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The Harry Story

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Old 06-21-2005, 03:37 PM   #1
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Since I've had several PM's asking about Harry, I thought I'd just clue oldies and newbies in on his status. Please excuse me for not responding individually.

Harry had a stroke in September 2003 that left him with some physical and intellectual impairments. We managed to keep him at home by using some home support services but things were deteriorating. He is 83, diabetic, and has occasional urinary and fecal incontinence as well. It's been rough!

Something was bound to happen, of course. On June 2, when I was out at a meeting, he fell and got a major gash (11 stitches!) in his head and broke six ribs, one of which perforated his lung. He completely ignored the Lifeline help button which he has been wearing for nearly two years! He was in hospital for nearly three weeks and has now been moved to convalescent care in a private room in a Seniors' Retirement Residence. That will probably be where he stays as I can no longer manage things at home and have any kind of life. Today's transfer went fine although H. still thinks the move is temporary. If he deteriorates more, we will be moving him to a Long Term Care Facility.

I appreciate all the support, prayers and hugs from all you chickies. This is certainly a wonderful place.

Now that that's settled, I'm planning to just get on with Life and maybe lose some weight! So, my life has been in transition but it's now going full speed ahead.

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Old 06-21-2005, 03:58 PM   #2
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My heart goes out to you and Harry....I'm sure he will get the care and support he needs from his new home , and the love from you...

As an ex caregiver to a stroke survivor I know the toll it takes on your own health, emotionally and physically. This move is the best thing for both of you...
Now on to your next chapter....!
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Old 06-21-2005, 04:25 PM   #3
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I too cared for my mother when she had a stroke at the ripe old age of 53 (she had her 3rd heart attack and kidney failure a few weeks and days before the stroke).

She's now in a long term facility as I my younger sister and I could not change her diapers and keep up with meds and take care of ourselves in the process (I was just graduating college when this happened).

My mother and I didn't get along and she is no longer mentally all there. I still harbor lots of guilt/anger so I know how it takes a toll too. Be good to yourself, ok?
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Old 06-21-2005, 05:16 PM   #4
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Big hugs to all three of you!

Being a caretaker and taking care of yourself is sometimes impossible to do at the same time. I'm so glad, Ruth, that things worked out so that Harry can get the care he needs without hurting you in the process. I know that 'old Harry' wouldn't want that at all...and 'new Harry' doesn't either, even if he doesn't know it. I know that having him in a good home will help you have the energy and time to focus on your own health and weight loss journey. And I bet Hersh will slim down too! You know that you and Harry and your darling Girls are in my prayers, especially today.
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Old 06-21-2005, 05:45 PM   #5
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Ruth....(((((hugs))))) (enough said)
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Old 06-21-2005, 06:20 PM   #6
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Ruth ((hugs)) to you! You are an amazing woman!! Harry & everyone in here knows it - hope you do too! Take care hon!
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Old 06-21-2005, 06:21 PM   #7
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Ruth, thank you so much for taking time out of your crazy day to let us know how things went. I have thought about the both of you all day. As difficult as this decision was, I'm sure, I know that now you will have the peace of mind knowing that Harry is being well looked after 24/7. Love ya~
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:17 PM   #8
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Ruth,

Hugs to you and the girls. I imagine they will get extra cuddles with you.
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Old 06-21-2005, 08:15 PM   #9
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Ruth, did you go to the Long Horn for dinner? It was so good to hear your voice today... I like to know how you're doing. For real. (she sounded DAMNED good, girls!)
Big hugs, sweetie...
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:24 PM   #10
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I took care of my mother after she had complications from a knee surgery for 3 months. And even though 3 months doesn't sound like a long time it can really drain you. You have to remember to take care of yourself as well as your family. I know it's hard to do. Hang in there and take good care of yourself and the girls.
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:25 PM   #11
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Hey Ruth - I had no idea what was going on but Tippy mentioned your post in our daily thread on the depression boards.

Just wanted to come and read your post so I would know how to pray for you and your dear hubby and I want to let you know that I will do that - be praying for both of you.

Hugs & Prayers & More Hugs,
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Old 06-21-2005, 11:20 PM   #12
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Ruth and prayers to you and DH...
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:06 AM   #13
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Ruth You have made the right desicion altho I know it was not an easy one.This is something I have talked to my husband and children many times. I wish I could care for hubby and vice versa no matter what but that can not be. I have told all my family to put me where I will be cared for when the time comes.My only request is that they rotate when they visit so staff never knows for sure when they are coming.Just that they come often.That I learned from my mom and sister who were both geriatric nurses.
My two younger girls do not like the idea so I have to remind them often. They don't like my living will either but we have to plan ahead.
You have done your best to care for Harry at home but you need to take care of yourself. What you have done is far more loving than trying to care for him yourself.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:11 AM   #14
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Eleni, that was the most beautiful post...
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Old 06-22-2005, 10:28 AM   #15
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My prayers are with you, Ruth.
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