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More excited for tomorrow than any Powder Day

deadheadskier

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We're busting Lois out of jail (the nursing home) just after lunch. :smile:

Who's Lois?

Lois is our 84 year old neighbor of the past few years. Lois lives alone with her two dogs Joey and Lucy. She's a very private and independent woman. I can't say my wife and I have had much of a relationship with her over the years. She's the quiet and independent type. Given her age we've looked after her in basic neighborly ways; when the power goes out during storms we check on her to make sure she's okay or when it snows we shovel out her car. Other than that, it's been just exchanging pleasantries when we see her out walking her dogs.

One thing we've always noticed is that she hardly ever has had any visitors. She pretty much just chills in her apartment with her dogs and only leaves to go to church or run errands. Because of her age, we've always wondered what would happen if she had a medical emergency. One week before Christmas, we found out. She knocked on our door and it was clear she was very sick and needed to go to the emergency room. We called 911 and sent her off with the EMTs kicking and screaming. It was obvious she was scared that if she left in such a manner she'd never come home again. All we could do was promise her she'd be okay and we'd care for her dogs until she got home.

And so our 129 day odyssey until now began.....

In the beginning, it was tough to get much information from the hospital due to us not being family. It wasn't until two days after we sent her off that we were able to visit her in the ICU once she finally become coherent enough to welcome us to visit. We found her still heavily sedated and recovering from major surgery, but aware enough to recognize us.

From here, the pieces of Lois's life fell into place. The only family she has is a somewhat estranged son who lives with his dad; her 93 year old ex-husband. They divorced years ago and Lois remarried, but lost her second husband 13 years ago. She lost her daughter 5 years later. No grandchildren, no surviving siblings, she basically has no one. The son showed up the first few days she was in ICU, but basically dropped off the map after that outside of a handful of visits over the past 4+ months often times only to bring her ex-husband to see her why he waited in the car outside the hospital or eventually the nursing home. It became quite clear to my wife and I that Lois was screwed....no support system at all.

This story is getting long as is, so I'll spare many more details (especially how we've had to assume leadership in her financial affairs due to her son's unwillingness to do so, as well as all that's been involved in taking care of her dogs), but for all intents and purposes, jess and I have adopted an old lady and her dogs for the past 129 days. Lois spent three weeks in the local hospital before being transferred to the county nursing home's rehabilitation unit. The early weeks were tough, she had no faith she'd get better and come home. There was a point where the nursing staff in rehab made it quite clear if she didn't start having faith in herself and nourish herself and get moving, that she'd soon die. She was completely sedentary and depressed on a feeding tube early on......but as we kept coming to visit her with her dogs every few days, she'd perk up and listen to us and start trying harder. There's been set backs that have found her back in the hospital a few times, such as pneumonia and falls, but she's kept pushing.

and just after lunch tomorrow all her hard work finally pays off as we will pick Lois up from the nursing home and bring her home.

Can't wait to walk her through her door and see the joy on her face as she settles onto her couch with her dogs and begins to live life on her own again.

Tomorrow for Lois would be like any of us fighting long and hard to come back from injury and enjoy a Pow Day. Extremely gratifying experience for me and my wife over the past 129 days helping her get there. And personally for me seeing her courage and determination to fight back from near death really helped me put my own situation and frustrations this winter in perspective where I couldn't ski for a couple of months due to injury.

Pic of me and Lois's dogs:

2rqoxle.jpg



For those who read this, if you can spare Lois some keep getting well Vibes, I'd appreciate it. She's much better, but still has a long way to go and my wife and I still have a lot of work to do to get her back to her old independent self. Our faith is strong though. She's one tough woman and a true inspiration for us.
 

Edd

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Good Karma my man. I wish her the best of luck. She was very lucky to have you guys.


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Terry

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Get well Lois. Glad you could get back home and on your own again. You have some fine neighbors there.
 

Savemeasammy

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This is great to hear. It is good that people like you and your wife are out there in this world, DHS! I hope Lois makes the best recovery possible for her, and that she rediscovers the joy of living after what she has been through.


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snoseek

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Get well, stay well lois!

Neighbors helping neighbors, way to keep that concept alive. I enjoyed that story very much with my morning coffee....beats the hell out of the morning news.
 

Warp Daddy

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Lois , we are all pulling hard for you . You have been through alot in life but sometimes in life's darkest hours a bit of sunshine emerges that help us find our way back to LIVING . In your case your neighbors were a GODSEND .

The depth of their compassion , commitment and loving concern is indeed VERY rare today . Lois you have a very strong reason to continue to fight the good fight and share the warmth , dedication and yes love of your young neighbors . In my opinion they truly are your guardian angels .

DHS you and your wife are among the finest examples of humanity i have encountered. Bravo !!! You have earned my deep respect. The Healthcare profession surely IS your calling and you will continue to have major impact on the lives of your patients .

God Bless you BOTH

Warp
 

JimG.

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you are a good man Ryan.

+1

My mom spent her last year and a half in this world in a nursing home. We had no choice in the end. We were there with her almost every day until she passed. She was 90.

A nursing home is not a place for anyone's last days; after mom passed my wife and I changed our wills. Home hospice care for our last days.

Ryan, you are doing a great thing.
 

xwhaler

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you are a good man Ryan.

+1. As someone who knows both Ryan and his wife Jess personally I can tell u they are very solid people. I'm not at all surprised they helped out a person in need.
Despite the rain up here on the seacoast today I'm sure it's been a great afternoon for your friend.
 

jimk

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This is a beautiful thing you and wife are doing. I’ve been hip deep in elder care the past few years. Actually, my wife has taken the bulk of the job going from homemaker to caregiver. First we looked out for my dad until he passed last Aug at age 94 (great guy who taught me to ski). From 2/12/14 – 4/20/14 we had my sweet, but senile 91 year old MIL living with us. I kept sneaking away on weekends to ski while my wife held down the fort. VERY challenging as MIL is a wanderer and fall risk and needs a lot of hands on hygiene care. She’s likely to rejoin us in a few weeks as she’s in an unfortunate transition mode moving among adult children until we get a consensus on a permanent solution.
My dad was in and out of medical facilities his last few months, but one time he got back into his long-time apartment for a short period. My wife was with him on that day and he sat in his favorite chair with a deep smile and said, “glad to be home”. I’m sure your elderly neighbor will feel the same.
We are doing this for much loved family members. You and wife are doing this for a semi-stranger. Very impressive!
 

deadheadskier

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one time he got back into his long-time apartment for a short period. My wife was with him on that day and he sat in his favorite chair with a deep smile and said, “glad to be home”. I’m sure your elderly neighbor will feel the same.

indeed she did

this is Lois and my wife and her two pups about 15 minutes after we brought her home today when she settled into her couch to relax and watch her beloved Red Sox. The Sox did their part in greeting her home by pulling out a win.

2rvzmth.jpg


I had to depart for work shortly after this. Jess hung out and they watched the Bruins game next. Apparently, she was rooting for Detroit (she's from MI originally), so we'll need to work on that ;)

I appreciate the kind words everyone :)

Lots of great people in our skiing and riding community doing wonderful things for others all the time. I figured this little story was worth sharing. :)
 
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LiquidFeet

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Hey Lois show 'em you can do it. Get back in your house and get back to living right! You're tough, you're strong, and you're beautiful. I believe in you. Your dogs believe in you. So do Ryan and Jess.

You go, girl!
 
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