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Showing posts from February, 2021

Bill Walking Around The Cul De Sac

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  Tonight would have been my regular work night at the hotel. I do miss my bi-weekly job working the front desk at the boutique hotel in Lewes where I've been employed since 2007. However, since Bill needs my full-time care, leaving him alone for anytime at all is out of the question.  Now that we don't have the home health aid workers calling and visiting every other day, we're able to settle into a routine, which is the goal of both of us since Bill's accident and his decline in health. I've had a call from a clergyman connected with the hospice program we're under as well as a call from a social worker. We don't need that help right now. Tomorrow we meet Bill's nurse for the first time. She is the person I will call if Bill has another "event" like the last time he ended up in the Emergency Room. No more Emergency Room visits.  We're already cutting back on Bill's medications and what medications he has we're not renewing when th

Transitioning To Hospice Care

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  Bill, Bamberg, Germany 1951 Today a representative from a local hospice care company will enter our front door and evaluate Bill for home hospice care. Since Bill came home from the rehabilitation hospital, we've had home health aides (supplied by Medicare Part A) come by several times.  They take Bill's blood pressure, check his heart rate and give suggestions for physical and occupational therapy. I've decided not to use the home health aides because last week they sent us to the local emergency room because Bill's blood pressure was below 90. That visit to the emergency room solved nothing other than to cut one of his heart medications dosage in half. Friday, when another home health aid worker come in and took  Bill's blood pressure, she also said Bill should go to the emergency room. I told her "No, we're not doing that again."  I understand she's just doing her job, if he didn't, she would lose her job.  Since Friday I've had severa

Making Bathroom Handicap Accessible

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Scott putting in the new toilet rails   Yesterday, Scott my local handyman made two of our bathrooms handicap accessible for Bill Bill shower before the grab bars We now have guardrails on the toilets for both Bill's bathroom in the basement near his bedroom and the second floor bathroom that he sometimes uses. Scott also installed grab bars in Bill's shower.  Scott installing the grab bars in Bill's shower Bill is still very unsteady on his feet and these grab bars give him confidence when he takes a shower or goes to the bathroom. He still uses the pee jug for the #1 but for #2 we've managed to avoid the portable bucket and instead use the toilet. With these handrails on either side of the toilet Bill now can go to the bathroom and get up off the toilet without my help. Bill in his new grab bar shower Now that we've made the decision to go into home hospice care, we're settling into a routine. The first hospice worker hasn't arrived yet, it's the weeke

Bill's Emergency Room Visit February 17, 2021

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"Alicia", Bill's home health aide checking Bill's blood pressure yesterday   Bill's medical care crises continues.  Yesterday morning "Alicia", Bill's health aide of the day, checked his blood pressure as they always do when they come in for his home health care. She said his blood pressure was 88 over 62, too low. She advised me to go to the local Emergency Room immediately. My first response was "Oh no, another emergency room visit? What can they do?" I asked her "Do I have to?"  She said "It's up to you." She said whenever a patient's blood pressure is below 90 he should go to the local emergency room.  What do I know? I bundled Bill up and got him ready for the ride to our local Emergency Room, a place I know well having visited there several times with my numerous kidney stone episodes. Of course I knew by driving in and not taking the ambulance we would be waiting in the Emergency Room for how long? But I

Bill's Bedroom Baby Cam Monitor

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I don't remember who came up with the idea of installing one of those baby monitors in Bill's bedroom (I think it was Pat), but I installed one on Sunday. It wasn't easy. My head hurt after spending about four hours trying to figure out how to configure the baby monitor camera with my iPhone but I got it done. I'm finding that I'm accomplishing a lot of tasks that I wouldn't even have attempted before my caregiving of Bill. As I type this blog this morning at 7:12 AM I am monitoring Bill on my iPhone, waiting for him to get ready to get up. Today is shower day. He hates taking a shower. It's an extra effort for him. I've had to remind him it's a lot of extra effort for me because I have to undress him, all the while he's groaning and complaining, get him in the shower, wash him down, then dry him then (this is the hard part) getting him dressed again. He does feel a lot better after a shower but it is an ordeal for both of us.  We're settling

The Tonga Hut Band, Palm Springs, California 2020

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  This is the week Pat and I were scheduled to be in Palm Springs, California for Modernist Week.  Pat and I have been making this two week winter getaway to Palm Springs for three years now. Little did we know last year at this time, when we made our airline and VRBO reservations for this year, that the worldwide COVID pandemic would upend all our plans. Even if it wasn't for the pandemic, I couldn't have made the trip anyway because I have to devote my total attention to caregiving for Bill at this time of his life.  The video above was made at the Tonga Hut Tiki Bar in downtown Palm Springs last year on February 16th, 2020. Pat discovered that band while he was walking around North Palm Canyon Drive, the main drag in downtown Palm Springs, during one of my afternoon naps. We had a front row seat that late Thursday afternoon to this fabulous band. What a great time we had that afternoon. We enjoyed it so much we came back that night to get more. Of course it was more crowded

Thoughts On My New Role As A FullTime Caregiver

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Yesterday morning Bill and I completed a task that was delayed by his accident last month, updating his end of life documents. Our lawyer brought Bill's end of life documents out to our car for his signature. Two witnesses also came out to stand by our car in the sunny cold air which was parked in front of the lawyer's office on Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth Beach, to witness Bill signing his documents. That task done I decided to take the three block ride down to the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk and take a walk. I love walking on the boardwalk during offseason days like yesterday. The ocean, with the waves rolling in on the cold sand, is the same but the crowds are gone. Just a few brave souls walking the boards with the cold ocean air winds, so tranquil and peaceful. Something I need during this change in our lives. But while I was waiting for copies that were being made for me of Bill's end of life documents, I watched the people bustling around my lawyer's office. I thoug

Bill Shaves For The First Time In Three Weeks

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Bill shaved for the first time in three weeks this morning.  I also cut his hair for the first time in my life this morning.  Today we went out for a ride. Before Bill's emergency I took him out for his ride almost every day. Bill is so happy we have returned to his daily ride. Today was a nice sunny day too. I think I'm getting a routine worked out during this new phase of our lives. A friend, who took care of his mother during her declining years, recommended that I make time for myself every day to cope with being a full-time (24/y) caregiver. That's what I'm doing now that Bill is in his recliner in his bedroom. However, I do have to stop in his bedroom before I go to bed about 11 PM to help him in the bathroom. This is one function that I wish I didn't have (I have enough problems with my bathroom visits) but I'm managing. Seems like my whole day is based on Bill's bathroom needs.  Bill's walked more, with the help of his walker today. That's be

Bill's Home!

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Bill sleeping peacefully in his bedroom last night   Bill is home! The last two days have been a whirlwind.  Seems a lot longer than two days. Bill was discharged from the rehab hospital in Dover where he has been staying for the past two weeks.  I had a lot of papers to sign to get him out of there. One of the concerns I raised was continuing his medications until Bill's VA automatic prescriptions were in place. I was assured by Bill's doctor the prescriptions would be called in to Rite Aid, which is the procedure the VA uses, until the vet's prescriptions are in the VA system.  We got Bill in the car without too much trouble and then we headed south on U.S. Coastal Highway (U.S. 1) to Georgetown to pick up Bill's prescriptions so we could bridge his medications until the VA kicked in.  We got down to Georgetown, I pulled up to the drive-in window of Rite-Aid, give Bill's name and date of birth and . . . . . . . . . . you guessed it. They had NOTHING.  I was afraid

Bill Practicing Getting In And Out Of Car

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Today I had a "family training session" at the rehab hospital where Bill has been for the past two weeks in Dover, Delaware. Tomorrow I drive up to Dover again, and this time I can tell Bill "We're going home now."  A question he has asked me almost every day since I found him on the floor of his bedroom, unconscious January 14th.  What a journey Bill has had since that time. First the EMT's of our local hospital picked him up off the floor of his bedroom, strapped him to their gurney, slid that gurney in the back of their armored emergency vehicle with the flashing red lights early in the morning dawn of a cold January morning. Later that day he was airlifted to a hospital in Philadelphia, near death from bleeding on the brain, blood clots in his lungs and a-fib. After several days in the ICU of the Philadelphia hospital he was transferred out to a post acute rehabilitation hospital in Dover, Delaware.  Tomorrow he will be discharged, two weeks to the day s

Bill's Bedroom Ready For His Return Home This Friday

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Bill called me from his rehab this afternoon. He sounded almost like the old Bill I know and love. He also called yesterday and sounded like his old self.  He said his physical therapy is coming along, he walked two hundred feet today. That is great news! However, he is still at risk of falling down. But it is encouraging that he can walk and even do steps. Maybe he can even go down the thirteen steps to his bedroom. Over the weekend I thoroughly cleaned out his room, vacuuming the hell out of it. I dusted every thing off. And, a biggie since I hate to paint, I painted his corner. The wall was so dirty with his fingerprints from putting up all those pictures of me and other pictures that give him comfort. One picture is of Bill and my Mother. He loved my Mother and the feeling was mutual, my Mother was best friends with Bill. They were only four years apart in age.  Also Bill's favorite eagle picture is now up behind his bed and one of his favorite oil paintings, of Baltimore Oriol