I knew my southern aunt and her daughter in law were coming north this morning to see my auntie. This was on the heels of rudely bracing the care giver week before last and taking exception to my decisions because a nephew is not family…only children or brothers or sisters are real family. The expectation today was of a possible confrontation so the care giver insisted I be there upon their arrival.
Yesterday, I visited an attorney to explore guardianship for my aunt. He was very helpful and created a file…but, he suggested I attempt to make peace with the family rather than create a contentious environment that would not suit anyone, especially my aunt. He has all the paperwork needed to proceed, so in the event it is need he can proceed.
But, this morning, I took a deep breath and decided to reach out and speak frankly and see where it went. So, I briefed my other aunt about everything I could to set the record straight and explain the progression of events that has resulted in my auntie having a broken knee, broken neck, broken forearm. My efforts seemed to calm the situation.
The most telling conversation was interesting. A year and a half ago, I found my dear aunt near death. She had collapsed and was buried beneath stuff. Hypothermic and delirious, she was transported to the the hospital where she hung onto life. A discussion ensued in the hallway between the doctors, my southern aunt and myself. It dealt with the immediacy of saving my auntie’s life and the need for inserting a pace maker and some other cardio fine tuning. My southern aunt said matter of factly ‘letter her go, it is her time’…I called my mom, herself a few weeks before her own death, and asked her what she thought…she said ‘save her, she would want to live’. The doctors waited for a consensus. There was none. I said, I asserted, for them to save her and do reasonable procedures. They did and she lived and she thanked me over and over. In fact, she has joked about the 7 year life span of the pace maker battery…saying she intends to get her monies worth.
Today, the conversation between my southern aunt and me ended with my aunt saying ‘do you remember the decision you forced on your aunt? Do your remember me telling you to let her go, it was her time to go? Yes, I said. She continued, ‘look what has come of your decision; you have caused this. She should not be going through this and you have yourself to ask if she is better off. Look at her. Is this living?’ Norway Elder Care
That matter of fact reasoning will no doubt be the death knell for many an elder in the years to come as the boomer generation buries the health care resources. Cold, calculating decisions will most likely be made that would satisfy my ice maiden aunt. But, because my auntie lived, I have had the joy getting to know her and falling in love with her. Yes, now the hard part.
Oh, my auntie: she refused her meds last night. So, she had pain and didn’t really sleep. She attempted to escape her bed. She did not call for help. She tried to crawl over the top of the side rail. The in the room care giver was alerted and stopped the probable calamity. Today, my aunt was full bore back into the ‘when am I going home?’