The “critical incident” decisions are always difficult


I’m back in the emergency room with mom. She had a fall and they expect to find a broken hip. As I await the X-ray results, I’m worried about the coming choice I will face.

I’ve been here before with dad. He was in good health but a little forgetful before he fell on the racquetball court. He returned physically but his cognitive issues were undeniable after surgery.

Mom at least recognizes me most days. The waiting has me imagining the worst. Last year pain medication landed mom in hospice. How will she fare with the morphine? What if she needs surgery? It’s these moments and choices we all fear. Dreaded.

15 thoughts on “The “critical incident” decisions are always difficult

  1. Toughest thing there is, because good outcomes are so rare. We had a relative about your mom’s age, who still had her full faculties, fell and broke the hip early this year. She wanted the surgery, but she never really regained consciousness after the surgery, passed away about two weeks after surgery. Old people just don’t do well with the anesthesia and the insult to their system that major surgery is. Look those docs in the eye and ask them what they would do if she were their mother. See if you have any friends /acquaintances who are docs or nurses who have seen lots of these cases, they will tell you what outcomes they see, let you know what you can expect. The drugs are tough on old people, but pain will make old people act like they’re in a psychotic episode too. Back in the 1980s, my slightly demented grandmother started acting psychotic in the nursing home. She had been treated for schizophrenia when young, so they took her to the psych hospital. Somewhere along the line, maybe at the psych hospital, they discovered that she had had an untreated broken pelvis, probably from an unreported fall. So she wasn’t nuts, just in so much pain she couldn’t communicate.

  2. Kay, I’m thinking of you during these difficult hours and days. Please do not hesitate to let me know if I can do anything for you or help in any way. Hugs.

  3. Hi Kay thinking of you at this difficult time. I just hope that your mum has not damaged her hip. I’ve had both hips replaced and it takes a while to get back to normal. Your mum could do without all of that.

  4. Dear Kay, I read your posts regularly, my husband has dementia, and I know that whatever difficult choices you have to face you will make with love and with the best possible care for your mom. With all the sad but important knowledge you gain from your father’s situation you can look at that info as a gift of love from your dad to your mom. I know you have her best interest and least amount of pain for her in mind. We would like to keep them here with us and enjoy their presents but their best interest take precedence .God bless you and you remain in my prayers

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