Friday, June 23, 2023

It's 2 AM and all is not well...

 It is almost 2 AM and I am sitting here on the computer.   On the day bed next to me, Pam lays quietly asleep.  She is dressed in my bathrobe, as hers was soiled in the bathroom.  I awoke at 1 AM to the TV playing in the living room.  Pam was in the recliner staring at the TV as Netflix played the splash page for each of its programs.... over and over.  She had not yet gone to bed.  Claiming that she was not tired.  I warmed up a blueberry muffin that I made yesterday and set it on the table.  "I said that I wanted oatmeal"  was the response.  Well, no you didn't but, oatmeal coming right up.  As we sat at the table eating our muffins, you began complaining about gas and abdominal pain.  On your third trip to the bathroom, you cracked the door open and asked for a Depends.  I grabbed four, one for now and three for the cabinet.  The exhaust fan is still running, trying to clear the air.

But in a fashion, help is on its way.  We are about to start bringing in some in-home care.   Everything is in place to bring in three four-hour shifts of personal care each week.   The last step for me is to catch Pam on a good day and explain it well enough that she will sign the agreement and the final step is the in-home assessment of both Pam and the living environment (condo).  I have chosen Home Instead.  They have good reviews and I couldn't really find anything negative.  We will start with three four-hour afternoons a week.

But I am still struggling with how spending all of this money is going to benefit Pam.  She is still pretty good with her ADL's like potty, showers, dressing, etc.  She is starting to need more help, but remains fiercely independent.  I know that I should not overthink this.  But given that Pam is either sleeping or watching TV most of the time,  there is only so much companionship and personal care that can happen.  And I am not interested in paying $35 an hour for housekeeping.  That just has little value to me.  I am hoping that they can get Pam up and doing something.   Maybe they can get her to do her PT homework.  She was strongly opposed to adult daycare and she has no real hobbies or activities since we left the farm in Maine.

And I do understand that one of the major benefits of this is to relieve me of some of the load and stress of being the primary caregiver.  It is supposed to allow me to go off and do some other things.  Yea, what other things are those?  And can I really go off and do something else without worrying about just how is Pam doing.  I have a bunch of projects around the condo that need to be done, but most can get done while she is sleeping.  

As for Pam, I continue to see a decline in both her cognitive and  physical abilities.  She is talking in her sleep more lately.  When I wake her to check on her, she is speaking gibberish.  She is also much more disoriented when she first wakes up.  I have also seen more indications of memory loss.  After spending a week in the RV, we moved to an FMCA rally for a few days.  On return to our seasonal site, she had no recollection of having been there.  Today, I asked her if she was hungry and I named off a few things she likes to eat.  About 20 minutes later, she was standing there with her fork and looking for her Ramon noodles.    But while she rejected that as a choice, she has no recollection of that 20 minutes later.    Getting up off the couch or out of the recliner is getting difficult without help.  And I see a definite change in her speech.  Her voice sounds weaker and her pronunciation is faltering.

We recently returned to pain management about her back pain.  On the last visit she received six steroid injections in her lower back.  But they were not effective in reducing the pain, so she took a pass on six more.  I asked the doc if a back brace might be helpful.  He was enthusiast about the idea.  So thanks to Amazon, it was here the next day.  Speaking of the next day, that is probably when I will be able to go back to bed.

1 comment:

  1. Here's hoping your in home care is successful, Cuz. Sending you both much love and understanding.