The people you meet, plus new update

fairegoldJuly 19, 2005

So, last weekend, they moved someone into the room across from Mother, a very gaunt man, with a nice woman who's visited all day every day. We've said hello, and today she brought their little Am. Eskimo dog to visit, and we talked (it's one of the rescues from a local breeder who died suddenly a couple of years ago). Somehow she mentioned that "Alvina" is only 68 but acts like a third child. I had assumed it is a man, so I asked what the relationship is.

Turns out that they were married as husband and wife for many years before Alvin had the sex-change operation..

Now for Mother's update. Today Mother didn't do as well, she felt nauseous and did not eat lunch. The mobile xray lab came in and did a chest xray, and there is a spot consistent with fluid, pneumonia. Small now. I got quite an education about comfort care. She's only eating maybe 20-30% of her meals, at best. I know that she does not want extra care to keep her alive. But right now, we'll see how

she feels tomorrow.

WOuld anyone be interested in me writing out the 'comfort care" measures from the list I got today? It's educational. Each item gets a yes/no decision. Sobering.

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Helene... I think it would be good to post the information.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 9:50PM
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Helene, i would be very,very interested in "comfort care", and also i know that you said that you wouldn't post if there weren't any changes in your mom, but i hope you don't think i'm nosy, but i'm also interested in how she and also YOU are. as you can see i'm having one of those nites again! take care. debbie

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 3:39AM
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You and me, Debbie. I'd probably sleep more except that I stopped the estrogen a couple of weeks ago (timing is everything, no?) and the night sweats get me up almost every night.

I'll keep in touch. I think that on Monday I was thinking more like, "OK, what do we do if she gets a lot stronger", back to "something is going to happen before too long" on Tuesday. If she's not a lot better tomorrow (Today?), then I guess I'll start to see that she won't last a lot longer.

No one here is nosy, but it's more like family, except better. Thanks, Debbie.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 6:39AM
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Good Morning,
Well, Helene and Debbie, I had the same night as you two....Helene, I'm off the HRT too...the night sweats are worse than the hot flashes, although tough to's been SO HOT and HUMID here. I think I'll take an early lunch today (8am????) and go take a nap!!! Helene, you and your mom are in my thoughts daily....Mimi

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 8:28AM
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Hi Mimi, well it wasn't hot here last night only 50! can you believe it, but today it's supposed to go up to 40C - or about - well tooooo hot above 100F!, plus it rained off and on from about 5 am, so it will be humid. What do you do with your time on those sleepless nights, dd was up with me she was reading The Fountainhead (too deep for me - lol), i started reading a light comedy book Missing Christmas, by John Grisham, and at the rate i'm going will have it read by tonight. i also looked through some knitting pattern books and dd and i chatted about how her friends have changed (and not for the better) and how hard it is to find friends who as she says are "normal" and about Al, and how he should get out more. i also read last night about taking grape seed extract for hot flashes - i bought some for Al, he saw on tv how it is supposed to help rid phatom pains. Helene, i'll be thinking of you and your mom, and Mimi i hope you get to nap, i wish i was in bed right now! debbie

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 10:27AM
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would you do me a favor? the couple across the hall is a miracle in this world...and I would formally like to thank the lady for her courage and understanding. I have an 'aunt' whose family was totally hostile to that change, and I've never forgiven them for it. to know that there are people out there whose love is loyal warms my heart :)

in your mom's case...especially in this hot weather, I've found that smoothies are the best way on the planet to get nutrition where it needs to be, they can be tailored to needs and tastes, and a 6 ounce glass of something cold and frothy is a whole lot more appealing than another round of salsbury steak and appple sauce.

before my dad landed himself on the respirator, I was bringing him mixed berry blends with an 'emergen-c' packet in it, and plenty of ice, and bring them to him frozen. the 'water ices' were the highlight of his day, and for several weeks, were the only nutrition he got.

(he's now got a peg, and is tube fed. I'm dealing with that as best I can for his sake)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 10:29AM
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Chinacat, the wife said today that they had been married 42 years. Isn't that something?

She's not one for something like a smoothie, sorry to say. If she won't even drink the Ensure, which she likes.

Doctor called today and he thinks that the spot on her lung is more consistent with a mass. He's coming by later this week to talk with her.

Even when you have advanced directives, and have said that you are ready to die, sometimes facing it doesn't have the same reality and thinking it thru in advance.

Mother was good for about 3 hours of sitting up today, and PT, but she was really low when I left this afternoon. I guess I am imagining everything, but I could hear her cough some when she was laying down.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 8:55PM
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Helene how's your mom today? i do hope she's comfortable. even though Al's illness is different from your dear mom's, i too have trouble with food when he is in hospital, especially when he won't eat. he too doesn't like smoothies, or Ensure or Boost. he is a water guy! loves his water! i think i bought every drink i could think of from the grocewry store, plus he doesn't like "soda" or as we call it here - pop.
I think that the "husband and wife" are really something - this is in a good way! they are probably still the bests of friends. the world certainly has changed. i think you all remember me going to work for awhile afew years ago, and this nice young man about 20 said, are you going to sit beside me, i must have had a confusing look on my face and said yes or is someone going to sit here, he said no i'm gay you know, i looked him in the eye and said and your point being? boy, who cares, i said so i'm old enough to be your mom. we both had a good laugh. i also remember when i worked at the university here and when i came out of my office, one of the ladies in one of the outer offices that worked directly with students had on latex gloves i asked her what was going on, did she hurt herself, she said no i'm afraid of getting aids. can you believe this! time to get educated here! anyways people are people, we didn't get rid of Al because he has no legs (like that couple that lived across the street from us that were renting, and the guy saying, how could you live with someone like that, i said back to him, yes how could your wife?!). anyways i think it is something!
will say a prayer for you, your family and your dear mom this afternoon. deb

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 11:08AM
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Doctor called yesterday, and he thinks that it's probably not pneumonia (no symptoms) but rather a mass on her lung. We discussed treatment, and while I am sure that Mother would not want it, I don't feel I can speak for her on this one. This isn't the same thing as an Advanced Directive at all, and besides, you make some decisions when you are well, and you may make other decisions when you are sick, right?

Doc said that he'd stop by today or tomorrow (aha---- that means that I get stuck there, can't go out!) and see her, try to talk to her.

I'm taking in her hearing aids and am going to try to get her to wear them. She hates them when she's laying down, which she does a lot right now.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 11:28AM
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I'm new here, referred by the beautiful people on Cottage Gardening form. How about ice chips for her, and ice cream for you? Good luck and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 7:00PM
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Doc changed her Lexapro to Prozac today because the Prozac helps the appetite. DOn't need ice chips yet, Andrea, but I'll take some ice cream any day!


    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 8:45PM
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