Hey! Where have you been?

Moving day, 2017

Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t post last week- another unscheduled absence from my trusty keyboard: What’s up with that?

Yeah, I also had a rather long absence during this past year… so maybe I should just spill the beans.

If you’re a long-time reader here you might recall that in 2017 my wife and I moved my then 94-year-old Mom from California here to Iowa to live with us. All went well with that until the middle of last summer when it became painfully obvious to me, if not to her doctor, that she had a serious health problem. After some prodding, the doctor took blood and had it tested only to discover that my Mom did indeed have a serious problem: Congestive Heart Failure.

Thus, began our journey.

CHF killed my father when I was a teenager, and I knew that it was caused by something else; a larger issue, but I learned that when the patient is 95, almost 96, they like to just say, “Well, these things happen at that age…”

Dear Reader, do not let them say that.

Based upon what I had seen day after day for quite some time, I had a theory that she had internal bleeding somewhere, probably intestinal, and as one having a Medical Power of Attorney, I insisted they investigate, which they didn’t really seem very interested in doing. What they found was a mass of colon cancer so large that they couldn’t get their scope past it…

I’ll spare you all of the unpleasant details other than to say that she has been in a care facility for 6+ months, and even there she managed to break her arm and both hips in falls, yet even so she has been mostly pain-free and almost always happy and cheerful, which was nothing short of incredible.

Last Monday morning, the 17th, I received a call telling me that she had taken a sudden turn for the worse. She was being assessed when we arrived, and the conclusion was that she had four to seven days- 2 weeks if she rallies… maybe.

She wasn’t conscious, but was very clearly struggling… and of course, all of this meant that the time had come for me to be scrambling to make calls and final arrangements. I can’t tell you how glad I was to have a few days.

But that was not to be.

I received another call that evening informing me that she had suddenly passed at 7:10 PM.

As you might imagine, the rest of the week was just a tad hectic and that is why I was absent from these pages. I may tell more of the story tomorrow; we’ll see how today goes as I begin to deal with the business side of things, but for now, I would like to leave you with a thought:

Who is in charge of your Healthcare?

No sir, it isn’t the Government (Heaven Forbid!), it isn’t the insurance company, and it isn’t the doctor: It’s YOU. Don’t let them bully you or push you around: They work for you, not the other way around, and sometimes they need you to remind them of that. In my Mom’s case, she believed them when they told her that at her age, if she hadn’t had colon cancer by now, she wouldn’t get it. It would seem that they were mistaken. Yet up until last July, she was literally in better health than most Americans in their 30’s and that was according to doctors, not just my wishful thinking. In fact, even on her last day her vitals were amazing as her system was in the process of shutting down.

Please understand, I’m not blaming anyone, after all, God is in control of these things, and she lived a healthy and happy 96 years and 6 months (exactly). Yet surely, when it comes to making decisions, there is a lesson in this for all of us.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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29 Responses to Hey! Where have you been?

  1. Having been through the process just last year (and with a few unpublished posts about that I must get to sometime) I have a fair idea of how you are feeling. My prayers are with you and your family at this time – may God grant you peace as you mourn.

  2. Sorry for your loss, Don. You and your wife did a bold thing moving her to live with you 2 years ago, God blesses you for that.

  3. Teressa says:

    Deepest sympathy. May this be a time of remembering with stories and laughter and tears.

    Wise remarks about healthcare!

  4. Sorry for your loss Don. When my mom went home to be with the Lord I still missed her so much. We did so many things together and I felt like a ship at sea without a rudder. Then I heard a preacher say, when it comes to loosing a family member, don’t focus on the loss thank God for the wonderful years he gave you with that person. That advice helped me greatly. Best to you.

  5. atimetoshare.me says:

    So sorry for your loss, Don, but joyful that your mom is in heaven.

  6. Deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    I remember my grandmother who proved why they call it “practicing medicine.” At 76 she broke her hip and was told she’d never walk again. Six months later she was doing her daily walk down the hill to the grocery store and back up again. At 85 she was in a nursing home, we receive the call to hurry in, her kidneys had failed and she probably would not last the night. By the time we got there (over an hour drive) she was sitting up in bed and drinking water. She finally passed at 96, they marked it down as CHF.

  7. RaeBear says:

    Dear Don, I am so sorry for your loss. As you say, God is in control; yet death is always a shock and always so sad, no matter what, no matter how strong our faith. I will be one of I am many people holding you up in prayer. May you feel God’s love surround you as you are held in God’s hand.
    sincerely,
    Rachel

  8. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I’m glad you’re keeping this in perspective with God bring in control. If I can do anything, just tell me. If not, I’ll still be praying for you.

  9. I’m so sorry, Don, to hear about your mom. What a blessing for her to have a loving, caring son to watch over her. May God bless you in the days ahead as you do what needs to be done. I am sure many of us will be praying for you and your family.

  10. Pingback: I didn’t ask to be born! | Just me being curious

  11. Tom says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Praying for God to wrap His arms of love, peace and comfort around you and all family members.

  12. Matt Brumage says:

    My sympathies, Don. I’ll bet she’s saving you a seat up front with a great view of the four creatures and the 24 elders.

    We went through that with my wife’s mom just over a year ago. And she died from CHF, on January 1, 2019. Now, I’m fighting our doc’s admin staff to get a test for my wife completed and a result provided. You’d think I was asking them to actually perform medical services…oh wait. Yeah, it’s a weird world in which we live. They’re not using leeches any more, but I’m still wondering if we’ve progressed all that far still.

    Blessings upon you. My prayers will be for you and your family.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Thank you so much Matt, i really appreciate it… and yes, you’re right: Dealing with people in the medical world seems a lot like moving into an alternate form of reality in which humility doesn’t exist.

  13. Rebeca Jones says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Don. I’m praying for you as you finish up the business side of it all. Grace and peace to you and your family.

  14. peggywright says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother’s death. It is hard no matter how old our parents are. My sympathies to you and your family.

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