Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22

Dear Tatum,

Grandma's stay in bed on Wednesday was restless. While she slept for much of the day, she was also busy moving blankets around the bed, moving her legs, and generally seeming uncomfortable. While she seems uncomfortable, she reports no pain. She was just restless--this was Lynette's word for it.

She was also restless all through the night. I was up often checking on her. Once, in the morning before the light came, I found her sitting in the bedroom chair. I asked her, "What are you doing here?" and she answered, "Waiting." "Waiting for what?" "I don't know." "Well let's get you back into bed, okay?" "Okay." 

I had respite set up again for today--this time a volunteer through hospice. She was coming from 11:00 to 3:00. I was looking forward to the massage I had scheduled, but had to cancel. Instead, I went to the local funeral home at 11:15 to get funeral arrangements in order. While I was there, Lynette called and was on her way to see us. 

I met Lynette at the house. She checked Grandma over: listening to her heart, checking her blood pressure, oxygen levels, and asking her questions. Afterward we went into the living room to talk. Lynette explained some of the different drug-related options available to Grandma to make her more comfortable--mostly related to her restlessness. We decided against the heavier, valium-like drugs that would knock her out more, and decided on Haloperidol. I'm only supposed to give it to her as needed. Lynette also suggested we bring in a hospital bed. A hospital bed definitely marks a turning point. She also said she thinks Grandma has a week to 10 days. 

I went for a quick walk, then to the eye exam I had previously scheduled. I was back at the house at 3:00, blurry-eyed. The hospital bed was delivered soon after. I went to check on Grandma while the delivery man set it up and found her lying sideways in bed with her legs hanging over the side. "Are you trying to get up?" "Yes." "Do you want to go to the bathroom?" "Yes." I helped her up and to the bathroom. She took such slow, small steps that once she'd lifted her heal I put my foot under hers to help her move forward. She slouched on the toilet and sat banging her hand on the rail (part of the restlessness). The hospice delivery man (who also delivered the oxygen and was very nice) helped me quickly make the bed. I cleaned Grandma and helped her walk to her new bed where the dining table had been an hour before. 

Michigan, Van, and Slip brought me Du Kuh Bee Korean noodles and Bok Choy for dinner. It was nice to be able to share the events of the past few days. We ate on the porch, where the table is now. 



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