Sunday, May 16, 2021

Bill Healthcare Update

Time for an update on Bill's health and my caregiver status.

We have settled into a routine. 

This morning was Shower Day, as it is every three days. Bill complains but he does appreciate my help in giving him a shower. He hasn't been this clean in years. Bill never was one for really washing himself. For  years his definition of showering was a quick splash of water sans soap about every four days, not the best personal hygiene practice. Oh sure, I tried to persuade him to shower more often, especially when he started emitting body odors, but you have to know how stubborn Bill is. No wonder during two different emergency hospital visits they found fungus on his body. I know this is a turnoff to many of you who read this blog but I'm just stating facts. Some may say "How could you live with somebody like that?" Well, he wasn't always like that. I think his lack of personal hygiene developed over the years. But this is for sure now, as long as I'm able, Bill will be as clean as is possible. And no more body odor.

Bill edema in his lower legs has improved. No more open wounds and leakage. No more dry scaly skin. I think this is a result of me washing his legs and feet every morning with Dial anti-bacterial soap and slathering his legs with Lubriderm lotion. And another factor is Bill walks several times a day thus getting the blood flowing to his lower legs. Whatever, it's working and we're going to keep at it.

On the downside, Bill is getting weaker. He's having a more difficult time climbing the stairs from his basement bedroom and bathroom. He used to kid me before his strokes, at how he had no trouble climbing those stairs unlike my struggle to climb those stairs. He actually goes slower than me. 

His eyesight is getting worse. He can't even see to put a plug in a wall. He can't see me working outside in our backyard when he looks directly at me. He has to look sideways to see my image. That's because the central retina in his eyes is gone. It so sad when I look him directly in his eyes it's like looking at a blind person's eyes. He doesn't see me. It's heartbreaking. 

We're still waiting for his new hearing aids. He lost his old hearing aids a couple of weeks ago. I thought they would show up by now but no such luck. I suspect they got flushed down the toilet during one of his bathroom visits. He's easily confused when he gets up at night for his bathroom visits. 

His cognitive functions are also deteriorating. Like my late friend Bob McC., he can't figure out how to take a picture of me with my camera. He offered to take my picture earlier this week when I was working on cleaning out the shed. I was reluctant to hand him my iPhone because I'm afraid he'll drop it, he's that unsteady. But we were outside on the thick mat of grass and I figured if he did drop my iPhone it wouldn't break. No matter, he couldn't see the big white button to take my picture nor could he figure out how to get my image in the viewfinder of my iPhone. When my late friend Bob McC. had the same problem,  that's when I knew Bob's cognitive abilities were gone. Same with Bill. He can't "connect the dots."

It's not all bad news around here.  Bill isn't in pain and his other bodily functions work fine (thank goodness). We've been having a glorious spring.  Bill spends a good deal of the day sitting on our back deck.  He likes the feeling of the sun on him. Once the weather gets hot though, he won't be able to do that but now it's fine because the weather is cool and brisk. 

Another piece of good news is that t he mask mandate will be lifted here in Delaware on May 21st, this Friday.  I know what I'm going to do, take a trip down to the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk for a nice walk with the salt breezes of the Atlantic Ocean caressing my weathered, stressed, caregiver face.

9 comments:

VRCooper said...

It warms my heart to see Bill up and about...Even watching traffic...He is clean as ever...Glad to see that the edema is going down and is next to nothing...Is he wearing compression socks...Those are a bear to get on but one has to have the nack...Toes, feet, and the rest...Trust me I have put on my fair share...We might have to approach the subject of Bill moving to the first floor...The mask mandates here in Denver are relaxed...I follow the science and I just don't know who is vaccinated and who is not...I am fully vaccinated...But I will wait till Denver hits the 70%--80% to do away with the mask...I mainly wear a mask to the gym, grocery shopping, other errands, and around other people...If I am outside walking by myself I don't wear one but I always have one ready just in case I want to duck into a business...I have been to the gym that last few days and it has been about 50/50 wearing masks...I can't wait to get back into a movie theater...I love independent movies...I rarely go to restaurants but do take out...I do miss my coffee shops...Just to have a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee, enjoy a baked good, and watch people...One thing I wished the CDC would have done is set mask guidelines...Yes, you can take them off BUT if your neck of the woods is so and so percentage vaccinated these are the guidelines...A little more precise...Like they say, all politics is local and so is public health...Take care...Enjoy your time on the boardwalk when you go...Best...XO...Victor

Julie A. said...

I thought I would share this because it made me chuckle a bit....when you asked Bill "excuse me do you live here?" and he raised his hand to his hat I thought he was going to flip you off :-)
Julie

Ur-spo said...

Shower days are good days!

3d Interior Rendering said...

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"Tommy" said...

When I read your blog, I rejoice that Bill has you. It also reminds me that all of us one day will need some support as you are giving Bill now.

You are an amazing man.

Ron said...

Victor,
Just got back from getting Bill is first COVID vaccination shot. I didn't wear my mask into Walgren's because they had a sign on the door that says it wasn't necessary to wear a mask if one is FULLY vaccinated which I am. However, I did feel strange being one fo the few not wearing masks in Walgreen's. I had my mask in my pocket just in case.
No, Bill isn't wearing compression sock. Yes, they are a bear to get on. Thank goodness we don't have to do that now.
You're like Pat, he loves his coffee shops. Hamilton and Canada are still on a strict lockdown. He's getting pretty discouraged. I feel bad for those businesses that are trying to hang on.
Yes, the CDC should be more precise they issuing their new guidelines but at least we're going in the right direction.
Have a great day!
Ron

Ron said...

Julia A.,
Yes, it did look like Bill was going to flip me off. I don't think he's ever done that but he has used the "F" word. Anybody who was in the service (Bill was in the Army and Air Force for a total of nine years) soon acquires the "F" word as part of their necessary vocabulary. Me included much to the chagrin of my Mother when I first came home from Basic Training and was letting the "F" word generously sprinkle my conversation. I didn't even realize I was saying it.
Ron

Ron said...

Ur-spo,
Shower days are GOOD DAYS! Bill may complain but I think he appreciates the service I'm providing for him And believe me, he gets a "thorough" cleaning.
Ron

Ron said...

"Tommy",
I often think about "whose going to take care of me?". Actually, I hope when my times comes I just pass away peacefully in my sleep but don't we all have that wish? One thing I am fairly certain of, I will avoid going into a facility at all costs. But I do know how that can happen gradually. My late good friend Bob McC. said the same thing but that's exactly how he spent his final days, in a One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" facility. Literally. It was Crazytown.
Ron

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