My grandma's dying and my situation feels hopeless

My grandma got covid back in october after a memorial service for my uncle to died from covid and never really recovered. She wasn’t a healthy before all this so its been really hard to get insurance and medical facilities to work with us. I work in the medical field as an EMT and for some reason my family thought that qualified me to be her power of attorney. She recently got C-diff which is VERY contagious and more often than not is basically a death sentence for the elderly in my experience working with health care. I’ve accepted the fact that she’s not going to make and would honestly be surprised if she lived to February.

There’s no more the hospital can do for her. We were told by her case manager that since she wasn’t vaccinated for covid and needs isolation for C-diff then nursing facility wouldn’t take her unless she was vaccinated. She’s been strongly against the covid vaccine but the options we were given was to either have her vaccinated so she can go to a facility or have her sent home still contagious with C-diff for my 78 year old grandpa to take care of.

We made the choice to have her vaccinated opposed to her wishes when she was still coherent to protect my grandpa. Despite what we were originally promised, facilities are back tracking and still refusing to take her in because she requires isolation. We’ve had to get a lawyer involved. I’ve talked with my coworkers and they’ve all agreed with my concern, that if she goes home my grandpa will get the C-diff and probably be dead within a couple months at best. The hospital, caseworker, and insurance say there “doing all they can”. If we can’t find a facility that her insurance covers then we would have to figure out something out of pocket (which we can’t afford) or she becomes a ward of the state. I’ve done transfers to those state facilities and every time I hate myself for it because of how they treat patients and all the reports I’ve written against them go nowhere.

I’ve been fighting on her behalf for months. But I don’t know how to reason with people that recognize sending my terminal grandma home to my grandpa will kill him but respond with, “I’m sorry but this is a reality that is completely out of our hands.” I’m so tired and angry and really at a loss of what direction I’m supposed to go from here.

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Where I live, the patient has to have a place to go, appropriate to their needs, before they can be discharged from the hospital. I have little doubt that the hospital social worker is making a maximum effort, as there is a mandate to open up beds as quickly as possible. I believe you made the right choice in getting her vaccinated. If she is already survived a bout of covid, she could very well survive the C-diff.

If the doctor has made maintaining isolation a condition for discharge, the hospital may have to hang onto her. However, I don’t know what the insurance structure is like, or how powerful it is where you are. Here in Florida, sometimes the insurance demands that the patient defies doctors orders, in order to remain covered. Doctors also face extreme pressure from hospital administration to discharge patients quickly.

Taking on the responsibility you have with her is extremely heroic. I admire your compassion and the strength you have already demonstrated.

Would it be possible to move grandpa to a different location?

I used to work in a nursing facility that was primarily for Medicaid patients and those who were indigent. Both the care those patients received, and the and the diet was actually better than the upscale facility I previously worked at.

Invariably, the patients who had a lot of family support and visitation, received the best care. Therefore, if your grandma ends up in such a facility, I think with your dedication, she will be okay.

Take care of yourself, and get as much rest as you can. Keep in mind, you can only do so much, and it sounds like you are doing all that you can.

If you can get your grandpa to stay somewhere else, and your grandma does go home, keep everything around her disinfected. I’ve treated a lot of C-diff, and fortunately, it was never passed on to other patients. If she has Medicare, the doctor can order home health services which include nursing assessment, care coordination, and personal care. They are actually episodes of care, which require certification by the doctor for 60 days at a time. Medicaid also provides home healthcare, but I have no experience on how that works.

My heart goes out to you! Despite the frustration and fatigue, you will come out of it is a better person.

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Hey Loveinflyleaf,

Megs_26 responded to your post today on stream with some wonderful words of encouragement.

Here is a link to the video so you can watch her reply!

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I do have some good news to share. I was meaning to respond last night but work was crazy like most shifts on the ambulance my 12 hour turned into a 16. We were able to get my grandma placed into a facility we had to take it up with higher management within the Hospital. Her doctor and case manager were both unwilling to work with us but since there was audio recording on a phone call of them promising placement if she was vaccinated then we were able to threaten a lawsuit. There are other family members involved. Myself and my mom handle the “business” end of things and my aunt lives with my grandpa part of the time. Family dynamics in general have always been difficult, I’ve never really had much relationship with my mom and my grandpa is very independent and doesn’t like to admit he needs help. My grandmas condition is stable enough, I asked about her medications and found out that they were giving her one that she’s allergic to so that was a fun conversation to have with the doctor. I’m beyond grateful that they were able to place her. I wish is was able to come back here and say this with more excitement but I just feel so incredibly tired. I didn’t mention this in my original post but my other grandma on my dads side is also in the Hospital at the moment. A week ago she had to have her gallbladder removed and we thought she would be home the next day but there has been complications. Unlike my grandma on my moms side where my family made me the power of attorney. My dads side of the family won’t allow me to get any information. I was frustrated that I couldn’t get any information on her condition to understand why she’s still in the hospital I went up to her room after I got off work (since I work in the hospitals) to check on her and talk with her nurse. This isn’t even out of the norm for health care workers to do. But when my aunts heard I went into the hospital after normal visiting ours they cussed for me out for a couple hours and threatened to report me to my job. But ya my whole family has told me I’m no longer “aloud” to have contact with her “or else”. Its as irrational as it sounds and frustrating because she’s the person who raised me growing up. I’m so tired. We get over ran and are understaffed at work, people call 911 just to be combative when we show up. The conditions for us in the field aren’t that much better then those working in the ER, It feels like Im fighting an up hill battle on both sides of my family, Im in college right now for nursing because I want to help people but the healthcare system in the U.S is so fucked. I’ve lost so much motivation to do anything. I know self care is important, I used to love to run and workout, but I feel like I’m drowning under the weight of all my responsibilities and haven’t really done anything just for myself in months. I had tried to going back to concealing even and was told by therapists that my insurance would cover that my current issues and past were to much for them to handle and was denied. Honestly I think I’m coming to a place where I don’t see the point in anything anymore.

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Yes, you most definitely need a break. I have my suspicions about why your relatives got upset about you visiting your other grandma. I don’t think it has anything to do with you as a person, rather your position in the family.

I drove ambulance way back in the 80s. I managed it, but knew it was not a career for me. Actually, I’ve had several careers. The one I retired from was a home health, psychiatric and hospice RN. I discovered that I wanted to go into nursing after I started working as a CNA. College was a long haul for me because I was working full-time. It’s a very demanding program, so you will need to be really good at managing your time, also taking care of your body.

I think you’ve been wearing yourself out, and it’s really easy to become anxious and depressed when you’re in that condition.

I honestly really love emergency medicine, after working in this field I can’t see myself wanting to do anything else. But I find myself just feeling so angry and frustrated all of the time and like everything is loosing its joy. I know you’re right in that I probably need a break. I’m seeing myself getting close unhealthy coping mechanisms that took years to break and it scares me. I’m not trying to sound like I’m making excuses I just don’t know where to start. I want to make sure my grandparents are being taken care of and my living situation is dependent on both working and going to school. I really do appreciate your insight.

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You’re strong for wanting to protect your grandmother so badly. It’s hard when people we love don’t want to do something for the better of themselves, only for them to be brought into a situation we can’t control. It sounds like you’ve tried hard, and fought hard. Maybe it’s time to step back, just for a moment, and re evaluate your situation. I was not in your scenario, but my grandmother died a year back. We knew she was going, but I had always been so scared of seeing her because I was sad of her situation. I regret not seeing her more, even if it was just through a window.

I’m not saying stop fighting for what you believe is right, I’m saying try to halt yourself for just a second to make sure that you’re not dreading the “finale” of your situation, but embrace the time you have with your grandma.

This was my first comment on someone else’s post. I hope it was helpful to you :). Please feel better soon, I hope everything works out at least a little bit.

-HMM

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