olympia, WA USA
    Carl, I saw on fb that your Mom died. I'm sorry about that. You were a great caretaker.

    My Mom also recently died, June 30th. Alzheimer's, a stroke 14 months ago, eventually took their toll. In her case it was my Dad that did most of the caretaking, keeping her company every day she was in her care facility.

    Both of you, Carl and my Father, are amazing... I don't think I could have done what you did.

    I hope she was comfortable in the end. I hope you can figure out the rest of things when you need to.

    I'm shocked at what a preoccupation caring for and losing a parent is, even though it's something we expect, eventually.
  13. htfx19

    htfx19 Herzel Frenkel

    Gan-Yavne, Israel
    Hi Carl,
    I believe I met you (on the Xweb) just about when you moved to Alaska. I remember I thought it was a couragious move, but I new nothing about the place eccept the cold.
    Re your mom, I am closer to her age than yours (80) na let me tell you all - it ain't simple getting old.
    Be well and stay strong.

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