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4/19/2017 Latest post:
Welcome Bev's CaringBridge website. We would like it to keep family and friends updated and provide an opportunity for everyone to share their memories of her. We appreciate your support and we hope you will share your stories of love for her here.
On Saturday, April 15th my mom suffered a stroke while home alone, she fell in her living room. She pressed her life alert button for help and requested my sister Tracey come. My sister went to the house helped her off the floor and on to the sofa. In her usual fashion her concern was that it was 4 am and she said to Tracey "I'm sorry I got you up so early". Always thinking of someone else and not a being a bother has always been her way. The very next thing out of her mouth was " I need to go to the hospital". Tracey called back again on her life alert and requested an ambulance. Mom was taken to Mid Michigan Medical in Midland. Since Tracey is a nurse at Gratiot and had worked on Friday she knew they were full and also knew there was not a Neoroligist on staff there so she requested to go to Midland. The doctor says she was alert and talking when she arrived. But shortly thereafter she was unable to speak. They confirmed what my sister already knew and that she had had a stroke.
As most of you will already know she has suffered for many years. She has been a dialysis patient for 11 years and has had lots of complications related to that. She has congestive heart failure and COPD along with a long list of other issues. She has fought very hard to stay with us. Unfortunately she had already had a recent hospital stay in March because of a serious blood infection. She has been so weak particularly since then. On Sunday morning she had a MRI and this confirmed our worst fear, a significant stroke very near the core of the brain. The doctors words were "this is the worst case scenario".
My mom has always been very honest and clear with us about her wishes. She insisted on staying in her own home and living on her own. She reminded us regularly that she had no intention of ever going to one of "those places" and that she didn't want to be a burden. We always promised her we would abide by her wishes. So now we are at that point. On Monday morning we made a family decision to suspend her dialysis treatment and all other forms of support except for her oxygen that will help to keep her as comfortable as possible. Since she has been so honest with us we were also honest with her and told her of our decision explained to her what would happen. Most importantly no more pokes, no more needles, no more doctors and no more pain.
Although she cannot speak to us we know that she can hear us and we know that she understands what we are saying to her. She can open her eyes and she can hold your hand, and there's no letting go until she's good and ready. I was lucky enough to get a few big hugs and just like when I was a little girl she stroked my hair and wiped my tears off my cheek. As usual she is more worried about me than herself. I have set by her side each night late in the quiet and dark and just talked to her. We have covered it all sad times, funny stories, future plans and the reality of what is about to happen and I have assured her it is ok. We talked about her three grandsons, Josh, Caleb and Casey, and how they are the light of her life and how much joy they bring her. We talked about her 2 son in laws, Sylvain and Fred, and how she adores them both and is as close to them as if they were her own. It has brought her to a place of peace where she is comforted in knowing we each have a wonderful husband to look after us and love us so she doesn't have to worry. We talked about her dad, Bernie who is 91, and calls and checks on her daily and worries about her always. We talked about her nieces and nephews and all of the sister and brother in laws and how she has been so close with so many of them. We talked about her sister, Marcia, who had been her primary caregiver and transportation for so many years and how much she knows she has sacrificed for her. We talked about her church family and how she is so grateful for their unwavering love and support of her and how much every person there is special to her. And we talked about her Dialysis family and how they truely have been like a family to her. She has always loved the team there and enjoyed sharing homemade treats and spoiling them just a little.
She has had lots and lots of visitors(I think the hospital is considering one of those take a number now serving signs outside her door). But she loves them all and still needs them and will continue to need them so please keep them coming.
She will be going to hospice today. Our social worker is wonderful and is arranging her transport by EMS now. She will be at the Woodlands in Mt Pleasant and will be ready for visitors anytime after 2:30 this afternoon. I will post the address shortly.
You have all been a huge support to her over the years and she loves each of you. I would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes and post something here about her and your relationship or special memory of her. We will use this information later as we will be planning a service in her honor in June.
Much love to my beautiful, amazing, wonderful mom who I miss until the end of time.