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How elderly friend is suddenly dying,I had no idea.

(3 Posts)
lukeymom Sun 31-Jul-16 01:54:43

Up until 2 weeks ago I was cleaning and part caring a woman of 70. She lived with her husband who was a retired GP. She suffered with asthma and had oxygen and inhalers. He had suffered a stroke last year but mostly recovered from it. They lived in a big house and my mom used to clean it years ago.My mom got on with the family,often meeting their relatives when they visited, my mom would buy presents for the couple and her daughter's at Christmas.She worked for her 25 years.
When I had my first baby the woman came to our house to see him.After I had my 2nd child she asked if I would take over from my mom,as my xmas mom had to give up due to illl health. I did take over and had been there over 3 years.
They were a posh couple and the husband wasn't really himself much after the stroke,often slow.She would always be telling him what to do and helping with his rehabilitation. Despite her own illness she was always standing up doing things like ironing,preparing food,putting washing on. I would do minor cleaning duties,making their beds,helping with other jobs like lifting heavy objects, hanging washing out,helping clearing out cupboards and decluttering ,taking stuff upstairs,cleaning the inside windows etc. She always appreciated what I did for her. She always asked how I was and I could talk about any worries I had.She'd ask how my son's were and would buy them presents for Xmas and give them money for birthdays. Gave me money for my birthday too in June. She told me to spend it on myself ,buy something nice to treat myself. She told me she often felt guilty spending money on herself and so always liked to make other people happy. She has two daughters a bit younger than me.They lived miles away in the country. One is a paramedic,the other lives on a farm. Now to be frank I have been there for their parents in their later years. I've been there to see how they are coping. The woman despite her asthma didn't seem too bad. She was on oxygen everyday but still got about,even drove to the shop with an oxygen pack on. In June they went on holiday for the last time. I had to carry two heavy cases out to her car. They had their holiday. When I went back there she was sitting down looking frail. She told me she had hurt her back and was waiting for the painkillers to set in. She also said she had a chest infection. After a while she got up and was walking around as normal. The last few times I went there she told me she still had a chest infection,she said it won't go away. Now I know about chest infections,my mom has suffered alot with chest infections and has nearly died through them .Normally you would be constantly coughing up phlegm and feeling too weak to walk anywhere but this lady wasn't like that. The one day,in early July it was high pollen outside. I have asthma and hay fever which I felt bad that day. The lady had been wheezing a bit more and sneezing. I ask if it could be hay fever,she told me she never gets hay fever.
Anyway,things seemed to be as normal.She even wanted me to go there extra days,telling me she needed more help. I agreed to it.
The last time I went was 2 weeks ago. He daughters were coming to visit to bring her stuff. She told me I could meet them,although I'd met the one before. I was upstairs when they come.Then when I later come down she told me they had gone to collect a prescription from the doctors. I was due to finish so couldn't say hello. Never mind I said. I was meant to go there the next day. But when I got home I had a phone call from the one daughter to say she has had to take her mom to hospital to get over her chest infection. I said I had no idea she was that ill and said I hope she gets better soon.Even writing on a card and posting it through her door.
The following week I was on holiday. I happened to text the lady,(texting was her favourite thing). I told her I could do her house next week. Her reply was that she was very ill,and she didn't have long to live.She and her husband had moved to live by her daughter's.Thanks for everything.I was really shocked,I never expected an answer like that. I replied days later said I was really sad and cannot get over it. Now since then her other daughter phoned me to say her mom is in a nursing home and has lung cancer.They are taking each day at a time.She will keep me posted about her. This news just keeps going round and round in my head. How I had no idea at all.I was wondering if she knew while I was there or did she find out during her stay in hospital. To think I will never see her again or the husband. It's really come as a blow to me. Just when she wanted me to help out more for her now it's suddenly come to an end. I feel so sad for her and I don't think her husband will last long afterwards.I just felt I wanted to share this.sad

Bloopbleep Sun 31-Jul-16 02:09:40

I'm so sorry to hear about this woman's illness. Lung cancer can cause a very rapid deterioration. Can you maybe visit her in the hospice? Or send flowers? It's so hard to know what to do in these situations but she was more than just an employer, she was a family friend. She might appreciate a friend ?

lukeymom Sun 31-Jul-16 23:09:47

When I find out where she is I will probably send her flowers.She loved flowers, always had fresh flowers in her house. She told my mom how she looked forward to me going there,she liked the company. I never thought she would go like this,I thought her asthma was her only illness and if it worsened I would be there to help with shopping and other things.. My own mom has a long term breathing condition and cannot get about only in a wheelchair.Yet this lady could get about. Except the past weeks had difficulty climbing the stairs because of her 'chest infection'. As far as I knew she would recover from it. Just shows how quick the big C can take over. It was a matter of days that it was confirmed. She was a lovely lady ,really kind ,intelligent and loved to keep busy. Her husband a retired GP was a nice man with a sense of humour.Always said I brightened his day when he saw me smile.I remember the last week's where he said something to me in humour and she told him off and smacked him.I found it funny. It's going to be ashame to think it will take its toll on him and I hope his daughters are going to be strong for him.I can't imagine how they must feel as well.It's probably only just sinking in now.
Thanks alot for your reply.

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