On April 9th, my wife Pam and I welcomed our fourth child, Genevieve Elise. This is a huge blessing, and for that we are thankful. However, we do have a few other issues that are weighing on us presently in addition to normal “kid stuff” (potty training our todder, for example) and I would appreciate any prayers or even just words of encouragement right now.
Pam’s mother, Jackie DeWolfe, lived with us for about a year and a half, after having fractured several vertebrae in her back. She was in a wheelchair and on dialysis, so she required more care than we were willing to leave in the hands of a nursing home back then. As it turned out, her stay with us probably extended her life, since was in terrible condition when we decided to bring her home with us.
In late March, Jackie decided to move in with HER mother (Pam’s grandmother) at a local assisted living facility. Although we were concerned that she wasn’t really ready for that, we didn’t think it was right to prevent her from trying it.
Unfortunately, she apparently already had a kidney infection, which grew worse and ended up with her being hospitalized on the same day that we went to a different hospital to give birth. At this point, Jackie is eating very little and she’s lost a good deal of weight from her already thin frame. We tried a feeding tube through her nose, but she pulled it out twice, along with the IV in her neck and the dialysis stint in her arm.
Jackie is back in a nursing home today, having been discharged from the hospital for the second time in three weeks. Our options with her care are sharply limited now, since just about any option we choose will likely result in her death. For example, we wanted to get her a stomach feeding tube, but we were informed by the doctor that if Jackie removed that tube anytime in the first 6 weeks, stomach acid could leak onto her organs, necessitating emergency surgery. The only way to keep her from removing it would be to restrain her hands or sedate her, neither of which is a viable or desirable option, clearly.
In a nutshell, since she isn’t really eating enough to survive for very long, and we don’t have any way to supplement that easily, we are praying that she will fight off the infection and start to eat more, or that God would show mercy and take her soon if she has no hope of recovery. She is largely unresponsive now, sleeping most of the day, so the prognosis is pretty grim, barring a healing miracle. Please pray that we will make the right decisions as they arise, including whether or not to put Jackie in hospice care, whether that is here or in the nursing home, and how long to continue her dialysis.
Jackie is a three-time cancer survivor, so nothing at all would surprise us at this point. She was actually told to “get her affairs in order” during her second bout with cancer (non-Hodgkins lymphoma) in 1985.
Sadly, Pam’s father, Hill DeWolfe, is also pretty sick at the moment, with an infection (cellulitis) that seems to be stemming from a recent knee replacement. They haven’t been able to identify the germ causing this yet, so it’s hard to know how to fight it properly.
Hill has lost 30 pounds since December. Please pray that they can figure out how to combat this infection soon. I haven’t ever heard of him being this sick during our 18 years together.
I would sincerely appreciate your prayers for both my mother-in-law and my father-in-law if you have some time. Hill remarried when Pam was a child, but Jackie never did remarry after their divorce in 1973. Each time I have shared information about either of them, this is a common question that comes up.
Thank you in advance!