Just wanted to give everyone a quick update. I’m sure most of you remember that my father-in-law was in the hospital last year with a very complicated bowel resection surgery. I haven’t really talked about it since, but it’s been ongoing since April of 2008. It’s now been an entire year and, provided his current surgery from last week was successful, he’ll need yet one more surgery in the near future to finally be done. His bowels have been operated on at least 8 times now, the actual number is hard to figure since there have been so many “minor” surgeries in between major ones.

Currently, he’s at home, trying to rest but going a little stir-crazy.

If that were the only thing going on we’d be lucky.

My mother-in-law, at some point around Christmas (no one is really sure), started acting strangely. In an ongoing debate as to what happened, multiple doctors have gone back and forth in between diagnoses of either a very large stroke or the onset of some form of dementia. Her reasoning and logic skills have taken a major step backwards while her motor skills, speech and daily functioning remain relatively untouched. She can do all the normal day to day things like get dressed, make food, watch TV, etc, but is unable to grasp higher concepts and trains of thought. She’s not disabled in any sort of way, she’s just dropped a few levels in maturity and reasoning. It’s like she’s a 12 year old trapped in a 50 year old’s body.

That’s creating quite a bit of stress for everyone, my wife especially. During the periods that my father-in-law is in the hospital, my mother-in-law is staying with us. At times it really is like taking care of a child. They don’t understand why things are a certain way. They get bits and pieces of conversations and become fixated by them. They can function, but with supervision. For example, everyone was doing their taxes the other day. She read a question from Turbo Tax that asked if she received a tax rebate last year. The fact that she didn’t and should have, in her mind, became the talking point for the next 5 days.

So, in between trips to the hospital, helping her at home, and trying to take care of ourselves, we’re also trying to help with the care for my wife’s grand-parents, both of whom are in a care facility the next town over. Things were going well with them, despite the early onset of Alsymers and the normal aging process (using a walker, being forgetful, etc). That was, until this week. The Grandmother, over Easter, seemed to be wheezing when she breathed so we decided we needed to take her to the doctor this week. Once they got to the appointment the doctor suggested we call an ambulance and take her to the ER because there was a possibility of congestive heart failure. So, rushing to the ER yesterday, and waiting until 2am to get a room at the hospital for observation, she’s now being monitored and tested. Early indications from blood work and CAT scans are positive but it’s still too early to rule anything out. We’ll find out more today.

So, three of my in-laws are suffering from some sort of medical ailments, all at the same time. We’re trying our best to help each of them out in their own right but it’s taking it’s toll, on Lauren especially.

I worry so much about her, especially about her getting run down and sick. She’s a giver, it’s one of her greatest strengths. She gives and gives and gives and tries to help everyone. It’s one of the things I love about her. Families are going to face some hard times every once in a while and it’s up to them to stick together and get through it. It’s what makes everyone stronger.

It just seems like it’s too much to handle sometimes. Her dad being sick was a large enough shock but now both her mom and her grandma are sick as well.

We’re trying our best. It’s all we can really do.

I love my wife so much, her family too, it’s hard to stay positive and keep their spirits up. I know we’ll get through all this, but I know it’s hard for them to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone an update. Take care,

Matt out.