This blog is simply the story about my little life
with my sweet family that the Lord has blessed me with
and the day in, day out things that we do.
It basically is my online diary/photo album of our life.
I'm glad you're here!
~~~o0o~~~

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alice

I had to go to the hospital again, this time for my dear mother-in-law, Alice.
As you know, she has vascular dementia and her health is declining. She was over here at Christmastime and was able to walk on her own with a cane, but her balance was not good at all. Well, this past weekend she was staying at a resort with her husband, Jim, and their daughter Stacey and her husband Jim. Alice lost her balance and fell and hit her head very hard on the cement fireplace. She hit the side of her head, ear and her temple. They tended to her, but for some reason chose not to take her to get medical care. In retrospect, I really wish they would have.
She hit her head so hard that she had swelling, complained of severe pain, and she became very lethargic. Two days later, when they got back home, Jim took her to the emergency room because she her face became crooked from paralysis, she had continued head pain and was lethargic. The ER doctors wanted her to have a CT scan and see the neurologist the next morning.
I met them for the appointment and I was heartbroken to see her in this condition.
She was lethargic and complained of head/ear pain.
She could not walk, so Jim pushed her throughout the building in her walker/wheelchair.
I was so saddened to see that her pretty face was drooping on one side.  When she first saw me she was not her usual smiley, sunny self. She was very slow with her reactions. I was happy that she did recognize me though.
We saw the neurologist and after he looked at her CT scan he did not feel that she had another stroke, but he thinks she has a severe case of Bell's palsy. Wikipedia says:

"Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) that results in the inability to control facial muscles on the affected side. Bell's palsy is defined as an idiopathic unilateral facial nerve paralysis, usually self-limiting. Most people recover spontaneously and achieve near-normal to normal functions." 
The doctor said that she could show signs of improvement up to ten days, but most recover within three weeks up to six months.
He also told us that by looking at her CT scan he can see that she has had more mini strokes when he compares it to the one she had three years ago, meaning that her vascular dementia is getting worse and the prognosis is that she will continue to decline.
So the good news is that she did not have brain damage from the fall or even a concussion, and also, that the paralysis is not from a major stroke, but temporary Bell's palsy. The bad news is that her vascular dementia is steadily getting worse. We have many things to ponder including getting her the proper care she needs.
Right now Jim has been her sole caregiver and he takes very good care of her. I was watching him as he was helping her get in the car and he was very sweet and gentle with her. As a family we know that Jim cannot do this forever, so we need to start thinking about some alternative solutions. For now we will take it a day at a time.
As I left the hospital, I was very saddened and heavy hearted.
I don't like this. I admit it. I just don't like it. My mother-in-law has been a wonderful asset in my life. She has helped me so much and she has been so fun and so supportive. I miss the way things were.
I love her so much and I am so sorry to see her in pain and discomfort. I know God has a plan for all of us and aging is a part of our life here on earth, but it's so hard when you are going through things like this. I know I need to trust God.
I went over to visit her and she looked so much better!
Her face is still a little lopsided, but much improved. She was more alert and more like her usual happy self. I am so thankful to God for helping her. Her balance is still off and she needs to be in the wheelchair. Things are better for now and we will continue to take things one day at a time, but we know that soon we will be faced with some large issues. Until then, we will enjoy every moment we have!


"He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers yeah strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will fall give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31


Hugs, Sharon

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