Monday, June 8, 2009

Top 4 Worst Experiences of My Life: # 4 Caring

This is the first week of my blogging Top 4. I'll be doing this weekly from here on out, where I give a top four Monday through Thursday, and Friday's just kind of a free for all. I decided to start out by giving the top for worst experiences in my life. Some of these will be very personal, please feel free to comment or question.

Many of you have heard how I quit my daycare to care for my mother in law after she was diagnosed with cancer. This was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I sometimes questioned my skills as a daycare provider, as well as a mother, was I really going to be able to help care for my mother in law? Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't alone in this venture, hospice came in and helped, along with my husband Rusty, and his two sisters, but I was the only one not working, so the majority of care fell on me.

I also have to explain something else. On top of the cancer, my mother in law had three strokes. The last one took away the ability to speak, and the ability to eat solid foods. She could only communicate her needs to me through paper and pen. So I had to give her medications, feed her through a stomach tube, make sure she was comfortable, and entertain her.

We ordered cable so she could watch movies. I sang to her, talked to her. She had a lot of visitors too, which helped take some of the burden off of me, which was nice, because most the time I felt like I was flailing.

We thought she would be living with us for six months to a year, but it only ended up being close to three weeks. Of course, her death was the hardest part of the whole experience.

I'm glad we decided to take her in. I would not have wanted to see her die in a nursing home. I think anyone would want to be in a comfortable, familiar place surrounded by family and friends.

Taking my mother-in-law in, caring for her, coming up with ideas to entertain her, and then watching her die was definitely one of the worst, though most rewarding experiences I have ever had. If challenged to do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat.
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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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