My morning: Terminate two employees with an attitude that wantonly upset customers. Both ex-employees have families No, not company aloofness or some disconnected care for the employees…no immature, disconnected twirps…gone…with impact to their families. Then to my aunt and the new doctor. (I mention the above, because the morning set the tone for the day, for me)
My aunt at noon: stupefied. Meds? No. A decline. The doc arrives. High intensity woman. The visit lost on my aunt. She is there and pointed language by the doc is lost on my aunt. I watch for word recognition. None. Not a flinch. ‘Dementia’. ‘Psychotic’ this and that. Meds are discussed and decisions made to adjust for what? To create awareness and some form of alertness, especially in the morning.
UTI’s, Mental Assessments, Congestive Heart Failure, ambulatory. hydration, diet…..all manner of issues were raised and legitimately discussed. A plan was established between care giver, physician, health care representative and…. No, she was out of the mix.
The family that wants to spirit her away to the South? ‘No way’ says the doc. My aunt’s osteoporosis is so bad that a ‘sneeze’ will cause a fracture. Extended travel for even an hour will cause significant stress at this point. ‘Good’ I think. But, this will have to be raised and asserted…eventually.
So be it, whether a short term aberration or the downward turn, in incremental emotional bumps. I have no idea. She is not in the midst of the final decline. According to the physician, my sweet aunt is at the legitimate precipice of a rapid decline. BP was 90/64! Shit Martha! Too low. Steps have been made to make med adjustments to see if those numbers go upward. Yes, for once you pray for higher blood pressure.
In the end, an all encompassing, successful meeting and my aunt is MIA, despite a half dozen efforts to rouse her into the mix. Picture this, while the ‘singing lady’ ( a young woman with a beautiful voice that knows all the oldies) is on hand singing the oldies to the other residents. My aunt is oblivious to the doctor and to the melodious voice nearby. Or, so it seems.
The doctor leaves the first home visit. It is a good visit, even if my aunt is unaware. I leave and tend to more Monday chaos, mostly extended from the weekend, at work. The day progresses as Monday’s progress. I leave in the afternoon, touching bases with my trusted few, and head back toward my aunt.
Five hours since I last saw her and two meals later, she is still disconnected, aloof and just plain flat when I arrive back to visit her at dinner. I spoon feed her the last of her potatoes. She does not recall the doctor, me or the decisions we made. She does not remember my wife’s visit several hours earlier.
No recognition about turning off the outside water, having heating oil delivered, cutting back the fuchsias and roses, no mention of watering her indoor plants. These are topics that normally get a nod, a comment, followup questions from her. Just a staring ahead and no movement of the eyes or lips.
So be it today. Doing what needs to be done. What a depressing day! Half full or half empty? We are all alive, holding hands in support of the other, for as long as it is needed.
Slow and easy. The journey. Did I mention I got a hand squeeze when I complimented her touched up pink nails?