Sunday, December 31, 2006

Compassionate Care Hospice, Maybe?

This week we met with two RNs from CC Hospice. I had talked with them in advance about doing blood draws, and they said they would, although their objective would be to treat the symptoms, not the numbers.

I don't really understand the difference. Jim low sodium and high ammonia and high billirubin and high kidney values are all REASONS for his diminished mental status. So which track one takes with treating the symptoms depends on the numbers. But what do I know? I'm an accountant.

One of the nurses spoke pretty knowingly about liver failure and how the final days play out. I don't think Jim or I wanted to hear that, but we probably needed to.

Jim, of course, refused and still refuses to sign up with Hospice. I called the intake counselor back, and she said it was clear that Jim didn't have the capacity and that I could sign him in, especially given I have power of attorney. I really don't want to do it that way; I want him to be a full partner in the decision, but I will do what I need to.

Got another bill for Patrick's time. $1K for two weeks, 7 visits. We really need it, but I do have qualms about affording it. We have now used up the $1.5K grant the cancer center promised me for this. I need to work on looking at Jim's retirement assets, and how fast this level would spend those down.

I spoke to my major contractor about work this upcoming busy season. I update accounting publications for a national group. The publications director agreed to move 3 of the 5 more complicated publication to another author and leave the 2 easier ones for me. I agreed to hire day care for Jim 3 days a week. That would be my cost, to allow me to work. I also have a major book in process that the publications manager agreed could be put on hold until after these 2 products.

So I will have some income in 2007.

I am feeling OK, just sleeping alot with Jim. I think it's depression; it's so hard to watch him go through this.

We have a new night care person in tonight--Silas. He remembers us from when Jim was in Shipley Manor. Silas even remembers Jim's room number. We don't remember Silas, but he seems like a very nice man. Like Patrick, he is from Kenya. We'll see whether he can fold a fitted sheet! I already know he can wash the kitchen floor.

Now that it's December 31, I can say happy anniversary to my diabetic cat Maxwell. He has been off insulin/diet controlled for one year now. I wish there was the same "cure" possible for his kidney failure. The poor thing is getting so skinny from that wasting disease.

I am still struggling with trying to get Max's diabetic littermate Ennis regulated on Levemir.

Happy New Year to all!!


Alice said...

Happy New Year to you both.


{Steve Rapaport} said...

Thinking of you, Venita, as inspiration for so many things.

Please feel free to write me DAILY if it helps regarding Ennis' Levemir.

All the best for 2007 and congrats on surviving all that stuff!


{Steve Rapaport} said...


It seems an ongoing theme of your relationship to Jim's Doctors, Nurses, etc. is your frustration with them. They appear to have different motivations from yours and Jim's.

Since it's your blog I'm reading, I understand your motivations perfectly, and I'm having a lot of trouble with theirs.

But I'm forced to believe, for now, that it's either very difficult to find good care for someone in a mentally-debilitating condition in your neck of the woods, or it's just impossible. Maybe if I understood the motivations of those others I'd know better.

I'm also having a great deal of trouble here getting anyone to help me investigate and help remedy my blepharitis & dry eye. I recently saw an enlightening posting that helped illuminate, to me, why the doctors seemed so callous, unhelpful, and grumpy. (Hint: They can't help, and it bothers them.) Maybe it will give some insight for you and Jim too:

Martha and Alley Cat said...

Regarding your cat's failing kidneys.... or call 1-888-271-2560 for free samples. This capsule is an immune system booster and works specifically for cats and dogs with CRF. My vet swears by it.... I will start giving it to both my senior cats.

"Kibow Biotech® is a world-leader in the development of probiotics for kidney failure patients. We are committed to sustainable living through innovative research and technologies. With our natural supplements, we also bring hope to those with metabolic syndrome."

This might be some useful reading. But in any case, my vet tech says her dog's liver values improved drastically on this pill, maybe give it a try.
martha & ac