A Family’s Struggle with Hoarding (Chapter 7)


Today, Dolly brought home new stuff from the neighbors like: cabinets, trinkets, and lots of Christmas stuff. Mandy washed the laundry and straightened up her half of the house, as she always does during the day. The kitchen was piled with boxes and Dolly’s room was piled up with boxes too, but Mandy tried to just ignore the boxes and do what she could to straighten up the main areas of the house. However, she couldn’t put dishes away that Dolly had washed, because all the boxes were in the way.


That night, Mandy and her husband Kyle stayed up to watch over Dolly, because she was twitching and jerking involuntarily. Mandy knew immediately, something was wrong, but she had an appointment with her doctor that morning. So, Mandy and her husband tried to keep her mother in her motorized wheelchair all morning long. Suddenly, she began displaying signs of an infection or an accidental pain medicine overdose which freaked Mandy out.


Mandy called the ambulance that usually transports her mother to the hospital and she explained what she had witnessed. The ambulance drivers decided to test for a possible drug overdose and after sticking her mother Dolly with an IV and administering a narcotic reversal agent. Dolly became alert and the ambulance drivers stated that she had accidentally taken too much pain medicine. She was transported to the nearest hospital and the doctors there discovered that she also had a urinary tract infection.


During the time that Dolly was at the hospital, a lady showed up, who was with Adult Protective Services and she requested that Mandy and her husband Kyle began cleaning out the kitchen. She also advised us that Dolly needed to clean her own room, once she was able to home from the hospital. Basically, Mandy’s husband Kyle had to get rid of the garbage and the rest was put in the storage room. Mandy could only help with the small stuff, due to her own disability from her cancer treatment 11 years ago.


Mandy decided to call her mother’s doctor and report that she was in the emergency room, plus Mandy decided to tell her this is the third accidental overdose. Dolly’s doctor was unaware of the facts, but stated she would handle it from here by lowering her dose. Additionally, she asked Mandy if she would manage her medications, once she got out of the hospital. Mandy hesitated and then she agreed to manage her medicines for her.


Since, the day Dolly came home, she has been less argumentative with Mandy and Kyle, which is an answered prayer. She is slowly cleaning at her room and that is frustrating, because it has to be done or Mandy and Kyle will have to clean it up as well. Mandy created a notebook or logbook where she writes down and accounts for every medication that she gives her mother. She also has been trying to give her mother freedom, yet prays she will see how her mistakes affect other people like: Mandy and Kyle.



(©2014, Crystal S. Kauffman)