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3:00 am phone calls are rarely good

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Early this morning, 3:00 am my phone rang. It was an operator from Life Alert calling to tell me that my sister had fallen while trying to get into bed and she couldn't get up . A little background on my sis. She has medical problems too numerous to list and takes medications too numerous to count. She has always been a big gal which has taken its toll on her body. She uses a walker because she has so much trouble moving around.

My hubby & myself were over to her apartment yesterday for dinner & she was having a bad day health wise, barely able to move even with her walker. DS told me she had been having episodes where she would have very labored breathing but it alway passed in a minute or two. She mentioned it to her Doctor recently. Doc reminder her about her history of a pulmonary embolism about 2 years back and advised to go to the hospital the next time it happened.

At dinner, my hubby and myself did all the work because I could see how fatigued she was. I mentioned her fatigue to DH on the way home and of course he didn't notice anything different about her.

Well after we left she was so exhausted that she wasn't able to get into her bedroom to go to sleep. She attempted to sleep in her recliner but that ended up being too uncomfortable for her. So at about 2:45 am she got up, tried to get in her bed and was too weak to do it and slipped off the bed onto the floor. Fortunately she still has her Life Alert on and they responded immediately. DS told them she was a very large woman, couldn't get herself up and needed help. Life Alert called the local EMS who came quickly along with a fire crew. My sis also asked Life Alert to call me so I could come too.

It took us about 20 minute to get there. By that time EMS + fire squad were leaving. We let ourselves into her apartment, all the lights were on and she was tucked in bed with her CPAP on. She said they examined her & fortunately she wasn't hurt, so they got her up & put her in bed. They wanted to take her to the hospital as a precaution and she declined.

I asked her again did she want us to take her the hospital per her Dr's advise when she got so weak she could barely move. Nope she wanted none of that. She apologized for having Life Alert call me, thanked us for coming and said she was going to sleep now. So we turned off the lights, turned around and went home.

She lives in a senior apartment complex but not an assisted living facility. I've tried to plant that seed in her head that an assisted living apartment would be a good option for her but she insists that she doesn't need that. Those are for old people who can't take care of themselves. Well this is the 3rd time this has happened during the night & I'm going to have to have "The discussion " with her again. I already know what she will say but I have to give it another try.

When we got home, back in bed, I thanked hubby for driving me there. His response was "You know, this is going to keep happening and one of these times it won't be a false alarm. Just the support I needed at 4:00am!

DH & DS only get along because they both love me... But that's a topic for a whole other blog.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I find that most of what I might say has already been said, and better said, before me, BUT I really think that MAVERICK59 makes some good points, especially the meeting her at the hospital, and getting her to face the hard decisions she must make...... you DO need to reclaim some of your life, and what your sister needs is the kind of Tough Love described...

    Hang in there, dear... you know that we are rooting for you!
    918 days ago
    918 days ago
  • JAMER123
    Your sister and my mom sound an awfully lot alike. Mom was told by the Dr. she needed to go to assisted living and she flatly refused. One thing we may do in the future is hire homecare to be there for her during the night. If there is no medical need for care then an aide or sitter can be there. Right now we live close to mom and find she is hording groceries. Ran out of room to put things away. And she also hasn't put anything else away since we left the park last spring. So there is work to do and that will also be a heavy discussion. So I totally understand both side of the problem. Good luck and blessing that your sister will come around and see she isn't able to be alone.
    918 days ago
    Oh, my goodness. All I can say is that you're a good sister, and your sister is so fortunate/blessed to have you and your husband looking out for her. As for her reluctance to give up her independence, it's understandable, but we all get there eventually. I'll be thinking of you in this...
    918 days ago
    So very sorry. Giving up independence is to accept the huge life change that lies ahead.
    918 days ago
    From your sister's standpoint, she doesn't want to face that she can no longer live a safe independent lifestyle. If she goes to the doctor, she may have to face the reality that she needs assisted living. So sorry that she is being so stubborn and doesn't realize the trauma she is putting your family through.
    918 days ago
    Bummer! Touch love is never easy.
    918 days ago
    How scary! I hope the talk goes better this time.
    918 days ago
    How scared, frustrated and worried you must be. I know you love your sister but you do know what she truly needs as well as what you need for your own family sanity and well being. It will be beyond difficult but she will have no choice but look for a place that will allow you to be less involved in her health safety. She needs to know that you will most certainly be there for her at other times and still want to be visiting, enjoying meals together, etc. I agree that now while she can be part of the selection process would be much better for her as opposed to down the line having someone else do it for her.
    918 days ago
    Lizzie, what a sad story. I am so sorry this is happening to your sister and to you and your family. I know the talk is hard, we had to have that talk with my mom a few years ago. ( my mother lay on the floor for 17 hours before she was found. After mom finally agreed to move into assisted living she still fell 3 separate times in the bathroom in her room, hitting her head on the sink and needing stiches) I understand your sister wanting to remain independent in her own place, but at the same time she is being shellfish and unfair with the fear and anxiety she is causing you to live with on a daily basis. Her 'independence' is just an illusion now. If she continues to insist on living in her own place I think I would put a couple of conditions down. If this happens again you will not come to her home but you will only meet her at the hospital after the paramedics have taken her there. You also need full clarification now on what her final wishes are because if the next fall is fatal or it takes emergency services to long to reach her and she dies, what are her final wishes. It might feel mean to say these things to her, but the reality of the situation is the reality you have to live with.
    B-T-W, after my mom moved and adjusted to her new surroundings, she was happy she moved. There were a lot of very nice people and activities at the facility including church services my mom attended.
    It is better to find a good place now while your sister can have some say in the matter instead of waiting until she is hospitalized and then her having to settle for which ever facility the doctor ships her to.
    Good luck, keep us updated on how she is doing.
    918 days ago
    Sadly, I do believe that hubby is correct. She needs to see a doctor or lung specialist and get some help. He likely did was not the most tactful at 4 am either but I am sure that he is looking out for you. Best wishes.
    918 days ago
    That's too bad sounds like you have alot on your plate. hopefully you can get her move to where help would be more available emoticon
    918 days ago
  • no profile photo CYNTHHL
    So sorry that all this has happened to all of you - you, your husband and your sister! Sounds so stressful and the lack of sleep takes a big toll!! Take good care of yourself today! Our conversations at 4 am rarely go well, as I'm sure you know.
    918 days ago
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