Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The End

Melanoma Man passed away on September 28th with the Laundry Thief at his side.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

High Maintence with Dr. OC

So it turns out Dr. O's name actually starts with a C, but I am determined to call him Dr. O. Tonight he came in, surprised to see Cha, imac, Uncool Wayne visiting. He says he has never seen a cat here, just dogs. Probably because cats are often  non-compliant with entry into cat carriers.

The social worker still has a plan for discharge to home on Tuesday, hospital bed delivery Monday. Best news of all today is that Call Me Ishmael is still available to help us at home and is up for the additional level of care. As it turns out Ishmael is working towards becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant so actually looks forward to learning to care for a more complex Melanoma Man and to the continuity of staying with the same patient over time.

My boss is working with me to help me preserve my remaining FMLA

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Homecoming Preparation

The wheels are in motion for MM's return to home. I need to clear out living room furniture: an old sofa handed down from my parent's retirement home in West Virginia. I remember taking MM there while I was still figuring him out before the first of two breakups. The figuring took me a good 20 years. Now I will move that old sofa out for good. I remember my Dad and wish he were here. Monday a hospital bed, wheelchair and other ecoutrements will arrive. Tuesday MM himself will arrive, barring further complications before then. 

Beagle Scouts and more

Yesterday was long. Melanoma Man was feeling good, awake, alert. It took a very long time to determine exactly what he was trying to say, but he was trying to say a lot. Molly leaves tonight Uncool Wayne arrives tonight. I worked a mini day: 9-2 today. Still trying to save my remaining FMLA days. MM is eating again and talking non-stop. I slept every night while Molly was here. Hopefully the same will be true once Wayne arrives. The docs at the inpatient hospice are buying me some time by tweaking his meds. That allows them to keep him longer. He still can't walk but can't remember that he can't walk. He cried off and on all day yesterday. The funny parts are still there. For 45 minutes he kept telling me " Mike Pence is a  Beagle Scout." I was thinking about Tippy and Tiger and other beagles I have known picturing them having their scout meetings. I don't think they would have let Mike Pence into their troop, do you? Surprisingly,  "Mike Pence is a Beagle Scout" actually means "Would you take my contacts out?" It took me 45 minutes to figure that out. I think they have the same rhythm, those two statements. Try it. Mike Pence is a beagle scout. Would you take my contacts out.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

My Molly

It is Sunday morning. Melanoma Man looked a little better yesterday, a little more color in his face. I spent the day with him. My Molly, who is my birth mother, arrived Friday night. I don't talk about Molly much because I almost feel as if it will jinx her and none of it will be real. More often I feel disloyal, like a cheating spouse, receiving kindness I don't deserve. She took the boys to the beach yesterday morning, while my friend Kris brought over every cleaning supply known to man and two friends to help. Kris, Heather and Stephanie spent 3 hours cleaning my house, even steam cleaning my rugs. They made breakfast for us before the cleaning began.

When awake Melanoma Man asked to go home all day. On the drive home Butter asked, " is Dad still dying?" Yes. The social worker came to see me and discuss Medicare criteria for inpatient hospice stays. She was nice, but some of what she said wasn't true. While Dr. O had said they would keep MM until the end, the nurses and social workers are ushering us out the door. iMac is anxious. He says he doesn't know how we could do it, perform the level of care that MM requires. Social work has talked about a long term care facility. Images of my mom, stuck in her non- working body and unable to speak in the nursing for 7 years pop into my head. I reassure myself that this can't possibly go on for years. I get out the calculator to try to figure out the cost of a CNA at home to help me, upwards of $500 a day. I can't move him on my own. It always takes two people to pull him back up in his hospital bed after his 6'4" self has scrunched  down to the bottom of the bed. I tell myself to just take things one day at a time. I am able to do that only about 10% of the time. It is 6:49 am. I am about to get dressed to go see him. When I arrive each morning he is usually a little frantic, wondering where I have been during the night. I have slept better this week than I have since August 3rd, which is the day he returned home from his last hospitalization. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Update from Dr. O

Whew! Yesterday Dr. C was here. Today Dr. O. Dr. O said "We are keeping him here. We can keep him comfortable. You can't care for him at home and the kids can't. I'm sure you've been fed information that has led you to believe that you need to care for him at home. This level of care is just too burdensome and cannot be expected of you." 

I had asked the boys bout their wishes and collectively they decided they would be most comfortable with their Dad dying at a hospice center rather than at home. Still I thought we would have to do a transfer back home in the interim and it worried me, how we could do it. Now that worry has been lifted and I am so thankful.