Yeah. This roller coast is moving far, far too fast for me to keep up with on this blog.
What roller coaster, you ask?
The one my family got on when Daddy and Mia got sick. You know, the one that keeps going up and down and twisting and changing directions faster than I can process. The one that is my life and emotional state of being right now. That one.
So where was I?
Oh yes. We’d been told it was time to let Mia go, and we were preparing to do just that. Here’s how that roller coaster went…
Hurtling Downward: Making the Decision
First, let me start off with the emotional hell one experiences when facing that decision. It is, without question, the worst decision you can ever imagine. Add to it the fact that the life in question belongs to a woman who is only 59 years old, your only remaining parental figure, and she can look you in the eye and recognize you when you’re in the room with her.
Her doctors explained that she was suffering and the continued effort to keep her going was well outside of her medical directive and wishes. But what do you do? She’s alert, for gods sake.
Do you ASK her if she wants to be taken off of life support? I compared that to being asked if I wanted to get into a car that I knew would end in a firey crash – my answer, what I expected hers to be should we have asked, would be giant “HELL NO.”
And so the next thought is, well… okay… if she says “no” she doesn’t want her plug pulled… do we tell her what her life is going to be like? Do we drop the Daddy-bomb? Do we tell her that she will never walk again? Do we explain that laying in this bed, with this trach, is likely as good as it gets? And after we do that, how much time do we give her to change her mind from “no” to “yes?”
Which leads to the logical conclusion of DO NOT TELL HER. Just gather around, explain about Daddy, and tell her we’ll always be there and we love her and everything is okay… and let her go.
And so that’s what we planned to do on Friday, April 11th.
Corkscrew Twists and Turns: Scrambling for Finances
The second worst part of letting someone go is worrying about how you’ll “take care of them.” I think we all know what that means so I’ll skip the details.
We were able to take care of Daddy because we had Power of Attorney for Mia and all of their bank accounts were shared so there was plenty of money available for us. But when Mia goes, all access to all accounts will be shut off and everything will go into Probate. We already have a probate attorney from losing Daddy, but the process still takes anywhere from 6months to a year.
Not to mention, Mia had all of Daddy’s life insurance funds coming in and both Cari and I needed access to those funds to ensure everything keeps running at the house.
So in a seriously epic two day period, Cari, Corey, and I coordinated a state-wide effort to shuffle hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mia’s accounts into a new, shared one for us so that should anything happen to her, we would be able to take care of her, the dogs, and the house while everything else went through probate.
I’ll blog about “Advice to People with Children or Parents or Pets or Assets or ANY Loved Ones At All” later, but for purposes of this conversation just know that we HAD to wait until after 9am on April 11th to let Mia go to ensure we would have the funds available to take care of her.
Climbing Back Up: A Miracle?
The doctors called Cari on Sunday, April 6th and encouraged her not to wait until April 11th. They said Mia was suffering, her body was breaking down, and the waiting was unfair to her. Now, he said all of this VERY nicely, but he was being honest and giving us his honest opinion.
Well, letting her go on April 6th wasn’t an option. We had to wait til the 11th.
So on the 8th, Cari and Cliff headed down to Melbourne from Pensacola, and on their way they got a call…. not that Mia had died before we could get finances under control, or that she’d gotten even worse. Oh no. This roller coaster was heading up – the call was that Mia was doing REALLY WELL.
Cari, Corey, and Cliff went to see Mia that night and it was like a miracle had happened – she was mouthing complete sentences (something she should have been able to do weeks ago), she was moving, she was more alert than she’s ever been and she was answering EVERY question they asked her.
Considering the best night she’d had to-date was answering 4 questions in a 3 hour period, that was seriously effing miraculous.
Vince and I went to see her Thursday with the other three kids, on the 9th, and it was like someone had suddenly woken Mia up. It was UN EFFING REAL. Her eyes are wide, you can tell she is TOTALLY, 100% “in there,” and she is responding to everything.
Hanging On Tight: Planning for a New Direction
Now we’re back into planning Mia’s long-term health care. So is the hospital, actually.
She’s being weened off of the ventilator as we speak, and there are all sorts of tests on the horizon to figure out why she still can’t move. It could be muscular, it could be nervous system, we don’t know but we need to find out.
But most of all we are taking things one HOUR at a time, planning for every possible scenario, and holding on to anything stable as tightly as possible.