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Call Her “Susie”; A Life of Both Hardship, and Strong Faith.Part Nine; The Final Chapter.
Susie and Stuart at a Family Wedding
As told to her son, Stuart Lynn Sexton.
First off, my apologies; things have been very hectic, and time for writing has been extremely sparse. Now that mom has passed away, this will be the final article on her life.
The 2000s; From Hardship to Hardship.
Susie worked at the same retailer her son worked at from for several years (we’re not positive what year she was asked to resign), until she started moving so slowly, that she couldn’t complete her work, and the retailer had no choice but to let her go.
In the meantime, Susie’s sister-in-law, Loraine Elwood, died on October 19, 2001, after having suffered for some time with Alzheimer’s Disease. Loraine’s death was quite a blow to Susie, because Loraine had been one of her best friends while growing up.
On August 12, 2002, Susie’s brother-in-law, Robert Swartz, died. In the meantime, Susie had dropped a hot turkey pot pie on her foot, and got a severe burn. Not realizing the seriousness of her injury, however, Susie went to the funeral. Days later, the pain was so bad, she checked into the Burn Unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There, she received skin graph surgery.
On February 3, 2003, Susie’s sister, Lois Ann (Annie” Swartz died, after a long bout with Multiple Sclerosis. However, she was unable to attend the funeral, because she had surgery that week to remove an ovarian tumor roughly the size of a basketball, and was in recovery during the funeral. The tumor was cancerous, but fortunately for everyone, the cancer was self contained, and surgical removal was all she needed. However, Susie’s health continued to decline for some reason. As time went on, she became more and more wheelchair bound.
In 2004, she was hospitalized again for pneumonia and congestive heart failure. (From this point onward, her downward health spiral is such that, the dates become a blur for me, so I’ll try to recall as best I can.)
In 2008, Stuart quit his job to try running a home business, and to write his science fiction, so that he could better take care of his mom. The business failed, and Stuart tried to find work from home, or part time work outside the home, but the economy was on the decline, and things looked bleak for them.
From 2008 through 2015, Susie was in and out of the hospital for so many various reasons, they’ve all blended together in one massive swirl. She had Urinary tract infections, a mini brain bleed, and other complications since her surgery in 2004.
In late November, 2011, just before Thanksgiving, while in rehab at a nursing home following a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), she was admitted into the hospital with symptoms which resembled a stroke, but which turned out to be yet another UTI. She was admitted to another nursing home for rehab, and, after having seen a neurologist, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
After Susie's release from the nursing home, her son took care of her for awhile at home, but they hadn’t given him much in the way of instructions, and she ended up back in the hospital with another UTI, and then back into the nursing home.
This time, however, her son demanded that they not only get her ready to return home, but to fully instruct him on how to care for her, and how to properly transfer her from bed to commode, and then to he wheelchair, and to the car, etc. At about this time, her nephew, Michael Elwood (her brother Roy's and sister-in-law, Donna's son) died of cancer, on July 1, 2012.
This time around, things went well health-wise for more than a year, albeit with a brief stint in a home hospice care service, which she “graduated from“ due to her health improving, rather than declining. However, it was during this time that Susie's best friend, Lynn, had been diagnosed with cancer. She died on January 5, 2013.
Susie did during this period, however, thanks to her Medicaid Waiver, qualify for attendant care, which meant that a nurse's aide would come out and bathe her five days a week. It was during this period when, on November 30, 2013, her sister-in-law, Donna Elwood, died. After the funeral, Susie's health seemed relatively stable, at least to the untrained eye of her son.
Her nurse's aide, however, noted that Susie was indeed slowly getting weaker, and Stuart had to eventually admit that even he noticed that transferring her from bed to commode, then commode to wheelchair, and from wheelchair to car, was getting harder.
Then, in late summer 2014, Susie fell, while her nurse's aide was trying to transfer her to her commode, prior to giving her a bath, and was admitted back into the hospital with another UTI, and then went on to another nursing home for rehab.
On election day, 2014, Susie was released to her son’s care. She went back into the hospital for a one day stay, after having felt faint, and was treated for a low hemoglobin count and dehydration, and went back home. Beginning in early 2015, she had been under the care of both her son and a home hospice service (the same one as before), anticipating death, as her Parkinson’s Disease progressed, and Susie’s health declined.
On August 6, 2015, The Feast of the Transfiguration, Betty J. "Susie" Sexton, died quietly in her hospice supplied hospital bed, which had been moved out into the living room about a month earlier. This Hub is dedicated to her memory. Please keep the repose of her soul in your prayers.
+++ Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon her. Amen. May she rest in peace. Amen. May her soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.+++