Elly, my grandmother, has been fairly inactive lately, which has been just fine with me. We discovered that a person with a 93-year-old body should have a little higher blood pressure than the ol’ 120/40 standard. NurseySister found that in the medical journals!
Elly just doesn’t feel like moving much with the low blood pressure. So, now we’ve seen her blood pressure rise as NurseySister suggested that I gradually remove her blood pressure med but not the water pills. This has been a successful move and the wound care doctor and nurses have not made any issue of Elly’s blood pressure. It is very high 181/80 when she is in the clinic before experiencing the pain she knows is coming. The RN and health aid here at the house have recorded 140/50 regularly so we are confident Elly is doing just fine.
Elly continues to have issues with swelling in her legs. She now has two wounds! One on each leg now. The first one is from the dishwasher door that fell as she was propping it up with her leg to add “just one more dish”. This happened while we were gone at Thanksgiving. The second one started out small, just a break in the skin from the water build-up in her legs from kidney failure (normal part of aging).
We have now two Una Boot wrapped legs on Elly. This qualifies us to keep the health aide for showering and the RN to come out once a week. The Una Boot is keeping her legs trim looking but oh, those poor toes that stick out! They are still on the swollen side. After the wounds heal, the Una Boots can come off and a special wrap has been ordered and paid for by insurance. This wrap will compress her legs to control swelling but it can come off for showering. I continue to mention to Elly that the wraps will also protect her legs for any more “bites” from the dishwasher.
The reality is that Elly will not take a shower by herself any more. I remind her that her arms can’t reach all the necessary places to keep her body clean and healthy. So far she hasn’t given me any trouble with that notion, but, the boots aren’t off yet.
We have had some issues with the company providing the health aide, the Scheduler to be precise. It seems that they send out someone when it’s convenient for them, not for Elly. I am coaching Elly on how to say she NEEDS someone on Friday mornings by 8:30 to come and give her a shower. That is the only day/time that is important. She isn’t asking for the Moon!!! This week will be the third week I will contact the scheduler to have the shower person come no later than 8:30 a.m. on Friday! They do not call me before they come also, sometimes they have called Elly which means she will say, “Oh, I don’t need any help with a Shower.” Just one little issue that would make such a big difference if they could just get it right!!
You see, Elly has hairdresser that comes every Friday morning at 9 a.m. to Elly’s house to “set” (put curlers in wet, washed hair) Elly’s hair. Hairdresser drives in from another town at 9 a.m. to set Elly’s hair then works other clients in the shop around the corner until they are done (around noonish) then returns to “comb out” Elly who has dried her curlered hair under our hairdryer. This hairdresser and Elly have had a relationship for over 30 years, but hairdresser has just started coming to the house in the last two years. Charlotte, an elderly lady down the street, uses hairdresser also – she gets picked up by hairdresser and taken to the shop for the morning. We are so grateful that I don’t have to do Elly’s hair!
Well, Wednesday is just around the corner and we’ll see how the Wounds look this week. Every Wednesday is Wound Clinic day – also known as Torture Day! Everyone there is so nice, they make you feel welcome before the torture!
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