My End-of-the-Year Report

HappyNewYearI have been busy. Probably too busy so soon after Respite Time!

Our weeks have been full since I have been home from work and Awesome Hubby has shared some consecutive days of being off with his office closures. There is always something to do but not what I want to get to for my personal space. I do need to change that.

For now, I am on “Elly Watch.” Our routine has been disrupted by her pain, loss of mobility and disorientation. Elly does express some level of pain and so there is a pain pill automatically added to the morning section of the pillbox. She is so stoic that she will wait too long to get up and take a Tylenol, then sits with her head in her hands. Elly is not getting up and around nearly as much with her painful leg. She uses her walker noticeably more but still ventures without even her cane, holding onto the furniture when she makes a “short” trip to the kitchen from the table.

NurseySister discovered that the hospital was fine with Elly’s BP as high as 150/60 so the talk is to reduce the BP meds so that Elly is not so worn out or lethargic. I am not so sure about how that affects me. . . not sure I want her real spunky if you know what I mean!!!

We will have to visit the primary care doctor as soon as she returns from her holidays (two weeks closed, REALLY??). As for now, we have an RN that says he’ll come now once a week for at least the next two months to check on the leg wound. If anything looks worse, we can call and he’ll come out. I am counting on NurseySister for cleaning out the wound and bandaging it three times a week.

Due to washing machine issues, Elly can’t get the washer going so I get to do her laundry. I do get to make my own/our lunch now too!!! I am hoping the pattern will continue. I am concerned about Elly’s hygiene and so I try to manipulate when the dishwasher runs so I put away the clean dishes without her touching them. There is so much cross contamination when she helps clear the table that I wonder why we aren’t ill! To put this in perspective, Elly’s leg wound was infected with E. coli which is what was they cultured out of it at the hospital. There is really only one way this happens!

I am keeping up with the floor cleaning with the tracking in of sap from the trees outside, dry grasses from the lawn and leaves from all over the yard which somehow end up in the house. Elly makes sure I notice when something is tracked in too; it sounds like a command from a general for sure. I am hoping she is relaxing having me to order around. :) There are lots of inane comments and circular questions to go with my movements in and around her living space. I need to get a bit thicker skin because she won’t like some of the changes that are coming. I haven’t said “I told you so” about any of her ailments but my tongue sure is getting sore!

There are those moments we just sit back and enjoy. The ones where Elly sneaks a chocolate while she is reading a book or after hardly touching her supper but says, “I have to have a little dessert.” Her “not so little” gastro explosions can cause our giggles when she isn’t within earshot. I smile at the few times I have seen her laying on her bed “resting” with a beautiful red velvet blanket with the fake sheepskin overwhelming her curled-up form. She smiles and talks about how she will get revenge on the dishwasher for “poking a hole in her leg.”

We are grateful for no more talk about how her son has “told her she needs to go to a home now” or “I just have to face the facts, I will have to sell the house and move into a home.” Now that her son understands how Elly “hears” him, he is not likely to have that kind of “talk” with her again. On the other hand, Awesome Hubby is ready to visit some facilities to see what our options are and what it will take to get her there when the time comes. AH is more done with the situation than I am, he gives into me because of the good dynamics. I have been doing pretty well as long as I get my ocean fix!

We have had so many family (AH’s side) upsets this year 2013 that I haven’t even begun to address here. All live within 20 minutes of us and they are serious issues going on with AH’s half-siblings (unemployment/spousal abuse/physical abuse/legal issues), niece (teen/adoption issues) and Mom (wet Macular Degeneration/broken heart-emotional). At this point, there is nothing more we need to be involved in, besides serious prayer, our privilege, of course. 2014 will be interesting in how the family all plays out their situations.

We have positives in our own little family with the anticipation of LVRson’s engagement (please hurry up!) and hopefully more acceptance of our caregiving role by Elly. We are planning to have friends over for games and lunch on New Year’s Day hoping Elly will respond well since it is the day in 2003 that her husband passed here at home. We always try to make sure she is not alone on that day even when we are out of town. It was a very memorable day for me that year. Our traditional Mennonite New Year’s “cookies” will be made. With the company, it will be a day full of laughter in the house. One more week and then, back to work for me!

I want to wish you all, my generous caregiving Family, an Encouraging Beginning to 2014 Whether you are in a hospice, or almost hospice situation or doing well with an upswing right now, keep blogging, writing your thoughts and feelings because I have been blessed by every one! I will do the same knowing that I will be understood and encouraged by you through writing all this stuff down! You are doing what you were created to do and be for your loved one and others around you!

3 thoughts on “My End-of-the-Year Report

  1. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Hi EG–I loved the moments that you loved with EG. Your description of Elly wrapped in her red blanket was so beautiful.

    I wish you and yours a wonderful New Year. It’s so wonderful to have you with us. You have an energy and kindness that invigorates us all. Have a great day tomorrow.

    Reply
  2. Avatar of PegiPegi

    EG, oh my so much going on with Elly. But sounds like, as usual, you have the siutation well under control. Hope she is feeling better soon. Wishing you and yours a Blessed, healthy and happy New year. I too, have been blessed by you and your beautiful spirit; thank you.

    Reply
  3. Avatar of ejourneysejourneys

    EG, those are a lot of dynamics you are navigating. And navigating very well! I am thankful for the ocean fix. I, too, hope Elly is feeling better soon — though as you say, not too spunky. :-) Blessings to you all for the New Year. (((Hugs)))

    Reply

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