I must be doing something right then...
So I'm exhausted. Yes, I know, that's my chief complaint these days. I've been packing it in early too. I've been averaging more sleep than my usual four to six hours per night, but I'm still exhausted. I've been getting up early every morning too, and it's been back and forth at the hospital. I'm sure you don't want to hear about this, because it's not pretty. I'm going to apologize up front for the sound emotional honking I'm about to perform as I give you this update on Doug's father.
Let's back up a bit to yesterday. The doctor informed my mother-in-law that my father-in-law had honked twice last night, and there was possibly another bowel blockage and he may have to undergo another surgery to repair it. They decided to stop his feeds because they were not going through his bowels properly due to the presumed blockage. Bad news. Also, when his restraints are loosened for P/T and O/T, he takes swings at nurses and other hospital staff. (He actually hit a nurse the other day.) And the other night, he told one of the nurses that he didn't want to do this anymore. That broke my heart. Today was a different story. They gave him Reglan to help his bowel, and apparently he is doing better. When I saw him today, the vent was on standby and he was breathing on his own, which is good. He also hasn't had to undergo dialysis for several days.
My father-in-law is doing so much better today, in fact, that my mother-in-law informed me that the doctors/nurses were thinking of sending him off to a nursing home already. Now, my mother-in-law has all of this hope at the thought of him leaving the hospital. I don’t think he’s ready. He’s still in the ICU, he’s still on the vent part of the time, yesterday another bowel blockage had been presumed, but not investigated, (and the story was different today), and obviously, the hospital may not think he’s ready because they haven’t discharged him yet. And don’t get me wrong, I know it sucks that he’s here in the ICU and that she can only stay with him from six a.m. (she goes in for the second visit at nine a.m.) to nine p.m. every single day, but every time my father-in-law shows improvement, my mother-in-law assumes he’s going to get better. That’s the problem. He’s not going to get better. He’s going to be moved to another facility, he’s going to improve for a while, but he’s still going to have dementia, and he will be back to the hospital again soon enough. It's a pattern that has developed since 2010. First, it was his bowels. Next was muscle degeneration, which is common with Lewy Body Dementia. Right now, it’s his kidneys and bowels. Next time, it could be liver failure, or heart failure! And this is going to continue until the end! This is the mess we’re going to have to go through repeatedly, and I’m already at the end of my flipping tether, and it seems like it’s too soon in the game for me to be at that point, but I am. I don't want to watch him go through this! It sucks, for lack of a better word; it sucks very badly!
I’m also upset that the hospital is apparently ready to ship him off to the nearest skilled nursing facility,
do not pass go, do not collect $200.00. And the skilled nursing facility is going to make him undergo grueling physical therapy that his body is not up to handling, and they’re going to see that, and they’re going to tell my mother-in-law that my father-in-law is not benefitting from physical and occupational therapy, and that insurance will no longer cover it, and that they have to make other arrangements! It’s the same bloody story! I’ve read it before! Same chapter, same few pages, and it’s a children’s book because it has pictures! I don’t have to read the story, I can just look at the pictures and know how it's going to end! And it’s NOT the hospital’s fault because there’s not much they can do for someone with dementia, so they send him somewhere else, probably knowing he’s not really ready and that he's not going to have a full recovery, but the nurses and doctors and other staff need to deal with the patients they can treat, and that's how it is, and there's no need for an apology. Still, that doesn’t make me feel less frustrated and angry about the whole situation. My mother-in-law will have renewed false hope, my father-in-law still won’t receive any real help. It's sad and it's terrible, and I want to collapse to the ground and throw a ruddy tantrum, but that won't solve anything. Somebody help me make some sense of this!
I don’t mean to be on the whinge about it. If I don’t calm down, I’m going to give myself a migraine (stress is one of my migraine triggers) or worse, ! Okay…calming down, happy thoughts, happy thoughts, picture things that make me happy. Honestly, the only thing that would make me happy right now is ice-cream, a funny book or a movie (and it can’t just make me chuckle, it has to make me guffaw), and sleep. *sighs* I did get my ice-cream, and I ended up passing out on the couch once I got home, but no laughter.
I'm tired. I'm going to go work on my book. It's been severely neglected since my father-in-law's hospitalization.
Sorry for whinging...seems to be my mantra these days.