Monday, April 14, 2014

Nursing Home ~ What do they know?

Image from FB
It's not easy to explain to anybody about the choices we make.  Most of the time they are just listening without hearing.  Now we no longer bother because what matters is that we know we are doing our best.

My MIL (Mom-in-Law) is in a Nursing Home.  In the course of these last years, I have been so thankful that she has been in good hands.  I have no doubt that she could have been happier in her own home or with us but that doesn't always translate into having the best care.

There were many instances when the experienced Staff Nurse handled minor emergencies or dealt with fluctuations in her blood sugar readings that an ordinary person would have just shrugged off. These innocent reactions could well turn out to be detrimental for someone in need of medical attention. 

Stephen and I have heard of seemingly healthy people dying before their time, even when they were in the care of their loved ones.  Another instance is seeing others looking far worse than my MIL even when they are being cared for by their own children.  

I've often wondered if I would always know what to do if my MIL lived with me. Would the care that I could give her be enough? Most times, I think not and it would probably be a case of always ringing the doctors or rushing to the hospital. I have also wondered if making a wrong call, in any instance, could result in an untimely death.  I wouldn't be able to live with that stress.

Sometimes my MIL's blood glucose level has dropped to below 4 mmol/l.  At other times, it has gone up to almost 20 mmol/l.  I am not a trained nurse and the symptoms can go unnoticed by me but the trained Staff Nurse always picks it up and makes the necessary adjustments.  As she is on insulin, it is vital that they watch for signs when she is hypoglycemic.  It is a huge responsibility that we are unable to shoulder.  

When she has edema, the nurses watch her water intake and cautions her to sip at regular intervals in order to stave off any thirst that her mind will accentuate.  How horrid would it be for me to have to tell my MIL that she cannot have more water than is stipulated!!  No, I wouldn't be able to do that. 

I recently read this on FB, "I'm not judging people who legitimately have to put their parents into a NURSING HOME if they cannot cope as it can be hard taking care of invalids on your own. But in nursing homes at least you're paying for care, you can visit them, monitor their welfare.". ~Erna M

Immediately, it struck a chord with me.  But then again, most people don't think this way.  

What do they know?

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