Please forgive me, my friends, for my long absence from cyberspace. I try to catch up on all your wonderful blogs, partly as a way to stay grounded and less depressed in this difficult time, and because I miss everyone so much. St. Francis Hospital has wi-fi but, it seemed as soon as I settled down for a moment to read or write while my mom dozed, a nurse would come in and need my help with something or it would be time to try to feed her again.
Mary Frances McGee Quinlan is better, I can say that. On Friday, she was actually discharged from the intermediate cardiac care unit at St. Francis and her physicians deemed her fit enough to be driven to her assisted living and rehab facility near my brother's home in Atlanta. When Charley arrived she knew that he was her son but she didn't remember her name. Alternately during her hospitalization, she could identify that I was her daughter but she seldom knew my name. During the drive, Charley reported that she was very quiet, asking on occasion, who he was and were they going home. Once at Gwinnett Extended Care, she was so exhausted, she was just put to bed. She is legally blind from macular degeneration so things, at best, are a little confusing for her.
The facility, for this type of place, is actually very good. My sister-in-law, who is also an R.N., used to work next door in the hospital, another reason we chose it. With her medical problems, it is good to have acute care so close. Also, she will have P.T. and speech therapy. It isn't cheap - $6000/month. For the first 90 days, Medicare pays, then she must exhaust all her own funds ( there go the CDs she put aside for my brother and I and her grandsons ), then Medicaid will cover. The law now is that any assets must have been disposed of five years prior to admission to such a facility if you wish your heirs to have them. My understanding is that this is the same in each state. My mother was so upset about this when we discussed financial issues a year ago. She wanted to take her CDs out then and give them to all the people involved but I explained that the state would come back to each person and demand the money back if she were admitted to a nursing home or extended care within the five year time frame. She was despondent over this. I guess it behooves us to be more aware of state laws regarding these issues. The money is irrelative to us but it made my mother furious.
I have the task of clearing out her apartment and disposing of everything. Fortunately, over the last few years, my mom has given us all her things of real value so it isn't so hard. My two youngest sons, Alex and his fiancee, Laura, ( who is wearing my mother's diamond engagement ring as hers ) and Jeremy, and his girlfriend, Katie, will fly into Atlanta on Friday morning. I'll pick them up at the airport and we'll visit mom and then drive to Columbus. The boys wanted their ladies to see where they spent so many happy times and to visit my friends,
Beth and Luther, and to go out for catfish and hushpuppies one last time. Saturday morning, my brother will drive down with a truck and the two hefty jocks will help their uncle load up any furniture he might want.
The rest of the weekend, we'll spend visiting mother at the extended care and they'll see a little of Atlanta. They fly back to San Francisco Sunday PM but I'll stay in Atlanta till March 10th. I will be able to visit several times a day with mother and spend time with my brother and his wife in their new home. I am just so relieved that they moved back from their eight year sojourn in Florida this past December. I have really had most of the responsibility mom's care since that time since Susan, my sister-in-law, has had to come to Atlanta once a month to oversee her own mother's care ( she was in a nursing home the whole time they lived in Florida! ).
Another bright spot on the horizon is that I will see a friend of 51 years who was at boarding school with me in the 9th grade in Cullman, Alabama. She lives in the Atlanta area and I haven't seen her since she and her husband came to the West Coast a few years ago to cruise the Pacific Northwest with us. After the last ten days, I relish any bright spot.
I miss all of you and please continue your prayers for my mother and me.