|Me and Bill at the dermatologist yesterday morning|
Yesterday morning I took Bill to our dermatologist for a followup visit. I asked the dermatologist to take our picture. These days, the only way I can get a joint picture of me and Bill is a selfie. Selfies get old though, the arm is always missing.
Time for a health update, for me and Bill. I usually do these health updates for Bill only but I'm including myself because caring for Bill is also affecting my health.
First, about Bill. He has somewhat plateaued out. He's still weak. He will never be the person he was for the past fifty-seven years of our life together. He has trouble talking. He says his "tongue gets in the way." I think his garbled speech is a result of the two strokes he suffered last January. His speech is getting worse.
He's also sleeping more. twelve to fourteen hours a day. Part of this is a result of the ending of Daylight Savings Time. Bill goes to bed when it gets dark outside and our year round Christmas lights automatically go on. That's his signal to go to bed. This summer he was typically going to bed around 7:30 or 8 PM. Now he propels himself downstair to his basement bedroom about 5 PM.
Last week he was having trouble sleeping, probably as a result of going to bed early. But another problem cropped up, he started to see hallucinations. He says he was seeing "parades"and "people milling about in his bedroom" through is macular degeneration destroyed eyes. He couldn't go to sleep. To try and help him, I increased his sleeping pill. He was taking half of one of those little sleeping pills of 25mg. I'm giving him a whole pill now and he hasn't had any trouble sleeping. Thank God. Few things are worse than not being able to sleep. If Bill doesn't sleep, I don't sleep and God knows I need my sleep.
Another problem is that he was experiencing skin irritation on the inside of his buttocks (a nice was of saying ass cheeks). Now that he's wearing Depends all the time and is slightly incontinent, his hospice nurse says he has to change his Depends at least daily. Of course Bill is complaining mightily about this latest inconvenience but I convinced him this is in his own best interest in keeping him healthy and not developing a health threatening infection. One of my problems in caring for Bill is that he's never been big on personal hygiene. Sounds awful but that's the fact. I've convinced him the "exercise" (I actually am doing all the work in changing him since he can't dress or undress himself) is that it's his "workout" and that he is "doing it for me." After some persuasion this morning I had him convinced. Bill is stubborn, always has been and one of his personal characters that he has kept through his deteriorating health.
Another problem is that Bill gets depressed because of his eyesight, he can't see (macular degeneration). He's always had projects but now can't do anything and says he feels "useless." I take him out for a ride daily which he likes because he can see light, he just can't make out forms except for peripheral vision. Dealing daily with this frustration of his is a challenge. But I think I have been able to convince him (again) that he's doing it "for me."
I feel bad for Bill and the best thing would probably be that he just slips away peacefully in his sleep at night. I would miss him terribly (I had a preview of that feeling when I almost lost him this past January) but I understand he understands that each of us has an expiration ("sell by") date. Hopefully our passing (dying) would be peacefully but there is no guarantee.
Treasuring each day folks, making each day count and being thankful for each day we're together.