closer to decision time
I am in danger of becoming a blog hog…lol. Every day something happens and I think: “I will blog about that.” I think it is because I am really lonely with Ray still in hospital and no news yet of what they are doing to get him moving. I am getting stressed about this now as it is now 28 days – four weeks, since he actually had the stroke.
I went in this afternoon and he seemed fine, he was sitting up and looking scrubbed up. I took that to mean that he had recently had a shower but didn’t ask if it was his second or third in the day. The last bad day was Friday afternoon, something seemed to be going on then as his head was down again and he was doing a kind of stuttering speech where he repeated words over and over. I was really worried about that. There are horror stories of another small stroke catapulting people into severe dementia with no pull-back.
By Saturday afternoon he was speaking clearly again. I was his only visitor over the weekend as Trev was busy and really no-one else is ringing or volunteering to visit this time. His younger brother saw him Thursday and so did Trev and my nephew Bill so he has had others come. It is difficult now he has a short attention span as making a conversation with him turns into a kind of monologue about my day, my week, my activities and a few questions about what he had for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I have started the process of looking at nursing homes. It is not something I want to do but in the light of his Friday confusion and that he is really not walking yet I am not convinced that he will be able to come home. On the other hand I have also looked at having a second toilet, this one to be put into our existing bathroom, so if he does come home and it takes a while for nature to take it’s course I will have another option…lol.
It is such a difficult time isn’t it? You want something positive to come out of all of this but you have the old doubts and fears returning. There is no-one who can help you go through the decision process as the one most involved is no longer able to make decisions or even help you make an assessment of the situation.
Thank you to all who have sent me PMs, contacted me via Facebook or have posted comments on my blogs. I do appreciate the support you are offering me. I think I am doing okay. I cried a lot the first week he was in hospital not so much last week and this week I have got back to my old stoic self. I know this is a long slow process and I am hunkering down for the long wait.
I went in to see Mum today and watched one of the aides feed her lunch. She is on a well-cooked cut up diet with mashed vegetables and lots of gravy. She opens her mouth for every spoonful, makes an attempt to chew and swallows. No coughing now and so they are including foods not pureed. She has fruit and custard for dessert. Not being a diabetic she can have some sweet foods. She still has thickened fluids as she still has some trouble with swallowing water-like fluids.
Mum has been so well looked after in the nursing home. I was worried about her at first as she was very agitated at being restrained but now she sits in her jelly chair and kicks her feet to music, closes her eyes and has a snooze, looks about her, listens to the TV. It is not as active a life as I would like for her but considering her deficits now with severe dementia it is enough. And when I am there I take her for a push around the place, into the sun if I can and make sure I sit close to her and talk to her and do things like hand massages. It is a pleasant way for both of us to spend some time together.
I know the experience with Mum will not be duplicated for Ray. He still has a lot of awareness and although he is physically unwell at the moment if that changes then he will wonder why he has to be in a nursing home and why he isn’t at home with me. But once he is in a nursing home and I have signed all the paperwork and paid out a great deal of money to get him there the decision will be irreversible.
I am finding all of this very hard to deal with. I would like someone else to make the decision and say that it was the obviously right thing to do. I know people keep telling me I cannot sacrifice my life and my health to keep him at home, and part of me agrees with that. The logistics of looking after a man who cannot walk or help himself if you are not trained for it or set up for it are very demanding.
But some part of me keeps remembering:“till death us do part.”