Many of you may know Ruth Ann and Danny from their days building Danny King's Catfish Bait. You might know Mom from working at the church, or the paper office, or the college over the years. If you know them, you will know they won't ask, so I'm asking for them, during a time in which Mom needs help.
Mom has a plethera of physical ailments, the most life-threatening is her lungs. Pain-wise it is her deteriorating bones and consequent muscle loss caused by rheumatoid and osteoarthritis and scoliosis in her back, as well as osteoporosis. She can't have surgery because of her lungs, so knee replacements, hiatal hernia repair, etc. are not an option. Many things cannot be fixed like her compaction of the L's into a crooked mass in her lower back or the sciatic nerve damage from deformation occuring, but it is her lung condition that is deteriorating the quickest. When you can't maintain good lung condition, your blood doesn't carry enough O2 to your body, your muscles weaken, you begin to silently aspirate, your bronchial tubes stay congested, and your lungs fill with fluid, sometimes without notice, much like the heart can arrest. Everything becomes weaker, and all the other conditions are affected adversely. Most pain meds slow respiration, and she's having to live with a lot of pain as the medicine for that makes her lungs worse. It is a vicious cycle. This is the best I understand what is happening to Mom. We do the best we can to coordinate it all and make her comfortable and able to enjoy life.
She has COPD, pneumonia scarring, and is currently on 3.5 L O2, which is still too high, but necessary at this time. She has been in rehab with electronic throat treatments to help strenghthen her swallowing for a month, and continues regular therapy at home. All of her liquid intake has to be thickened (yuck) to prevent the silent aspiration.
Since starting this, I have also dug deep into getting whatever help was out there for her needs, and thanks to some wonderful people, including her awesome case workers, Mom now has an additional program that will be able to help with some things not normally covered, like some dental and the lift chair. The money here is being used for things that directly benefit Mom that are expensive and out of pocket, like her thickener, her out of pocket meds, medical bills that mounted up, things not covered by any program I have found, and for the bed project on the wish list. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - If anyone knows of someone with the right kind of used hospital bed - the Hill-Rom with the extra bend so the patient stays in position better, rather than continually sliding down, please contact me. It is hard to keep her in a proper reclining position, so that her lungs can be in a straight position for air flow, which causes stagnation of the lower lobes and more fluid buildup, thus pneumonia :(. I am also looking for a used hopital table and a used wheel chair (none of these are covered items through insurance). We may need a lift, but I think APS may help us with that. We need a vehicle she is able to get in and out of. We are about to the last straw with trying to get her in a pickup, and I'm working on that, as well. If you know of any ways to get these items used, please let me know.
I want to thank each and every one of you who has read this for your support of all kinds: your love, concern, thoughtfulness, prayers, and for your donations of all kinds. Whether monetary or not, your giving of yourself for mom in time, visits, calls, emails - all of it has made such a huge difference to her. You have all lifted her up in some way and this helps her to have the power to heal.
We had an overnight stay last week for viral infection and dehydration. She continues to love her thickened liquids (not) and of course, her therapies (not), but she is working hard to do what she needs to and get better. She still has bronchitis and they are watching her lungs closely as they are continuing to have pneumonia spots. She has a cat scan in two weeks for an occlusion in the lower left. She remains weak, and some days are better than others, but we are trying to do all we can to help her enjoy life and have what she needs. Her lift chair should be delivered soon, and I am working on the wheel chair and mattress. She still has 3 different breathing treatments four times a day and is on 3.5L O2, which is too high for COPD, but any less, and her O2 falls below 90 continually.
We are relocating to Electra, in order that she can be transported to the hospital more quickly by professionals when there is an emergency, and so that she can make the doctor's appointments and such more easily. I think it will be a huge peace of mind to all the family to know we can get her help fast.
We plan to keep her at home for as long as humanly possible, and it is owed to all of you that we have been able to keep going and walk through the last two months, especially, and words cannot express the gratefulness I feel toward you all. You are making it possible to care for her. God Bless You All! She cannot be left alone, and is unable to get out, which drives her crazy, so if you can visit, I can't tell you what it means to her to see people and get to interact some. She cannot be left alone, so if anyone can sit occasionally, so that I can get out some, I appreciate that, as well.
Thank you for viewing, and for helping if you can spare a dollar or two to meet the goals of getting her what she needs. Every bit helps. If you cannot, please help by continuing to pass this along to others for her. If you need other information, or want to do something else for them outside of this format, mail me privately or on Facebook. Bless you all, and thank you for any assistance you can provide for them, Dee And above all, please keep Mama in your prayers.
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