Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hospice

OH THIS IS SO HARD!  
I AM GRIEVING.

Hospice doesn't just have to be for the last days, but maybe for days like I am having near your loved one's end. Hubby can't walk. Can't get him showered. Incontinence. I solved one very small bed sore with Vaseline, but what if they return?

Every day lately there has been decline.  Yesterday when 2:30 rolled around and hubby was soaked with his own pee and I couldn't get him out of bed, I called Hospice. Matthew from Hospice was here at from 4 pm to 6:30 pm yesterday to interview me and see my husband. He even talked with Kenny on the phone. He qualified and we are enrolled.

Yesterday before Matthew from Hospice came,  I went briefly to town. I stopped at the Plant City Senior Center to sign two forms they had called me about. I cancelled my husband's coming there again today and said for the foreseeable future I couldn't see his coming there. I went to his doctor's office to deliver pee I had saved in the refrigerator in a plastic bag from before he took the antibiotics for the UTI. They wouldn't take it--wrong container. I threw it in the trash.

I texted my pastor and family members and several family have called. My pastor texted me last night that I had done the right thing. Brenda from TN and Sherry from my church emailed me this morning.  Ruby from Australia wrote on the last post. Thanks!

It turns out hubby has a new doctor now--a Hospice physician named Dr. Adria Stephens. Hospice will cover some meds but not all--no more Exelon Patch and Namenda. These preventative medicines weren't effective anyway at his stage. Hubby won't even remember about Hospice coming to the house yesterday afternoon.

Hospice evaluated him at stage 7c. There will be a team of people that come to the house. I look forward to meeting what they call Team Aqua. They will even send a chaplain. A nurse will come every four days. A Hospice aide will bathe him. They will provide him with a hospital bed when I say so and I will buy a single bed so I can sleep by him.

This morning I had to gently let my husband down to the floor in our bathroom because I couldn't get him a few more steps to the wheel chair outside the bathroom. I placed a pillow under his head.  One phone call this morning and I had the fire department that Hospice called help me get hubby to his wheel chair and ready for the day.



I reminisce below about the last times I have had with hubby as I have carefully kept this blog and evaluated my Facebook postings.  
  • In December of 2008 when I started this blog my husband was diagnosed with dementia, the umbrella term for many conditions. He was officially diagnosed with Mixed Dementia in October of 2010 and the neurologist was surprised he still dressed himself and the Byrd Institute was surprised I was giving him coconut oil (now they have a study about it). 
  • It has only been within the last year that I have been selecting his clothes and doing more of the dressing. Since Thursday when I cancelled substitute teaching, he has been wearing loose jogging pants and T-shirts which he can also wear to bed as PJ's. They have to be changed when he pees through them. 
  • Camping has not happened since Memorial Day of 2012. My family provided a respite cruise for me in while hubby went to Virginia to stay with his son also in 2012. We also went to Virginia for Christmas of that year. 
  • The last special dates were last month as recorded HERE—April 22 a concert and April 26 a b. d. party for two sibling dogs. 
  • The last movie we saw together was "God Is Not Dead" on April 3rd in Lakeland. The last anniversary we celebrated was our 14th when we went to  Carrabba’s Italian Grill Restaurant in Plant City. 
  • The last time we went the chiropractor and the last time we went to a restaurant was May 7th--last Wednesday. After the chiropractor, he hobbled into the restaurant and I couldn't see that going to the chiropractor who had been helping him was effective. A lady at the next table at Sony's BBQ told me that there are straps I could get to help me get hubby up from the table--check a medical supply place, she said. Hubby was just starting an antibiotic for a DUI, but walking was not to be. Every day since the walking has declined. He has finished the antibiotic as of this morning. 
She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. 
Proverbs 31:12 

I need Hospice to accomplish that verse. I hope to "do my hubby good", concentrating on what I can do and what he can do, enjoying his smile, humor and our love for each other with more time together than if he were in a nursing home wishing to come home. Already this morning we have told each other we love each other several times. With Hospice I can probably keep hubby home until [gasp] he dies and his soul is immediately with the LORD waiting the resurrection of the body when Christ returns. Hospice is a reminder of grief, but as a Christian I do not grieve without hope. But I am going to cry. 

12 comments:

  1. Oh Carol I'm so sorry you and your husband are going through this horrible time in your lives. Just know that my thoughts and prayers are with you always. Trust in God to see you through. Thinking about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rena, for your thoughts and prayers and also for putting me on a blogging tour, that, oops!, stopped with me. I just didn't work hard enough at getting three bloggers to continue the tour.

      Hugs,
      Carol

      Delete
  2. My sweet dear friend! I have been praying and praying for you. To say this is hard does not even come close to the level of 'hard' you are living through. I know each of us must face this one day unless we are the first called 'home'. I've been thinking about it a lot this past week as I pray for you. I've wondered to myself... how would I live through the same thing that Carol is living through if God assigns it for me. I've thought much more of heaven and realized that when my thoughts are on heaven and what God has in store for us that the fear of the future lessens. I'm so thankful that we will not face this journey on earth alone and that He will be with us... at every step. I am so thankful we have God's Word and His Spirit to comfort us. I love you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, INDEED, God's Word and His Spirit to comfort us. Then the prayers of others also comfort us.

      From I Cor. 15:54--
      "So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'"
      Hubby just kissed my arm when I complimented how he ate his dinner and brought him ice cream (the favorite of Alzheimer's patients).

      I love you too, Georgene!

      Delete
    2. As I read your reply I was reminded of a dear friend whose husband was suffering from Emphysema. I asked her how she lived through watching him struggle to breathe each day. She said she kept focused on how to help and serve him. That was her focus. She would make his favorite meals and do all she could to make his days joyful and comfortable. Just like you are doing.

      Delete
    3. Yes, focused on how to serve my husband. This morning I fed him water in the bed (he was thirsty) and two coconut chocolates that I have been making for him and have blogged about. He appreciates those and asked me how I came up with this.

      "In a book, Sweetheart." That book is Dr. Mary Newports's "What if There Were a Cure. . ."

      Delete
  3. I think this was a very wise decision for you to make, Carol, although I know it was a very hard one, but it is good that your hubby will be able to be at home and you will be getting some of help that you need in taking care of him. It is good that you did have those 2 recent outings and you have the memories of them as well as the blog reminders of the times you spent out and about with hubby . I'm a firm believer in crying and I think a good cry is actually good for a person. I am sure you will cry many a tear in the days ahead. Keeping you in my prayers.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Betty,

      Thanks so much for your affirmation tonight. I feel like you are in that circle above praying and crying with me.

      Hugs,
      Carol

      Delete
  4. I am sad with you, Carol, that this stage has been reached for your hubby. However I am very glad that you have called Hospice to help, because there comes a time when you must have help and hubby must have the help they can give. My hubby and I are praying for you, grieving with you, but having the same hope as you for your hubby. He loves the Lord and is trusting Christ as do you. Blessings to you and may the comfort of God through His Word be yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Sandy, for your tracking with me in all of this. Today was such a crazy day, and it probably deserves its own post, but I am just too exhausted to think and write. I felt I have been sustained by the prayers of friends like you.

      Love,
      Carol

      Delete
  5. You ARE doing your husband good. Each and every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are doing your sons and husband good also! In addition, your Chicago Parent column gives so many something to think about and smile about.

      Delete

I appreciate your input and will try to respond to what you write. Anonymous comments are no longer allowed and I choose to moderate all comments now.