Author Topic: My mother-in-law  (Read 283 times)

Offline eriqjaffe

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My mother-in-law
« on: December 06, 2018, 09:42:32 AM »
All,

I mentioned that she was in the hospital in the announcements forum.  She went in last Tuesday, after having trouble breathing for nearly two days.  My wife basically had to force her to go.  She was suffering from pulmonary efflusions, which are essentially sacs of fluid around the lungs, constricting her breathing capacity.  They gave her something to drain that fluid and put her on oxygen, which seems to have taken care of that.

Of course, it's far more complicated than that, as they also determined that she was suffering from heart failure.  She had a massive heart attack a number of years ago, and may have had another recently - I'm not entirely clear on that because I'm getting a lot of this information third-hand (the doctors tell my brother-in-law, who tells my wife, who tells me).  They discovered more blockages when they performed an angiogram to check on her existing stents, but determined that the affected area of the heart is essentially just dead tissue by now.  Due to the heart issues her ejection fraction (a measurement of what percentage of blood the left ventricle pumps out with each beat), which is usually around 70% for a normal heart, is around 30%.  So her heart is functioning at somewhere below half capacity.

When they sent her home, they did so largely because there isn't really much they could have done for her.  While the lower heart capacity is bad, it's not necessarily fatal as long as she follows her doctor's advice, doesn't strain herself, and pays attention to her diet.  And therein lies the real problem.  She is extremely stubborn and just does what she wants.  She is diabetic, and will often have nothing but high-sugar foods (cream puffs for breakfast!) and then wonder why she feels so terrible.  My wife went over to check on her last night, and she was talking about moving furniture, which goes pretty clearly against the whole "don't strain herself" thing.  She has always said that she wants to just go quietly at home, and I'm pretty sure that, that will win out over self-preservation in the end.

Offline CMH

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Re: My mother-in-law
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 12:08:40 PM »
I'll sound like a broken record saying this since you already mentioned it and it sounds like your mother-in-law is pretty much like most Americans when faced with heart failure...diet is so so so important.

One or two guys here know this but I had a heart attack nearly four years ago. Went into cardiac arrest for 7 minutes. Got lucky to have an EMT that didn't want to give up on me. Fort Collins probably not so lucky.

The impacted area of my heart (which I believe was also the left ventricle) was at 30% as well.

I used to work out a lot but I admit I've slacked a lot since the heart attack. I still play baseball (though I stopped this winter) but I don't lift or run as much or at all like I did before the heart attack. But, my diet had a lot to do with me getting my heart back to 60-70% capacity. Doctor says other than clear trauma to the heart (which won't ever go away), my heart is behaving and looks like nothing ever happened to it.

So here is where I talk about diet because it will likely aggravate most Americans that may eventually get a heart attack. I went 100% vegan. In fact, I was also 100% oil-free for two years. I'm not oil-free anymore though I do watch my intake, but I remain 100% vegan and have no plans on going back. It's not easy especially if you don't cook your own meals or live in an area that doesn't have many vegan restaurants (for those times you just want someone else to make your meal because you're lazy) but it's the best advice I can give.

Now, I understand that if someone is already going to fight you on the food they want to eat, it's probably impossible to have them go vegan. And I'm not going to go into the whole ethical reasons or whatever. I did it purely for my health and I've seen positive results. I hope maybe more vegetables and healthy foods become a part of her diet. It will help.
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Offline eriqjaffe

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Re: My mother-in-law
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 03:43:30 PM »
First off, holy crap!  I don't remember that!

And yeah, diet would make a huge difference.  But it would make a huge difference for her diabetes and she didn't change.  Heck, she was literally trying to get the hospital to give her cream pies.  :/

Offline CMH

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Re: My mother-in-law
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2018, 01:13:41 PM »
I didn't really make it public. I think I told a couple people in passing for some reason. I don't remember why. Maybe trade talks that stopped while I was in the hospital? I don't recall.

But I'm here and I'm just as pissed at this team!

I really do hope your mother-in-law can eat at least a little bit healthier.
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Offline eriqjaffe

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Re: My mother-in-law
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2018, 08:48:44 AM »
Well, so far she's been doing a lot better.  It's helping that a lot of her other kids (my wife is the youngest of 9, although only my wife and one of her brothers lives in the midwest) have been checking in on her.  A couple of my in-laws flew in late last week and more are going to be coming during December.  So she's being informally monitored for the time being, hopefully some of this will stick.

Offline eriqjaffe

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Re: My mother-in-law
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 10:54:51 AM »
So nearly two months later and she's still doing really well.  I honestly think this threw a real scare into her, which was probably what she really needed to make some real changes to her life.  She has a helper come in a couple times a week (it's a woman who helps a few other residents of her full-of-old-people-but-not-assisted-living condo), and she's finally decided that it's time to stop driving.

One of the most telling things comes with a bit of backstory - back in 2000, my wife legally changed her first and middle names (we were already married at this point), as she had never liked her given name.  My mother-in-law straight-up refused to respect my wife's wishes and continued to call her by her birth name even when point-blank asked not to.  My wife's birthday was last week (happy birthday, wife), and my mother-in-law sent a birthday card - with my wife's legal name on the envelope.  It's the first time that she's ever referred to my wife by her legal name.  We never expected that to happen.

Offline King Charles XII of Sweden

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Re: My mother-in-law
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 10:23:47 AM »
Well that's a fairly nice change, glad it was good news!

Offline CMH

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Re: My mother-in-law
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2019, 04:05:30 PM »
This is nice to hear.

Perhaps it did spark some change in her. I guess people behave in trivial ways when their life was / is in danger. Hopefully this is one of many positive steps ongoing or yet to come.
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