Thursday, November 23, 2006

Jim's Home! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Got him here ~2pm on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. One of our friends, John, came to make sure Jim got into the house safely. Liza brought over welcome home balloons and a card. We are so very thankful for the thoughts, prayers, cards, calls, visits, and everything else everyone did to help us get to this point. A special thank you to Betty for coming to take care of us for awhile. We still are stunned with her generosity.

Jim looks so good, and ate well for me yesterday. He took his snacks on schedule, and ate a full meal of broiled chicken breast (marinated in a sugar-free italian dressing), baked potato, steamed brocolli, and grapes. He asked for a sugar-free yogurt as a bedtime snack. This diet thing might work out. I just need to find that site at the NIH that lists the nutritional content of meats and fresh foods.

Jim wants to manage the wood fire all day today. I'll try to set him up to do that, giving him something nonflammable to sit on in front of the fire as he pokes at it.

We see his Liver DR on Tuesday. So many questions, including whether he is a candidate for a liver transplant and if so where. I hate the thought of having to make frequent trips to a hospital several hours away, but we can do it.

I have a 4-day break from radiation treatments, and I can use it. I feel like I'm running on empty. Then, next week is the last week. 5 more treatments. After that, one final surgery to put in permanent breast implants and to put on "nipples."

Jim did talk to Delaware Hospice, and decided against being a hospice patient. We both want to continue to seek treatment, not just comfort. Most importantly, Jim wants continued PT, which DE hospice does not provide. But, that hospice also has a cost-free program called transitions, where they provide a social worker who can help with community resources and volunteers who can sit with Jim when I have to be out of the house for several hours. It sounds like it will be a great complement to home health care. The transitions intake person is coming to the house on Friday.

Also on Friday, we have an appointment with another hospice named Vitas. We wanted to understand how different hospices might have differences in their programs with regard to PT.

And lastly, we will have an intake session with St. Francis Home Health Agency. It is affiliated with the hospital that hosts the specialty hospital Jim was in. As before, Jim will get, as needed, a nurse, a personal care aid, PT, and OT up to 3 times a week. Now that we've seen great PT at Select Specialty Hospital, we have raised expectations for home-based PT.

We were sent home with minimal medications. The hospital DR says that Jim can't tolerate much medication because of his liver failure. The DR did not give us a scrip for insulin because he said Jim hasn't been needing it the last couple days in the hospital. But when I testing Jim's blood sugar last night before dinner, it was ~170. If this keeps up, I will call his GP tomorrow to get an insulin scrip. (The high blood sugar readings are coming from the prednisone he is on to reduce liver inflamation.)

The best of US Thanksgivings to all our US friends! The best of days to our foreign friends! Thank you all for celebrating with us.


Annie said...

Dear Via,

It is wonderful to hear that Jim is home and that health care assistance is coming together for you at home.

May you have a happy holiday season together at home.

Our love and blessings,
Annie, Doug, Rudy, tiegr, and Ashley

{Steve Rapaport} said...


If you later decide you prefer the "Nippless" look, here's a product from japan you'll like:

I actually bought these in Japan out of curiosity once.

{Steve Rapaport} said...

So happy to hear that Jim is back home and Venita is starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Enjoy the thanksgiving treats!