Friday: I can’t complain

LIFE & CAREGIVING:  Today, was one of those days. But I can’t complain.

RIP Dryer
RIP Dryer

The clothes dryer died: I suppose it was due. We bought it in 1994. So, I can’t complain. I ran to the Depot and bought the same basic Whirlpool we had. Looks more streamlined, but it is the same basic box. Made in the USA, of all places. Unfortunately, they can’t deliver it until Wednesday. So, air drying all of Kathy’s stuff will be a challenge. I will probably wash only the stuff that is wet and /or soiled and age my plain dirty clothes. I had planned to go buy my snow blower.

The News in Briefs: I’ve got disposable pull-up briefs up to the rafters. With the new insurance (NaviCare), we will be receiving all Kathy’s incontinence stuff from Medline. The insurance is hoping that if enough patients get their supplies from this one company, the price will go down. The monthly deliveries will include overnight briefs, bladder control pads, zinc diaper cream, reusable bed pads (chuxs) and disposable wipes. We are getting additional medical supplies from our original supplier, Agawam Medical Supply. We had been on a monthly schedule with them, under her old insurance. When we switched we told them to hold off shipping any more. They did for a month, but the auto shipment started up again by accident. So, Kathy received an extra month of their large pull-ups, rubber gloves and bed pads. We’ll use them eventually. And yes, I did ask if I could have the stuff shipped back. They said that it would cost more.

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The new large briefs from Medline. They work well.
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The S/M briefs from Covidien (Agawam Medical). They are large enough for us to use two pairs.
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Miscellaneous briefs and gloves that don’t fit anybody.
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The Ultra Plus pads that are ultra thin.

Another issue is sizing. Agawam Medical was great. They always sent samples of different sizes and types for Kathy to try. But the new supplier, Medline, sends a month’s worth of underwear. The aides and I figured she took a ‘medium’ based on the other brands (like Depends). But their medium was a small. So, I have cartons of those. I picked out some bladder pads that looked like the right thing online. A case and a half of tiny thin pads arrived. My mistake again. I’ve handed them out to the aides. I might be able to make snowy Christmas decorations out of them. Miguel (from NaviCare) drove all the way out with samples of the pads they carry (so I would finally get the right kind). Kathy’s aide, Britney was here. We picked out a long thick one that works well. And I also have a four packages of small pull-ups that Pat got from one of her clients. I can’t complain, but it is kind of funny.

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Medium briefs that are like a tourniquet on Kathy’s thighs.

I do have a call into the Hampden Senior Center. Maybe they can give them away to area seniors. I still have several huge containers of Thick it, food thickener in the basement. We requested it when Kathy could still eat food. But it didn’t get approved until after she had a feeding tube. I suppose since the dryer is broken I could put four pairs of underwear on Kathy…. (see musical interlude below).

On the plus side: Kathy has been doing pretty well. I had asked Doctor Jackson whether Meclizine was the best medicine to be using for her congestion / secretions. She told me that she has never used Meclizine for that purpose; just for sea sickness. And I need to check with the Huntington’s Disease Clinic at UConn. But she thought we should keep using what seemed to be working, for now. I asked her about using more Benadryl and she thought that was a good idea. So, we seem to be managing her respiratory problems with the original medicine and an extra dose, or half dose of plain old Benadryl. Sometimes I use the liquid form (Z-Quil) so that I can give it to her right away with the syringe. She also had a mysterious sore on her butt that we got nervous about. So, I haven’t been putting her in her chair for a week or so. Once she gets in the chair she likes to stay in it. That tends to put more pressure on her butt. The zinc cream is working well to clear it up though.

Gastroenterologist: Kathy got her referral to a Gastroenterologist to check her feeding tube… in January. I guess I should buy more O-rings to keep the old one from leaking. I need to make sure that this appointment is long enough and with the right specialist if a new tube is required. I have a feeling this doctor will just take a lookie-lookie and send her to an interventional radiologist. Four winter ambulance trips later she might have a nice feeding tube but get pneumonia.

Speaking of appointments: The medical practice that my doctor belongs to, went bankrupt. Mercy Hospital bought them out though. I guess I won’t need to find a new doctor. Yet. And maybe he will be happier with the new office system. I can usually get him all riled up by discussing health reform. And one of my teeth fell apart about a week ago. I started to make a dentist appointment last week, but the aide schedule kept on changing. I think it has stabilized, now. But I can’t complain. It’s Friday.

This is the only song I have written that mentions changing underwear four times a day.

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