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The Countdown begins!



I met with the PT, OT, ST and one of the social workers Friday. The meeting arose as a result of a meeting with Janie Thursday when she told me Bill was going to be released from their services November 7th. It seems that since he is coming home he has plateaued, however, if the plan was for him to stay at the SNF new objectives would be written and he would qualify to stay for further therapy. I'm just not sure what sense that makes, however, maybe it's a good thing I've gotten the bump. We did, in the end, agree he will be discharged home on the 14th of November.


Yesterday Bill was slipping into a deep depression. He had real severe solemnity - more so than he has ever had. He said he had been struck with a profound sense of his mortality. One of the questions he asked was how long I had been told he is expected to live. When we agreed Friday on his discharge date I hadn't wanted to tell him until closer to the date. He has difficulty with time conceptualization now. I felt initially it would be easier on him to learn this Wednesday that he will be coming home in a week.


As the day went on yesterday and he seemed to be slipping away so quickly my decision to tell him he is scheduled to come home real soon was adjusted. We had gone out for the afternoon and each one of us had a pedicure, then we went to Lonestar Steak (decided we wouldn't go back there again) and had dinner then we went to an AA speaker meeting where he slept most of the time. On our way back to the SNF I made a comment about him coming home on the 14th. Immediately he perked up. He asked again - 'when am I coming home?' He then said, and I can't write it with just exactly his intonation, but I'll try. That's JUST gggrrreeeaaattt.


One big reason I think it will be better for Bill to be home is that for some reason when someone goes into a SNF those caring for him/her just don't manage the resident's personal hygiene very well. Bill has now developed a fungal infection in his groin area. Of course it's easier for Bill to let me assist him with personal issues. A mistake I have made during his stay at the SNF is that he would come to accept the help of others. He just isn't able to do that. And those caregivers are there to do as much or as little they possibly can and stay employed. I've come to accept that fact. Someone who can't remember to push a buzzer, or tell a loved one what has or has not gone on is a great candidate for a certain neglect. And I guess we all know that those in a SNF are largely in that category, aren't they?


There are changes in Bill's condition. He will probably not be able to use his cane. He is using a walker and for right now the PT feels he is too unstable to use a cane. From my observations I agree. He is accepting of his walker. He doesn't ask about his cane and it is right there in his room. We will use a walker as long as we can. He requires more assistance now in most things. He continues to have a great deal of difficulty talking because the thoughts can't make it out to words. The great thing about being a wife is that we know how our husbands were before their stroke. I know how important Bill's appearance was to him before his strokes. It has been and continues to be my goal to continue helping him maintain his appearance as long as I can. I also know this is much less important to him now - sadly, that is another symptom of the vascular dementia.


I do know my husband will receive the dignity he deserves in my care - and that's a good enough reason to bring him home.


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God Bless you both. Yes the countdown begins. When you wrote what he said about coming home...the first thought I had was the big grin that was probably there as well and how he probably sounded like Tony the Tiger. Bill will once again have the dignity he so deserves - it is good he is still aware of that and somewhat of his surroundings.


I've eaten at Lone Star 2 times in AZ and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience - sorry it was not good for you guys.

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I am happy for Bill that he will be coming home again, but I know how difficult your job will become once again. I also have had fears that if I ever had to place Gary in a SNF, his personal hygiene would be neglected. He, too, was always very meticulous about his looks - never a hair out of place. It's frightening to think how many are neglected who are unable to speak up for themselves. I hope you are able to find help when Bill comes home, so you can get the respite you need.





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ann, i'm so happy bill will be going home where he is more comfortable and will be getting the best care possible for him. i know some snf's don't provide the best care due to staff shortage and budget issues. but if a care issue is serious enough, you should complain to the state and to the administrator of the snf. i hope things go well for you when bill comes home. i bet he is very happy about this too. good luck

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Ann Bless you both.. I know Bill and you will be much happier having him home. I also know the changes will make caregiving more difficult for you. Be careful and safe. You may want to have a couple sessions with PT or OT also so you dont hurt your back, and they can show you how to assist with moving him. John was in the hospital, from an auto accident ( before my stroke) I came in the next morning and he was still dirty..He would NOT let the nurse wash him, told them my wife will when she comes in.... He is quite shy.. and private .. about other people messing with him. As you say... some will only do what they need to, to keep their jobs. Hopefully you can set up something when Bill comes home so you can have some time out for yourself also.

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Ann, doing the best we can to keep our husbands healthy and stable is what you and I have in common. It is not as easy as it sounds when you just read it though is it? It is that constant awareness from the time you wake up till the time you close your eyes at night that you are responsible for EVERYTHING that happens to them.


Ray is good with letting others take care of him which is why we have been able to make the shower nurse three times a week part of our routine and that gives me a break from being fully responsible for his personal hygiene. He is going into respite for two weeks so I get a chance to do a spring clean etc. This also stops me getting to screaming point and having a breakdown myself.


Those years of caregiving take a toll on our bodies too so remember to pace yourself when he gets home. It is okay to say "wait a few minutes" when he wants something right away and phrases like "I'll be with you as soon as I can" work for me. And if Ray calls more than twice I do ask him not to be demanding.


As Bonnie says try and set up a system that provides you with some time to yourself, with the extra care needs you will need the breaks.


(((Hugs))) from Sue.

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Best of luck, Ann, with bringing Bill home. It won't be easy but you already know that from personal experience.




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Hi Ann,


I'm so happy for both you and Bill. While it will be more work, at least you'll know that he is getting excellent care.


I pray and know that God will watch out for both of you.


God Bless,



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