For more than 24 hours my mother lay outside on the back porch. Attempts to rise only put lacerations along her skin. She lacked the strength to call out, and no one would have heard anyway. The yard is big, and traffic on the nearby streets drowned out her feeble cries.
She wasn't discovered until late in the afternoon on Sunday, June 1st.
When she got to the hospital she was talking, able to joke with the doctors, actually seemed very much herself despite the injuries that came from the trauma and exposure to the elements.
The next morning she had a massive stroke, and lost all ability to comminicate at all.
My mom lives in Wisconsin. To get here, I had to drive from Colorado as quickly as I could - a trip that took three days due to weather and my own personal problems with a panic disorder and fibromyalgia. I had to drive because an inner ear problem makes flying impossible. During that time my mother lost the ability to control her movements, the ability to speak, and even seemed to lose herself. By the time I had gotten here I thought I'd prepared myself for what I would have to do next.
I didn't realize she'd never set up a financial power of attorney so I could do it.
(please please please talk to your loved ones about setting up durable power of attorney BEFORE you ever have need of it. I can't emphasize this enough!)
While I have the medical power of attorney, I'm awaiting a court date of AUGUST 1st, eight weeks away. In the meantime, I'm stranded 1,100 miles away from my family without the means to go home and come back (something I had hoped to do once she was stabilized). I'm staying in her house - with no means to pay the power bill or phone bill. And the money I used to get here is dwindling fast, despite a need to buy food and gas for the van so I can go back and forth to the hospital.
This is a terrifying and difficult situation compounded by many other elements - her elderly dog needs medication. Her automobile insurance is about to be cancelled (something I'm loathe to let happen, because if I WERE to leave I would try to return by train and had hoped to use that vehicle).
Social services is trying to help, but everything takes time. In the meantime I'm also concerned about my own family back in Colorado. My husband works 60 hours a week at 2 jobs to make ends meet. My 15 year old daughter is taking care of the other children almost entirely on her own (my oldest son, 19, is home, but also has Asperger's Syndrome which complicates matters). For me to be gone 8 weeks is not only impractical, but worrisome.
The prognosis isn't good. My mom has not had any progress at all since the stroke. She cannot speak, and while her eyes watch me intently, there is no trace of recognition in them more than half the time. But she smiles sometimes, and can move her left hand a little bit. The doctors will release her to a nursing home once her injuries from the fall have healed to where they can do so safely. But some of the injuries aren't healing very well and now we're waiting on a sugical consult. (Please pray that this turns around!)
(Mom with dog therapy at the hospital. She even was able to pet the dog a little bit and SMILED before she went back to sleep!)
Several people came to me when they heard my story and said, "Make a way for us to help." Several suggested GoFundMe.com as an alternative to trying to manage this alone. To that end I have created this account and am humbling myself to ask for help.
The amount I'm asking for seems high, but this is why I'm asking what I am.
1. The first $1,000 would go toward paying bills at the house and covering the expenses of just BEING here. Maintaining the status quo.
2. The next $500 is what I would need to drive home again after mom is moved to a nursing home where she can get additional rehab. My thought is that once she is moved and settled in, it would be a good time to go home for a couple weeks, take care of things there, and make arrangements to be away longer.
3. The next $2,500 is what it would take to return by train (for myself and companion as I am unable to travel alone) for trial, and then to make more permanent arrangements. Should I attain guardianship (something not even guaranteed at this point) then my eventual goal would be to return to Colorado WITH my mother and find a care facility (hopefully close by) here that can see to her needs. I am considering the train simply because it would leave me more rested for that hearing. The drive is long and very difficult for my health. Should this not be raised, I would go with plan B where...
3b - Plan B - the next $1,500 would be for driving to Wisconsin and back, with money for expenses while being in Wisconsin for the hearing and to start the process of closing up the house and getting it on the market.
4. The last $1,000 (a pipe dream I'm sure but I'll throw it out there), would be to reimburse me in part for the travel expenses of getting here in the first place, something that has already cost me much more than this amount. I do this because it's been a huge financial hardship to use this money in this way, as there are bills to pay back in Colorado that this could have gone toward.
I feel like I'm asking a lot, but you never know until you try. And I AM offering to give you something in exchange for your help. While I might be running out of money, I have yarn and the ability to create (and a LOT of time on my hands while I'm at the hospital). So if you're able, please take a look and see if there's something you would like.
Honestly, any little bit would help right now. $3 would buy a meal, $5 would put enough gas in the van to get me to and from the hospital twice.
Thank you for reading this far and God bless you for caring enough to consider helping. If you have any questions, please just give me a shout using the contact information on this page!
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