Fuzzy Navels and Hope

1:28 am 6/27/17 (this is my post for 6/26/17.) Later, I’ll do a second one for today.

Boy, I totally blew my deadline tonight, didn’t I? That’s what happens when you spend the day running back and forth to the hospital, then come home and consume 2 wine coolers (fuzzy peach, of course) and half a Totinos pizza.

I believe exhaustion set in. I remember my husband saying he was turning in around 11 as I was snoozing on the recliner. I also remember something about an animal chewing on my hand. I’m pretty sure the husband part was real. Considering we now have 5 animals, the chewing on my hand part could be real, too, but I don’t see any marks. I know at one point there was a dog on my lap, and then a cat, so who knows?

This is just how we roll in the Mellem house these days.

The thing of it is, we actually had a bit of hope today. Yesterday (Sunday’s) the news was all dire, and I expected to be signing papers today to put my mom in a hospice, the same way as I did for my dad eight years ago. Today (Monday), the kidney specialist said there was a bit of improvement in her numbers and he believes that if he continues the treatment, Mom will regain much of her strength without needing dialysis and her symptoms can be managed going forward by meds.

This is pretty much the opposite of what we were told on Monday. I guess that’s why you should always ask for a second opinion.

However, this new path leaves the future less clear than the prior diagnosis. How much of her strength will Mom regain? Not sure. Will she return to the level she was at three weeks ago, before this happened? Not sure. Will her quality of life be good enough, whatever “good enough” means? Not sure.

So while we received good news, we also received uncertainty in some major areas. Mom isn’t suicidal, but she is ready to die, especially if her quality of life is compromised. And I think in her mind, her quality of life was already getting precariously close to that point before this happened.

If there will be a quality of life after this, changes will need to be made, which Mom is on board with, at least for now. Most likely there will be a rehab stay. Most likely she will move into an assisted living center where she can have her own apartment, but also have trained medical professionals to care for her.  Most likely, Charlie will be a permanent member of our family.

The last one surprised me the most. I never dreamed my mom would choose to give up her dog. I assured her there are assisted living facilities that take small dogs, but she said he’d be happier with us.

It’s the most sobering sign I’ve seen from her yet, that she has declined that far. If she can’t or doesn’t want to take care of her dog, I’m not sure how much more her quality of living can decline and still be considered any type of quality at all.

So, perhaps today’s news was good. But, perhaps it wasn’t. Only time will tell. We’ll meet with the doctor tomorrow to see if the healing trend continues. And I’ll be stopping at the store to stock up on fuzzy navel wine coolers. This ride isn’t over yet.

On a happier note, Charlie is fitting in wonderfully with our family and we’re thrilled to have him. Sammy loves having another dog to hang with. Charlie is 12, so he’s well beyond the puppy craziness we have daily with Sammy. He’s young enough where he likes to play with Sammy a bit, but old enough to prefer sitting on the swing with me to chasing the neighbor’s car.


Here’s the Charlie greeting me this morning. He’s a morning person. Me, not so much.



Sammy and Charlie hanging out together this morning. My two furry canine babies. The three furry feline babies are behind me, claws in the screen door, waiting for one of them to figure out a way to get free.

So how does one get back to sleep after sleeping in the recliner for four hours?

2:23 am 6/27/17 (for the 6/26/17 post)

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