Mom doesn't have much time left, her husband not doing anything

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mdaniela

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Loved one DX
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02/2018
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Tennessee
My mom was diagnosed with advanced ALS this past Saturday in Tennessee. I drove up from Alabama. My dad drove down from Michigan. By the time I was able to get here they had already sent her home. I knew her husband is an alcoholic but not to the point he can't care for her. My mom isn't disagreeing that it'd be good to have hospice give a hand but her husband doesn't want anything to do with it. He didn't even pick up her prescriptions. My dad and I had to. And her husband is getting mad (after drinking) that we're running around doing all this and not spending time with her. I don't know what to do. She has no wheel chair, no feeding tube, I doubt he'll make a follow up appointment let alone take her to it. She's on a bed with no sheets and cigarette stains. I can't even breath in there it's so heavy with the smell of smoke. Please if anyone can respond to this... I'm in my second year of veterinary school and was going to try and get back to classes Monday but the thought of leaving her with essentially no one to take care of her is making me sick to my stomach.

The other thing is that my fiancé and I were going to get married this summer and his mom has things lined up so that if we wanted to do it here this Saturday we could. I asked my mom if she'd be up to it and she said she didn't know. I think she's not sure about getting from point A to point B. I don't even know if her husband would cooperate.
 

KarenNWendyn

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So sorry to hear about your horrible situation. I suggest you contact the social worker for her ALS clinic. You may need to go through the nurse at the office where she was diagnosed to get contact information. If you feel your mom is in danger of abuse (or neglect) from her husband, you might also need to contact Adult Protective Services. Hopefully others on this forum will chime in with their comments. My heart goes out to you and your mom.
 

swalker

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DX MND
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I am so very sorry to welcome you, especially under your circumstances. ALS is bad enough, but the situation you describe makes it all the worse.

From the picture you painted, it is time to make a call to whatever passes for Adult Protective Services there. Her husband is apparently not able to provide the help she needs.

As a PALS, I will emphasize that, unless the PALS has Dementia, I think it should be up to the PALS to make their own choices. With someone in your mother's position, she may not feel like she has any choice except to put up with the neglect her husband is providing (and I would not be surprised if there is at least some degree of abuse).

You might be able to really help her by opening up her eyes to the fact that there are choices she can make to improve her life. Adult protective services may be able to assist with this.

If she is not willing to make those choices, there is little you can do. You can not practically jump in and fix a broken situation, especially one that involves a parent who is an ALS victim and an alcoholic spouse. You can try, but you will not be able to fix it.

Only you can make the decision and I would certainly respect any decision you would make. But, if it was me, there is absolutely no way I would give up school in a vain attempt to fix this unfixable situation. I would call Adult Protective Services, though.

As for getting married... If it was my decision, I would decide to get married while my mother was still alive. Of course, I was very close to both my parents and there was no disfunction to deal with. Your decision may be very different from the decision I would make.

I certainly wish you the best of luck. Know that there are many people here who are willing to offer their support as you work your way through this.

Steve
 

lgelb

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Hi future vet,

Thanks for being there for your mom. Unfortunately, going to APS doesn't make a tenable living situation magically appear. Does she have financial resources that are not her husband's? Does she want to stay with him? Does she have Medicare already?

Is there another family member or friend who could do things like get your mom from point A to B so she could see your wedding, or could you take her yourself, hire a cabulance, etc.? Totally-- go for it! It would be a stake in the ground for your family in many aspects. That your mom set it up tells you everything you need to answer that question.

Where is your dad in this? I take it he was her first husband? Does he live nearby? Is he willing to pitch in?

I would be cautious about involving the public sector if/as other options exist, simply because no one else knows the players like you do. If you post more about any options that may exist, it may be easier to vet them against the reality of ALS.

Sorry you are here but glad you found us, and we'll help however we can.

Best,
Laurie
 
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