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Thread: The hardest decision I've ever had to make.

  1. #1
    On the Ice
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    The hardest decision I've ever had to make.

    My husband's kidney specialist has given him 2 to 5 years to live, he has diabetes and his kidneys are only functioning at 35%. A lifetime of poor dieting, almost never excersizing and smoking since he was a teen has finally caught up with him. His doctor says that even if he stops smoking (which he did about a year ago) watches his blood sugar and exercises daily, his kidneys will still only function at 35% but then they will gradually give out and he will have to go on dialysis.
    My dilemma:
    My husband has inherited a substantial amount of money from his grandmother, (five figures) his mother wants him to move down to W.Va and buy the house she's living in with his inheritance. My husband is all for this idea. His mother grew up in the house and now has a 1/sixth share in it, meaning that in her father's will he stated before he died that the only way the house could be sold is if all of the kids agreed to sell it, and the profits were split in six ways for all six kids , well the house was appraised and they are agreeing to sell it and his mother is willing to kick in a substantial amount of money to ensure that that we will be able to afford it. She will still be living there with us if we buy the house. The house will be put in my name so that I will have some security if my husband and motherinlaw die before me.
    Her reason for being so generous? She knows she's getting on in age and her son, her only child, doesn't have that much longer to live so the doctor's say ,so of course she wants to spend as much time with her son as she can. She's down there by herself and is very lonely. I don't really have a problem living with her, we've done it before and it is a big house (three levels) but I've never lived anywhere else but here in Maryland, my hometown, my whole life. It's not that I'd hate having to get used to new surroundings and all the change that goes along with moving even though that would be a major pain to me, but my family is here, my mother, and all my sisters but two who live in Fla. and Alabama. I guess I look at them as my support and if I move away from them and move down there I don't know if I'll be able to bear living by myself(we dont have kids) in a big house should my husband and mother in law die before me. I don't want to be selfish about this. Who am I to begrudge my husband time with his mother in his final days? My husband says I have to choose between my family and having a home that will be paid for or almost paid for. He wants me to have security for the future and he wants to leave me something substantial after he's gone, I just wish the house wasn't so far away, my family and I are very close. He doesn't want to buy a house here because we wouldn't be able to get as nice a house here for the money we have and if we bought one here his mom wouldn't be pitching in.My husband says he doesn't want to make me do anything I don't want to do (which is move so far away) but that if we don't move he doesn't want me to ever say that he didn't try to take care of me. So I guess I will just grow up and move down there, I would be plain stupid not accept a house that is just about paid for right? afterall , I can't see my family all of the time, right?

  2. #2
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    first of all (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((MAJOR HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    I can't really tell you what's the best thing. Personally, if it doesn't work out you can always move back, but this is probably a once in a life time opportunity for you... so I dunno...


    (((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))

    Your family's in my prayers

  3. #3
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    Well, I always hate to hear about someone having a tough time with Diabetes. It can be a terrible thing. My brother has had it for 26 years and has finally fought through many troubles. But, anything can happen...and doctors aren't always right. As for you dilemma, it would be far too presumptive of me or anyone else to advise any course of action. When the times comes and you have to decide, I think you'll know what it is you need to do. Good luck and I hope everything works out well for you and your husband.

  4. #4
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    Wow, this is a tough one. Of course this is a decision that only you can make. I'll just send good wishes your way and say a little prayer. I'm sure it probably helped to just put it down on paper. Sometimes it does. Just don't make a decision too fast. Think over all the possibilities and give it your best shot. Where's Dr. Phil when you need him?
    Anyway, lots of hugs to you and will DEFINITELY keep you in my thoughts.

  5. #5
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    First, my sympathies regarding your husband's ill health. Diabetes is a very complex illness and I know many diabetics who don't try to control their weight, unfortunately.

    Your situation is very difficult and you have every right to feel torn between your desires and the needs of your husband and MIL. If you do decide to buy your husband's childhood home, you could probably sell it after your MIL and husband have passed - hopefully, this won't be until many more happy years have been shared.

    It sounds like a big house that would be difficult to care for as you age and you could use the funds to purchase something smaller closer to your family later.

    While you probably couldn't buy as much with the money in Maryland, who says you need such a large home after he's gone? Don't intend to be nasty about this - just realistic. The way I see it, your husband is trying to provide security for you and his mother. This is admirable on his part, but is complicated for you.

    Have you and your MIL discussed what will happen if your husband passes before the both of you? I think the understanding is that you would not sell the house until after she's passed on. What happens if she becomes incapacitated and requires 24 hour nursing?

    On a more positive note, you and your family will be close regardless of distance. I'm not sure what the distance between where you are in Maryland vs where you may be in WVa, but it certainly would be workable for long weekends. Also, if you get one of those flat rate calling plans, you can call your family all the time....if you and another family member have high speed internet access, you could use video cams to see each other, too.

  6. #6
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    That is a hard, hard choice. It is wonderful that both your husband and his mother are having such thought for your welfare.

    But my best advice is get another doctor and read up on the internet about options in kidney failure. Check the US News and World Report site for best hospitals in Urology. I know nothing about WVA or MD. I wouldn't move to W.VA. unless I knew there was a quality medical help (urologist, endocrinologist, hospital, transplant surgery ) available near the area you're moving to in WVA. And also please be sure you know the details of the state's support for people in poor health, since it sounds like you are not well to do, and all options for kidney failure are expensive. Especially if he is not yet on Medicare. If he goes on disability, he will be on Medicare in 2years, though. My guess is that you would be better off in some other states, if you are going to make a move. A house is a nice thing, but a live husband is a better one. If you have little money in CT, they pay for your drugs, for example, with a CONNPACE card and a small copay.

    Would your mother in law move (and provide a share of money for the house) if you offered to let her move in with you elsewhere after the heirs sell the house? It would be hard for her to leave her friends and other family, I'm sure. And it will be hard for you to move there.

    Here's why I would get a new doctor:

    1. My 2nd cousin Jean has been on dialysis for 19 years. She is still alive in her late 70's. You need to be near a dialysis center of very high quality. Dialysis is not necessarily an immediate death sentence, although it is very risky for blood clots and strokes.
    If your husband has his kidneys fail in 2 years, that still could be 21 years (and countring) that he could be alive.

    2. When your kidneys fail, kidney transplant is a very viable option, provided your health care covers it and you can find a donor. You should start now getting everyone in the family typed, including his Mom while she is still alive. That alone can buy him another 5 years on average. You should try to be near a
    hospital that does transplants well. A diabetic man who shared a room with Ski at Yale New Haven had had a kidney transplant five years previously. He would not have had trouble even then if his primary care provider had advised him properly about the risks of some over the counter drugs he took for a cold, which got him in trouble. And when the new kidney fails, depending on his age and general condition at that time, there is the possibility of another kidney, or dialysis (see 1 above).

    3. Diabetes drugs are getting better every year. A good endocrinologist is an absolute necessity. My husband is currently controlled with drugs so that his long term blood sugar level is in normal range. This is not a testimony to his control of his eating; on the contrary. One other important thing to know that I have find many diabetic educators skimp on is a realization that starches, like pasta and potato, and especially if not consumed with fats, which tend to slow digestion, are actually worse than anything else to make your blood sugar spike. You can find a table of glycemic indices in the South beach diet book, but Ski has duplicated the results long ago when he first became diabetic using his handy dandy finger poker. On a scale where sugar has a glycemic index of 100, a baked potato with nothing on it has the highest glycemic index in the table at 150. Fried potatoes are something like 110 to 100. Even if your husband doesn't control his eating as much as he should, he can control his choices to some extent, and every little bit helps towards keeping his kidneys going. You already know about drinking lots of water of course.

    I hope whatever choice you make that it works out really well for you.

    Best wishes and you and your husband are in my prayers.

    dpp

  7. #7
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    Thank you so much to all those who replied , yes it did help to get it all written out and to hear some outside opinions other than my family because of course they don't want me to move. Well the decision is final, we will be moving.

    Heyang, yes I definately could sell the house and move back to MD if my husband and MIL pass before I do. I talked to my MIL for about 45 minutes today and she brought up the idea of me selling the house if that situation came to be, so she has no problem with that. She also brought up the idea that I could move my mother in with us down there. My mother lives in a government senior citizen disability apt. where they keep her under their thumb at all times and she hates it there, the only reason I haven't taken her in is because I simply don't have the room, me and my husband share a one bedroom apt, so my MIL suggested that we all four live there since there will be plenty of room.Whether my mother accepts the invite is yet to be seen, she can be pretty hardheaded.


    If my MIL became incapacitated and needed nursing, she filled me in on what will happen. Since she retired from Aberdeen Proving Grounds on a medical disability back in 1984 the government pays for all her medical bills .She and her father decided that if it came to that then she would go into a nursing home because her sister Kitty would not be able to take care of her with the bad heart her sister had. (My mil and her sister Kitty always thought that it would have been just them living in the house together after their parents died, but her sister Kitty died unexpectedly)
    Not that Iwouldn't try my best to take care of her and I told her that, and I will if need be.

    My mother in law is also confident that my husband will be able to get SS disability because of his diagnosis

  8. #8
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    Skatingfantasy-
    I am sorry to hear of your husbands illness.

    I have to tell you first hand that being close to your support group is very important at this time with your husbands illness and all. This quote says it all about how you are feeling: "I'd hate having to get used to new surroundings and all the change that goes along with moving even though that would be a major pain to me, but my family is here, my mother, and all my sisters but two who live in Fla. and Alabama. I guess I look at them as my support and if I move away from them and move down there I don't know if I'll be able to bear living by myself". I know from experience how awful it can be when you are going through a crisis and there is nobody to talk to or comfort you, it is a lonely feeling.

    Why not think about moving your mother-in-law up to where you and your husband are living instead of you two moving in with her. This makes it possible for your husband to be close to his mother and you to remain close to your family too. This is just a thought but one to maybe consider.

  9. #9
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I think it's because they want to keep the house in the family... at least that's how I read it?

  10. #10
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    I understand the sentimental reasons for wanting to keep the house.

  11. #11
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    Yes, they want to keep the house in the family. If my mother in law moved up here with us, she would have to sell the house and unfortunately the family won't sell it to anyone but family for sentimental reasons and all the rest of them already have homes.:\ I really appreciate everyone replying.

  12. #12
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    Hi, skatingfantasy.

    I'm glad to hear that you and your MIL seem to communicate well. She seems to be thoughtful of your concerns and needs; loved the suggestion that your mother move with you.

    Doris,

    You made some great points about dialysis and organ donation. My father lost both his kidneys before I was age 2. At that time, his siblings and parents were tested for possible donation. Only my uncle was a match, but one of his kidneys was abnormal and the doctors decided it wouldn't be safe. My father was on dialysis for about 16 years before his kidney transplant. His dialysis was done at home 3 times a week; so, he was there to help with homework and watch TV with. My brother and I were both able to skip a level of math in high school since he taught us algebra himself. Our family was also featured in old filmstrip/slide show called the Stream of Life which was produced by the National Kidney Foundation in the early 1970's. Unfortunately, he died shortly afterwards from a stroke. Not sure if it was the stress from the transplant or just bad luck. That was 20 years ago - makes me sad to think that he's missed more than 1/2 my life now, but I'm glad he was around for the 1st 19 thanks to dialysis.

    Medical research has advanced a lot. I was wondering if you've been tested as a possible kidney donor. The body does not utilize both kidneys to full capacity and can survive with only a single kidney. Donors do not have to be blood relations. There are blood, body size and age factors that are elements of the matching process. Also, live donors have the right to specify the recipient.

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear that some additional positives may result.

  13. #13
    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    Dear Skatingfantasy,

    I just read your posts about your husband's illness. Let me first tell you how sorry I am and that you and your family will be in my prayers.

    I am a kidney dialysis R.N. retired who lives in WV. Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) here in Charleston has dialysis facilities as well as being a kidney transplant center in partnership with Cleveland Clinic. There are dialysis facilities located throughout the state. Also, we have medical schools at WVU in Morgantown which is affiliated with CAMC, and at Marshall University in Huntington.


    Anyone who is diagnosed with end stage renal disease that needs permanent dialysis or a kidney transplant automatically becomes eligible for Social Security and Medicare. Medicare covers most dialysis expenses. This link should answer lot of your questions


    http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseas...ment/index.htm

    Hope this helps.

    Piel

  14. #14
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    Thanks Piel, We will be living 10 minutes away from the University and hospital in Morgantown, so that will be great for my husband.

  15. #15
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Fantasy.......so sorry to hear of your husband's diabetes conditition. I have several relatives in the same situation health-wise. Doris is right, they are making tremendous advancements in the treatment of diabetes........hang in there. As for the house, if you do decide to relocate, your family could always visit, even for extended amounts of time. It could be a long range investment and perhaps being closer to his mother might help your husband's condition somewhat...........42

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