Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hospice talk, insomnia and diminished ability...

I don't know how many of you want to hear me rant every day, but I think of it as therapy; therapy that I really should have started a while ago because my head is swimming with all of the things I neglected to mention last night in order to keep the blog readable and concise.  Hopefully all 5 of you reading this will stay tuned :)

After not being able to get to sleep until 5:30 this morning, I'm cranky and even more sensitive than normal.  What's an insomniac to do?  Well, this one still wakes up with her wonderful, bubbly 5 year old at 8am and starts the normal daily routine of feeding everyone (dogs included), making sure everyone has had their potty break and is dressed appropriately for the crappy, cold rainy day that today is before I get to make my coffee.  Then it's off to Dad's to visit with him and talk to a good friend, Terri, about what Hospice care is and how we go about getting it.  It's painful to hear Dad say that he believes he's going to stop his chemo treatment even though I fully agree at this point.  As mentioned in the prior blog, the chemo has made him so sick, weak and miserable.  Last night he laid down on the living room floor, as he often has when watching TV, and he couldn't get back up.  And Anne couldn't get him back up either.  Scary.  Actually terrifying.  No matter how much weight Dad loses, he's a large framed man and those bones are heavy!  Luckily, I had gone to Family Oxygen on W. Union (still keeping it local!) to switch his oxygen provider and get him a walker, which apparently was just in time.  He was able to basically climb up the walker until he was standing in order to get off of the floor.  I wish I would have known, I could have gone over and helped as I'm only a block away.  I'm going to try to find a small cot or cheap recliner so that I can stay with Dad over night so that he has someone close by. I did set up a monitor system today so that Anne can hear him if he needs her. Since she's upstairs and across the house in their old bedroom.  He can no longer get up the stairs. 

More about the walker: This was a necessity that Dad really wanted no part of and, actually, I in my heart, didn't want to admit he needed either, but in my head I knew it was time.  After his chemo treatment this past Tuesday, he had gotten up to go to the bathroom (probably about 15 feet from his bed) and fallen backward onto a large, antique wooden chest.  He bruised and ripped a hole in his bicep, which is relatively easy to do since his skin is like tissue paper at this point, and we're lucky that he just ended up with a sore back and not a broken-in-half-one.  Then the next day, while alone and trying to get an ice pack for his back from the freezer in the kitchen (25 feet away) he became so weak he dropped to a sitting position in order to avoid a fall he felt quickly coming on and was stuck there...Praise the lord-he's finally giving in to the walker!

My wonderful friend, Jennifer, an RN with tons of background in Palliative and Geriatric care, came yesterday and did a basic assessment of Dad and bandaged his wounds from the fall and his chemo treatment appropriately and showed me how to do the same.  She mentioned a few things that needed to be changed in order to make the house safe, such as removing a lot of the area & throw rugs.  She also said that she's seen a lot of people with advanced cancer like Dad's and if he were to continue on the chemo he would probably die more miserably and faster than if he were to stop the regimen.  Another pill to swallow.  I promptly went to CVS and bought all of the wound care supplies than Jen told me we needed and made a little first aid kit so anyone can dress the wounds.

Last night when Evelyn and I went to visit, we mentioned going to Larry's Dawg House, a classy joint with 5 star cuisine, LOL, and it sounded good to Anne, so we drove through and brought it back for a hot dog and hamburger picnic in the living room at 180 E. State.  Dad ate half of the burger only and a couple of fries.  Not much for someone who needs to eat. 

So...that's it for now...I'll do my best to shut up until tomorrow at least.  Thanks for listening...Enjoy the present.



  1. Both of the times that I had experience with Hospice care were amazing. They truly are an amazing service and are there as much for the family as for the patient. Use them to the fullest.

  2. Hey Lili,
    Thank you so much for sharing. Hopefully writing is cathartic for you also! Send my love to your dad. Sue can recommend some good protein powders if you want.