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.