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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Lackey

What It Is Is

After the outpouring to love from my blog and fb friends, I realized that I need to explain Meems' situation a bit further.

What it is is that she is not on the verge of dying. End of life care for elderly people is quite common. Also, it is a bit different than for those who have a fatal diagnosis. Mom qualified for Hospice because she has vascular dementia. Without that, she would not have qualified. "Failure to thrive" is no longer accepted by Medicare as a diagnosis to qualify for Hospice.

The intense leg pain, weight loss, and extreme sleepiness are what prompted me to reach out for help. Trips to the doctor or ER are really tiring for her. I knew that if I took her to the ER there was a good chance that she would have been admitted to the hospital due to her impaired mental capacity. During Meems' last ER visit which resulted in a week-long hospital stay, a nurse mentioned to me that doctors don't like to release elderly patients who can't wake up nor those who fret about not wanting to get pregnant. Meems checked both of those boxes during her stay.

This seems to be a common problem with people taking care of aging parents. To ER, or not to ER. Oh, the stories we could share.

While Missy Meems is, indeed, receiving "end of life" care, she is not actively dying. "Actively dying." I made that up. It's a descriptive oxymoron. She does not have diabetes or heart problems or any of the many diseases that plague her peers. Hip pain, weight loss, and sleepiness are not fatal diagnoses. She has definitely gone "downhill" over the past couple of weeks. She will either rally, or she won't.

One of the Hospice people told me that they cared for one elderly lady for seven years. Meems only needs care until she gets her picture on the Smuckers jar. Nine good years. Nine sweet, egg-eatin' years.

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