VentWorld
questions for my planning

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April 28, 2008, 10:55 AM
elainemw
questions for my planning
My mom is 88 and end stage emphysema. She was entubated and has been on a bipap for a few days. She has not been able to stop using the bipap. Today she spent half an hour on the canula but her o2 levels were critical.

Although they (Cleveland Clinic) plan to continue the weaning process they are talking about doing a trach and putting the tube back in. They say she will be more comfortable without a mask. She prefers the bipap because it is not invasive and also because she can talk and we can understand her.

We gathered the family this weekend and put the question to mom about putting the tube back in. We had also been told that people can actually live at home with a vent.(Mom's geriatrician feels that there is only a small chance that she can be weaned because her lungs are so badly damaged.)

Mom is clear that she wants to live and we are relieved because we all feel the same way.

My husband and I have a house that is large and modern and would accomodate her and my dad in a first floor master suite. Although we both work, my brother and sister and I believe that we can probably come up with the money to pay for care.

So, although the folks at the hospital think I am being premature, (and I am glad they are committed to weaning her.), I feel like I need to have a plan. Add to it that it is already clear that some family and friends are obviously taken aback at our idea of bringing her home. Nobody has yet told me that I am nuts but I can read minds....

We are well-educated and committed, and not without resources. Our family is very close, very suppportive (although brother and sister are about 500 miles away.)I adore my parents and believe this is both challenge and opportunity----that we can all have a good life together.

Can you help me figure this out?
May 05, 2008, 05:16 PM
ejboyle
My mother is a 77-year-old vent-dependent quadriplegic. She and my father, who has Parkinsons with dementia, live in a suite in my and my husband's home. I can't imagine doing anything else.

We hire in-home help 20 hours a day. Two of the gals have been with us for years, one has been with us for a couple of years, and two more are new. We love them all, and they give my parents great care. Still, I had to cut back my hours at work (from 100% to 60% time) to cover missed shifts, handle payroll and other finances, etc.

The vent is easy. She has two: one on a stand and one in a small backpack that slings on the back of her wheelchair. I wouldn't worry about that at all.

I hope your mother can be weaned. But if not, your plans sound reasonable to me. You're right: it's a good life, together.