Ardy (Ardath) Bridges

First post: Aug 26, 2021 Latest post: Sep 1, 2021
We are so sad to let you all know that Mom is reaching the end of her time with us. For those of you who aren't aware, it has been a rough four years for her. Her open heart surgery in 2017, followed by a mild stroke in 2018 started her down a road of steady decline. Unfortunately, we discovered that she was diagnosed with dementia which was exacerbated by these other health issues.

We were so fortunate to find the community of Londonderry, an independent senior living community in Easton, and Mom and Dad moved into a brand new beautiful cottage in June 2018. They have enjoyed meeting many friends and their home has been a wonderful place for our family to visit. The  isolation of the Covid pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, particularly the elderly who so desperately need socialization. Although it was rough on our parents, they've had each other. Luckily our family was able to gradually come for visits which was a God send for all of us.

Unfortunately, Mom's health problems required her to move to a nursing home in Easton in October 2020. Due to Covid restrictions, we could not visit her and we wouldn't wish a window visit on anyone. This was horrible for all of us. We know this had a significant impact on the progression of her disease. Dad vigilantly called her daily with mixed success, which was painful.

Meanwhile, Dad has remained his usual witty self. We have been so blessed that his mind has been pretty impressive for 88. Although he is sad that he can no longer hold court with confidence, he is still a great conversationalist and a heck of a good time. We were worried about him when Mom left because things were still shut down and he was very isolated. When social opportunities reopened, we were so happy to see him re-engage with his crew and begin to build a new stage of his life.

Unfortunately, he had a fall in late July and fractured his right shoulder which  landed him in a hospital rehab in Delaware. The nature of his injury made it difficult for him to really access his physical therapy to improve his leg strength and he was then referred for a longer term of physical therapy in a nursing home setting.

You can't keep these love birds apart. We were very fortunate there was room for him at our Mom's nursing home facility. After a sufficient quarantine, we were all thrilled to find out that he and Mom could be moved in together in the same room last week. Wow, were they happy. Dad has always said that he just wants to see her and be with her and he got his wish.

Unfortunately, last Friday he was taken to the hospital with what turned out to be some bleeding stomach ulcers. He was treated and seems to be improving. Monday, we received word that Mom was also taken to the ER with severe dehydration and a bacterial infection. She was very very sick. We are so blessed that our parents have been very clear about their end of life wishes. Although we are very sad, we are relieved to know we can support her wishes. After consulting with some amazing doctors, we are letting Mom go.

When Laurie and I got to the hospital, the ER doctor allowed Leslie to visit with Mom ("there's policy and then there's being human") and Laurie went to visit with Dad and explained what was happening. Although  he is so sad, he understands the situation. Again, against all odds, the hospital went out of their way to place our parents in the same room in the palliative care unit in the hospital. This allowed Leslie, Laurie and her daughter Jennifer unlimited access to both of them, truly a gift. They were then both transferred yesterday back to the nursing home where Mom is receiving hospice support and Dad is resuming his physical therapy.

We want to be clear, although our parents both are dealing with separate challenges, their outcomes will be different. We know we will say goodbye to Mom, but Dad wants to successfully work hard to come home. Once we lose Mom our visitation options will stop for Dad and we are very worried about the impact this will have on him. Please say a prayer for him during this difficult time. We don't want this to be the end of his time with us.

Although it is with a heavy heart that we are entering the last leg of our Mom's journey, we are comforted to know that she will be freed from the pain and restrictions of all of her health issues. We love you Mom and we are honored to go the distance with you.

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