Monday, November 27, 2006

Part of a Note I Sent to a Friend

I am scared for Jim. Saturday afternoon he started getting mentally confused, more than I have seen him outside of the ICU. He doesn't know the year; he can't figure the difference between the TV remote, the mobile phone, and his reading glasses; he doesn't know where the bathroom is. We spent most of Sunday in front of a blazing fire talking memories. He was lying on the couch with his head towards the fireplace and couldn't see it, so I brought a full-length floor mirror down to the room so he could see it. That gave him alot of comfort.

I don't know what to do. Lots of friends tell me I should be careful not to risk my own health, but that's a generality. I need specifics--step 1, 2, 3 stuff.

I know I should not use his behavior over 36 hours to judge where he is. But CRAP I don't know where this is going or what to do anymore. I've never lost someone close to me before, much less watched them whither away into a place they have never been. This should not be happening to him.

I cut back Jim's protein intake on Sunday, and I don't think he declined anymore than on Saturday. Although he cooperated with the menu, he wasn't real happy eating only vegetables and fruits all day. It took him over 2 hours to eat his lunch.

I would have called the home health care nurse, if I had any clue that she could do anything more (better) than I am doing. But she only met Jim once. She is scheduled to call me this morning (Monday) to talk about schedules for the week, so I will give her this info then and see how she reacts. I also am to hear this morning from the Transitions social worker. (Transitions is the non-medical program from Delaware Hospice.) Although she in not a nurse, maybe she has enough life experience with this kind of situation to tell me what I can do.

The only one who has seen this is XXX. She was so scared by it she called back in the afternoon to see how we were doing. XXX was walking through the room where Jim was, and he started talking to her like he thought she was me. Her opinion was that Jim has "relaxed" at home, so he is not showing the same gumption as he did at the hospital when the objective was getting home.

I'm afraid to go out to radiation this morning. I'll only be away from the house for 1/2 hour (well, a little more on Mondays because that's when I see the DR), but Jim can get into such trouble when he's alone for 3 minutes.


Alice said...

I hope you made your radiation this morning. I also hope the hospice person was some help. If Jim needs round the clock care I don't think one person(you) can do it. You have to take showers and can't watch him 24/7. If you can't get help in daily so you can do what needs doing maybe you will have to make other arangements for Jim. I know that's hard to hear but you are only human. Sending lots of love your way. And praying his mental state will get better.


Annie said...

Dear Via,

Follow your heart, continue praying for Jim's comfort and improvement, and pray for wisdom and guidance when you don't know what to do. This is all you can do.. beyond what you are already doing. You have given so much of yourself and your love for Jim shows beyond measure. You are a beautiful person and give everything you can for those you love. You are doing everything you can to reach out when you need help or advise. When times get tough, rest in the knowledge that God is looking over you and will be there with answers when you can't find them. I am here also, if there is anything I can do to help you.

Love, Annie

{Steve Rapaport} said...

Hope this improves soon!

I think you'd better keep up the radiation though -- Jim needs you alive!

By the way, you might find this amusing:

When life hands you cancer, make cancerade!