CAREGIVING: Thursday was forgettable, but in a good way. I can’t remember any major problems at least. Dilcia got confused about what day it was and forgot to come. I had planned to run to Stop & Shop to pick up Kathy’s refill of the Scopolamine patches but it could wait until Friday. I placed an order with Peapod so that Kathy would have some food, I had hoped for a client’s check to arrive in time. But I ended up charging the food to a credit card. Kathy received a nice bouquet of flowers from my sister Barb, but she was asleep most of the day.
Friday was hectic. In the morning I ran Marty to Dianna’s, his grooming spa down the street and picked him up a few hours later. In between I finished some graphic work and did laundry. Dilcia came and made up for missing Thursday and that gave me a chance to go pick up her meds. So, I ran to Stop & Shop so that I could be home in time for the delivery from…. Stop & Shop (Peapod). What is wrong with this picture? And since Peapod was out of some items and didn’t do the substitutions, I’m still missing crap. Oh, Well.
Samples of the depends substitutes that I mentioned in my previous post, came in the mail. They sent two different sizes to try. These were not pull ups at all but disposable diapers. I couldn’t figure out how they worked, but Dilcia helped put the large size on her. At first Dilcia said they would make it easy because I wouldn’t have to take her shoes and clothes off. When we it took both of us to put it on her, she changed her mind. Kathy can’t stand long enough in our bathroom to get them snugged up. So, I can only use them on her at night. I’ll need to put them on her when she is already in bed. I’ll let them send me some, but I’ll have to keep ordering the Depends and try some booster pads as long as I’m on my own.
Kathy was so sleepy after I fed her that she said she didn’t need to go to the bathroom. I think she just didn’t want to go through the stress of getting in the chair and into the bathroom. She still had the diaper thing on so I brushed her teeth and got her to bed.
Saturday I woke her up, or tried. Finally, at 9 I made her get in the chair so I could clean her up. Pat would be coming to attempt the shower. I let the security camera record the sequence. I cut a bunch of it off because it was repetitive. There’s no sound by the way. In the first one I start to wake her and give her a little juice. I decide she is too weak to help me transfer her so I cover her up a bit. I turn on the TV and the radio and run the food processor hoping to get her interested. (Please do NOT share these particular videos without the blog that explains them.)
This is where I actually transfer her to her chair. Once we get the hospital bed, Hoyer lift and her fancy chair this will be safer and easier. This wasn’t one of my better transfers, but the first ones in the morning are never good for me. I’m still sore and she doesn’t have enough strength. The new diaper is soaked and the pad is wet.
I got her as cleaned up as I could. Washed her lower section well and put zinc barrier cream (Balmex) on her to protect against rashes or bed sores. Once she was in the futon I let her rest and I made french toast. She ate four slices; so that was good. I didn’t give her medicine because I figured she would be even sleepier for Pat to give her a bath.
Pat arrived around noon and Kathy didn’t want to take a shower.
This is just a minute or so of it. Kathy was too weak to go to the actual bed for a bed bath so Pat did it on the futon. She washed her hair by using a face cloth with baby shampoo. Then rinsing with a clean towel and water over and over until there was no more soap. Pat talks to Kathy as a friend and not as someone who isn’t there. Some of the other visitors seem to talk around her. Sometimes Kathy can answer questions verbally. Sometimes a “yes” is a smile or a raised eyebrow.
Saturday was actually a warm and humid day. I wore shorts for the first time and opened more windows. I celebrated the plugging in of the first fan. But Kathy still wanted her blanket, and we had to use the electric heater until she warmed up. I was able to give Kathy some smoothy for lunch. I made this one with some Carnation breakfast powder and other stuff including leftover chocolate pudding and some yogurt. I’m pretty sure I got it up to 250 calories or so by the time I taste tested it several times 🙂 For summer I made some ravioli for her and no. I didn’t purée them. Don’t tell anyone.
Sunday is still a work in progress. Last night I noticed she was moving her hands and arms while she was in bed. That is usually a sign that she is starting to wake up. I kept asking if she needed to go to the bathroom or if she is OK. But she never answered. She would be quiet for twenty minutes then start her movements for about ten or so. In the morning the transfer part of things was OK. I’m having more and more trouble handling her in the bathroom. She falls over to one side or the other and there isn’t enough room to really lift her safely. Pat came at about 10:30 and gave her another sponge bath. It still takes the two of us to lift her for some of the last steps of pulling her pants up. So, I don’t think my problems with her in the morning and at night are because I’m a weakling.
While Pat got her dressed I made breakfast which Kathy couldn’t or wouldn’t eat. It wasn’t great, I have to admit. The potatoes were good but the eggs were crumbly. I had made some broccoli to put in the eggs and that was too spicy. Kathy was also sounding congested on top of everything else so she hasn’t had much food today. But hopefully she will eat dinner.