Tragic ending for a compassionate woman

by Betty Hohensee
(Lakin, Kansas)


Mother was beating the odds, she was climbing those mountains, she was fighting the battle day by day sometimes hour by hour

She was an avid dancer loved to sing, enjoyed music, working outside, her horses, her dogs, her calves & all animals left behind by those who had no time.

On occasions she would doll me up and take me to hear our dad play in the band and I would have to be her dance partner. She had exquisite taste Loved Native American and Southwestern pottery & art, she was a beautiful talented artist herself sketching in pencil every chance she got. She loved to design our homes; insisting our dad, tear out this wall or that wall. It had become our family joke every house we lived was always under-construction. My mother was strong, determined, the glue that held her family together.

She worked tirelessly, determined to ensure the ending was how she wanted it. She lived her dreams through her family beaming with pride at each of our accomplishments; Prodding, urging, pushing, encouraging, ranting or raving So we became the best we could.

She was wise beyond her years Her spoken words came straight from her heart, I spent half my life trying to prove her wrong, I could change the world, I spent the other half swallowing my pride admitting to myself; All her words had rung true, she’d been there done that long before I came along. Ironically she endured the worst of judgment, criticism & abandonment. She always rose above the worst of times and cherished the best of times.

Tirelessly striving to do the best she could despite the obstacles placed before her; I can look back on it all, she was an amazing woman, a devoted wife and an unwavering mother. A strong presence in our lives fiercely protective; A woman who never let go or ever walked away.

Mother’s adventures were vast her stories many she loved her life. She loved to go to the casinos with her friends she could sit for hours playing the penny slots. One day she happened on a stranger down on his luck, he needed to get home. Mother cashed out, scraped up the rest of her money and told the guy if he could get some gas and drive to Marysville, she would buy his camper and get him a bus ticket home. When he showed up the next day, mother paid him and sent him home. She had thought she had hit the jackpot, a rickety old camper and all mother could envision she and her friend Jamie would now have a place to sleep at the county fairs, versus a horse trailer filled with straw or a vacant stall in the horse barn.

Her wild yarns were stories out of control changing as time grew on, I would give anything today to hear them all again.

I was honored to spend eighty six days at my mother’s side. There is a deep love in your heart, a driving force to protect making you do things you would not ordinarily do. It can make you irrational this encompassing passion driving you to do all you can; I can attest our mother did everything this profound love drove her to do. We her family owe a debt of gratitude for her tenacity, Stalin & stubborn nurturing.

Denied compassion by her nurses progress by her therapist treatment by her doctors, denied communication tools to summon help when she needed it and no amount of effort on my part could get her the help or treatment she needed…and deserved. We were bound for Denver the next day Mother was excited; she mouthed “Don’t Let Me Die”.

A wrongful diagnosis, sentenced my mother to a certain death, nurses too busy talking about their four days off versus concerns for my mother, therapist more interested in text book conditions versus creating an individualized plan for my mother. Case managers with less than stellar personalities, risk management personnel blatantly disregarding myself and my mother's plight for help, doctors picking and choosing who gets treatment and who doesn't. Her doctor punctured her lung, her respiratory therapist administered a bed compression, her x-ray tech shot a picture while her bed was in motion and her nurse was too busy gossiping to monitor her. I had just left to pack our bags for our journey to Denver the next day, hoping I was going to change the hospitalists mind and have my mother flown versus an 8 hour trip by ambulance. I got the call at 10:23, the hospitalist called in stated she had no experience to insert a drain tube, but she was afraid they did not find my mother in time to save her life. I sped back to the hospital fifteen minutes too late to save my mother or ensure her medical staff did everything they could to preserve a life.

We cannot turn back the hands of time; we cannot live with the “what ifs”, we can only remember her steady hands of comfort and her warm hugs. We will miss her calls ensuring us whatever we needed, she had lined up or was on her way.

Eighty six days; astounded to realize just who our mother was, a vibrant woman who saw a mountain and simply began climbing...No questions asked.

My sacrifices mute in comparison to her fifty two years;
She had dedicated to ensure I could stand before you today.

We can only hope we have half the grit, determination, compassion, understanding, love and will power my mother had. She took the world by storm and she left it the same way. "I love you Mother" is not enough; I promise You All you ever dreamed.

Mother had beat the odds all her life; She climbed her mountains; She won her battles day by day sometimes hour by hour.

Comments for Tragic ending for a compassionate woman

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Feb 27, 2012
Thank You Nancy
by: Betty

Our tragic story is a lesson, as are many who have lost a loved one at the hands of another. You cannot leave these stories untold and let the death of a loved one go in vain. I am writing all State governors, health departments and Washington (president) and will be contracting congress to hear my plight. My goal is to begin making the critical changes in our Health Care system, nurses cannot be allowed to work twelve hour shifts, all patients with limited communication abilities must have a one on one nurse in the room at all times. Lip readers, sign language or other communication tools must be provided. If a family member demands a second opinion, then an outside person must be summoned, regardless if a POA was established, the family is automatically designated. All medical records will be made available to the attending family member or friend. Doctor's will not have the final say in any matter's not agreed upon by the attending family or friend.

It is in the hands of every single person to make a difference. It is well beyond time to stop accepting the unacceptable. Regardless of what types of services you need, if that person is not willing to jump through hoops to help you...they have no business in that job. Make this clear, very clear.

Feb 26, 2012
What an amazing story!
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry that the outcome is what it is! Reality sucks! But it is true, those who are to have your best interest at heart, are often just too busy gossiping with their co-workers sharing their drunkalogs and weekend benders with their friends. What they need to be doing is to leave their stuff at the door and get down to the business at hand - taking care of our loved ones. I hate to speak the truth and I often thought it was just my truth but as I read the grief blogs I am beginning to understand that I am not alone, there are many of us out there who share the same experience. I am so glad that you had the courage to speak your truth and I hope that you continue to do so as it helps all of us who never done so. I would only hope that those who are in the helping profession read some of these blogs and learn from them. I can not Thank You enough. Nancy

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