Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

October 17, 2013

WILLIAMS: Nothing is as black and white as you had planned

My mother is in a nursing home temporarily — a beautiful new one in Wabash, Wellbrooke. It sometimes takes me two or three times to get the name right. (Wellbridge? Wellstone? Wellborough?)

Mom had a stroke about 10 days ago. I knew something was wrong as soon as she got up because her speech was completely garbled. I called her doctor who told me to take her to the emergency room. She was in the hospital for five days until they sent her to Wellbrooke for rehab.

In addition to the speech problem, the stroke left her with weakness on her right side. She can’t use her right hand and her right leg can’t be trusted to hold firm. The worst side-effect though is difficulty swallowing. She’s been on a puree diet. Pureed roast beef loses something in the translation.

It is strange how life has a habit of testing your most long-held beliefs. My husband had always said he’d never go through the hassle of cancer treatment if he ever got the Big C. But when the time came and his doctor said he’d live two months without any treatment but closer to two years if he agreed to chemo and radiation, he signed on the dotted line without hesitation. (He lived 19 months).

Now, Mom. I had always sworn I’d never put my mother in a nursing home (which I very carefully call a “rehabilitation facility” to her) unless she became totally bedfast. I never thought about swallowing. The main concern is that she will aspirate food into her lung and get pneumonia. That is a situation I don’t feel qualified to deal with.

And living wills. Mom and I have both had one forever. We both blithely signed off on no extraordinary efforts to save us, no feeding tubes. We both agreed to Do Not Resuscitate orders. Then they said at Wellbrooke that if they couldn’t get her swallowing under control, they might have to resort to a feeding tube in order for her to receive proper nutrition, I had to re-evaluate. I am her power of attorney and those difficult decisions are mine to make.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • THEIR VIEW: Data confirms our obsession with sports Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 30, 2014

  • RAMPBELL: Keeping the sick at home Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.The Big Apple, you see, is joining a handful of other trailblazing cities such as Washington, San Francisco

    July 30, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Patacsil was no ordinary Joe Somebody forgot to tell Joe Patacsil that if he wanted to wrestle at a Big Ten university with black and gold as its school colors ... well, most people who know anything about college wrestling today might have said he picked the wrong one -- Purdue

    July 30, 2014

  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Are businesses missing out on interns? Are businesses missingout on interns?Admittedly we’re a little biased, but the Indiana INTERNnet and Indiana Chamber teams believe your company is not operating at full capacity if you aren’t hosting an internship program. Missing out on increased pr

    July 29, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the reunion “Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 29, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Indiana's right-to-work law unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 29, 2014

  • COATS: What to do next with Putin, Ukraine The tragic death of 298 people on board Malaysian Airlines flight 17 in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine marks a moment when words of disapproval and expressions of grief are not enough. This is a moment when action must follow the outrage and rhetor

    July 28, 2014

  • LYONS: The most powerful men in the world? Search the phrase “the most powerful man in the world” and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weightlifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It’s a cant term TV news anchors use to

    July 28, 2014

  • CEPEDA: What are students to eat now Remember last year’s hysteria over school lunches? Administrators, cafeteria workers, students and parents across the country freaked out when — gasp! — school lunches were made healthier.News reports throughout the 2012-13 school year — when lunch s

    July 27, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.