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My Mom,Dad,Ellen, Marvin Goodman Wedding Day 1970

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I wish we had had the conversation three years earlier

By Ellen
Posted on

I wish I had the conversation with my parent.

It is imperative that we have a way to speak to those we love, to find out what they need from us before they become to sick for us to do that.
 I had a wonderful Mom, living in Delray Beach, Fl. who was told she would need to go on dialysis. She had her independence, taught everybody in the Condo Complex how to play Bridge and was a Master Bridge Player among other things.

Her 3 adult children all lived in the Boston area, and we began to make frequent trips to visit her as her health declined. She did not want to have her quality of life change, thus, even with a shunt in her hand, she refused to start dialysis. She received a call from the Dialysis Ctr. that if she did not start it asap, she would die. She started dialysis the next day, and the Dr. told her that her kids would probably fly down, bring her back to this area and put her in a nursing home. She was so afraid!

We did do that, for many reasons. She hated every day in that nursing home, and loved going to dialysis, as she said they were intelligent people to talk to. I am the oldest daughter, and she was become mean, to the staff and her kids, and when I asked her why, she said, how can I get out of this Nursing Home. I said, if you want to stop dialysis, we can help you leave out your days in comfort. She was mad, so did not stop dialysis.

6 months later, she called me and said this is it: I want out! I rushed down to Newton to see her, and she told me she was scared to die. I said, Daddy was waiting for you to dance again with you. She said, we are Jewish and we don’t believe that is true. What did you do, join a cult? I got to the bottom of it, which was why was she so scared to die, and I assured it that with Hospice, we would not leave her side, and her life would end peaceful, and without any pain.

She signed her own Hospice papers. Her 3 adult kids cried for 2 weeks, as we fed her all her requests, and slowly, she slipped into a coma, and passed on. Hospice was amazing and if ONLY I had, had that conversation 3 years prior to that. She would never have had to suffer as she did in a Nursing Home, that was our only option at the time. I applaud you for starting this conversation. It is imperative, we have a way to speak to those we love, to find out what they need from us, before they become to sick, for us to do that.

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