Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tomorrow's the big day

One day left until discharge. Tonight we were talking about how guarded both of us are about getting too excited, based on what's happened the last two times she was discharged. The details for this discharge seem to be falling into place better than before, so that's giving us some more confidence. Denise's caregiver was trained in feeding tube dressing care. My nurse aunt is coming tomorrow to take care of PICC line business, take Denise to an appointment in the morning, and be on hand for the discharge this time. Denise has still been having nightmares, but is otherwise mentally normal, getting physically stronger, and keeping her food down. The doctor looked at the rash we were mildly concerned about and thought it was just acne. On the one hand, that makes sense... synthetic blankets, 50-50 sheets, harsh detergents... but I think it's interesting that this came on only after the neurologist switched the meds. Time will tell.
Someone called our house to talk to Denise this afternoon. I said she wasn't available, but I could take a message. The caller was from Denise's medical group and wanted to conduct a customer satisfaction survey with her. Um... yeah. I told her that Denise was still in a skilled nursing facility, and perhaps calling back after the discharge would be better. That conversation's a close second to a conversation a few months ago, when Denise's old PCP (primary care physician) was getting a little irate on the phone and wanted to know who was supposed to have been her PCP during all the months she was in the hospital ("Well, you were."). Classic. A friend summed things up with some advice he emailed to me: "Bring some Fixall to your next hospitalization to seal up all those cracks you can fall through."

On a serious note, my great uncle was transferred to a convalescent home for Hospice care last night around 7pm and died around 5am this morning. He had some hospitlizations during the time Denise was really bad off, and I talked with my great aunt during those months about worrying over a spouse's health. In spite of the warning signs, I'm still a little surprised by how quickly things progressed. Yesterday I had envisioned taking a few hours today to drive out to see him, but that was not to be. So I'm disappointed that I missed that chance. My mom & dad visited him yesterday, though, as well as several other relatives. Please toss up some extra prayers for the family, and especially for my great aunt, who's undoubtedly had the worst day of her life today.


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