Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another Day With Lots of Tears

At Jim's care plan meeting yesterday, we announced Jim's exit. The Shipley group clearly came hunting for bear. Although they did take some messages about the unacceptable care to heart, they insisted that Jim continues to need institutional care because he is not yet independent and I am too weak to keep him safe.

Late in the afternoon, we saw Jim's GP. He too had the same message. It was at that point I saw the spirit just ooze out of Jim. Jim wasn't outwardly crying as I was, but he was clearly in the same place.

After thinking about Jim's comments, the Shipley group suggested a different type of facility. There is an acute care long-term facility inside one of the local hospitals (St. Francis) that focuses on rehab, not warehousing. Even though it's more of a hospital setting, the Shipley folks think that it will have less of the environment that Jim finds so objectionable--elderly people sitting around in chair all day holding their heads, mumbling to themselves, and waiting (hoping?) to die. I asked Shipley to have St. Francis do an assessment, and I plan to visit SF today for "acceptabiilty." We also will need to make sure that the Medicare rules for post-hospitalization rehab don't get violated and that Jim's insurance will pay for this.

The acute onset of Jim's liver disease was ~4 weeks ago. Jim expressed his concern to his GP with how long this was taking. The GP said that 2 more weeks of care might be needed. Jim said that was an interminable amount of time. I asked him to remember that I had been on my breast cancer journey for ~9 months now. That seemed little comfort to him.

The GP did say some encouraging things about how Jim was recovering. He said to dismiss the "end-stage" comments of the nurse. He said he would take more time looking at the >100 pages of records Shipley sent over to see whether he had any medical suggestions for more proactive care.

When we left the GP's office, Jim said that he didn't want any more visitors. He is weary of the embarrasment and joylessness that is Shipley. His GP said he would talk to the Shipley DR about putting Jim on an antidepressant. He seemed truly concerned about Jim's emotional state.

After I dropped Jim off at Shipley, I went outside, leaned against the wall, and cried.

We get to try to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and do it all over again today.

3 comments:

DebandGiz said...

A different environment can make all the difference in the world for Jim's outlook, dearest Venita, and therefore for yours as well...

I know, EPID, just like ECID, but I can tell you that once my mom got in the right rehab environment following her foot nightmare, she worked her tush off to get home... She was on a floor with only rehab patients, who like her, were there temporarily, and working to get home... She was in the "good" rehab from mid-May until early September, 2002...

Fast forward three years later following her knee replacement/leg straightening surgeries... Although she rehabbed in the same place as before, this time she was put on a floor with mostly long-term care patients and just a few rehab patients...

She was miserable, dearest Venita... She was irritable, cranky, and quite frankly, bitchy too... She was depressed... She didn't even like herself... Even Mary Sunshine took a few uncalled for (and hurtful) verbal hits from "evil" mom... (Well, I had to call her something, didn't I?)

Must confess that it was depressing visiting her on that floor... It was depressing seeing those people whose memories and spirit had been taken from them... It was depressing thinking a wondrous life could end up being spent in a chair in a hall staring at a wall...

Fortunately she only had to be there a month... Her PT person wanted her to stay another week or two; but, since I was visiting, got her doctor to intervene and together (with tons of paper work and a few extra days off from work), got mom the hell out of Dodge... She perked up immediately! I'm happy to say that we left "evil" mom back in rehab...

The right environment can make all the difference, dearest Venita... The set-up at St. Francis sounds ideal! Hard to imagine ideal given Jim's condition/spirits, but it could make all the difference for him... He could indeed realize it's temporary, not forever... You could too...

Oh my dear friend, if all the walls I've leaned against and cried could talk... Well, it's probably best they can't...

Please know I'm hoping St. Francis can provide the care Jim needs; and, seeing others working to regain their independent lives, provide the lift his spirit needs... Please know you both are always in my hopeful, healing thoughts and prayers...

Much love and countless hopeful, healing hugs too,
Deb & Giz (And tiny hopeful pawpats too, dear Venita...)

Venita and Jim said...

Deb, you wrote: "It was depressing seeing those people whose memories and spirit had been taken from them... It was depressing thinking a wondrous life could end up being spent in a chair in a hall staring at a wall..."

Since Jim had been complaining so much the past few days, I had been paying attention to the people in the hallways instead of just "flying past" to his room. Yesterday, I sat and watched a woman for 15 minutes, and all she did was watch her hand move. She tries to hold out her hand to shake mine and introduce herself each time I pass by.

The tears yesterday weren't all for Jim. They also were cried over those wonderous lost lives.

Yep, it's time to get Jim out of Dodge. I'm only there half as much as he is, but I am in major depression myself.

There are a couple folks in Shipley who smile all the time. Those are special people.

No wonder one of the "standard" release forms they asked me to sign upon Jim's admission was for his counseling by a psychotherapist. My o my o my o.

Alice said...

So glad you will be getting him out of there. I hope you're feeling ok. Sending great big hugs.

Alice