Am dealing with so many emotions tonight. My family has gotten hit with the triple whammy today. A precious and dear cousin is battling a rare form of cancer. She is into her fourth week of chemo and radiation, terribly sick and the doctors report she is just not responding yet. Her Mom, who is 88, took a tumble and ripped open her leg, now hospitalized and going off to Rehab when all she wants is to be with her daughter. Our dear friend Barry, who suffered stroke last Thursday while undergoing cardiac surgery, suffered another massive stroke last night. Family has chosen no life support measures. Prognosis is not good.
My darling sister Mary Beth is frantic in New Hampshire, wanting to be here supporting Barry's family and our brother John. John, who is Barry's best friend, paces, chews his nails and can not function. While trying to support Mary Beth and John; Bruce is asking questions I can't answer and he is frustrated. I myself keep having flashbacks to March 2009 when I did the 24 hour watch for days looking for an answer from God. I can only imagine what Barry's family is going through.
Still my main responsibility is here and Bruce's recovery. He continues to refuse to do anything with the caregivers. They in turn are reacting, in many ways not to my liking. Had to talk to two of them today and explain that they are here to care for Bruce. It is not about them or what they would like or how they think they can change things. If he refuses care, they are to let it go. It is not on them to judge or punish him.
Bruce and I are working on more independent dressing, not calling for me to tidy up his area and get things for him. Everything is within his doing now and he is expected to take care of things himself. Personally, again it is a matter of reinforcement and routine. As soon as I say, "No, you take care of that", he smiles and says "Oh yes, I remember now" and off he goes.
He asked to go to the pool yesterday. I said "no, because if you go today with me, you will not go tomorrow with Jen and I am not paying someone to sit here, clean out her purse and car, make you lunch, help you to bed to nap and maybe, if she feels like it, fold some clothes". Well of course, he refused to go to pool with her today. At dinner says to me "I am going to pool tomorrow with you". I said "Bruce, you really hate the caregivers here, don't you". He said "yes." I said "you do understand that the more independent you become, the less time they will be here. And the only way that will happen if you work every day, even with them." He said "all I want to do is go to bed and forget all this."
Still with me he is continent all day, even after nap. Helps prep all meals, sets and clears table, does dishes, helps fold laundry, helps make the bed. His transfers are hand on only. We are getting there and I continue to remark and praise all his improvements. Our coffee maker broke and yesterday we went to local Chef store and he picked out marinades he wanted to try and prepped his pork chops for dinner for him and Leo. Still, in my heart and mind, I know he does this a bit for me, mostly out of boredom and is still looking for that one goal that will make him want his life back.
He still goes to work, only one day a week now, but his friend and boss reinforces the benefit of him going and that his last two projects were difficult and Bill chose them for that reason and Bruce's work was perfect.
I want to try Lydi and Ruth's volunteering at the local animal shelter. That may just grab him. We went this afternoon to get Kira's prescription. Kira's vet has a blond lab and golden retriever. Doc was in surgery and the dogs knew she was late, so responded to anyone who walked in the door, thinking it was Doc and time to go home. Pretty funny. But Bruce had to go over and comfort them once the receptionist explained their behavior. It was just precious.
Am in for a long and emotional weekend. This I already know. I also know I have to function here and try not to let my feelings interfere with the work Bruce and I are doing. Bruce is more than willing to slide on his work-lol. Rain coming in for tomorrow afternoon into Sunday, so again we will be working mainly on stuff here in the house. I am tired of our winter and am only looking for one weekend day where I can get him out on the deck or onto his scooter for a turn around the yard.