Sunday, January 28, 2007

Remarkable? Miraculous?

I'm not sure which adjective to use to describe the complete change in Jim's physical and mental status over the past couple weeks.

Yesterday, he got himself up; made the bed (as badly as he did before he got sick, but then he would seldom make it); emptied and cleaned the bedside commode; had set out his clothes the night before; shaved, brushed teeth, and washed up without assistance; put all dirty clothes in the laundry basket; tidied the bathroom and the family room; came to the kitchen and made his own breakfast of fried potatoes, a fried egg, toast, mixed fresh fruit, and juice; set his dishes in the sink; went out to his drinking club with a friend who picked him up; helped make up the list for grocery shopping today, etc; etc; etc.

He and I are both astonished with his change. He is walking the stairs regularly, although he does tire and go slower at the end of the day.

He started back on a diuretic (Aldactone 50mg) Friday, and we are both concerned it might slow or reverse this change, so we are watching closely. He does still get cold, but his blood pressure is back into a normal range. He says that the diuretic is starting to relieve some of the discomfort of the ascites.

(Note to self. Call the Hospice nurse to let her know of the medication change.)

This from a man who almost died in ICU in October. This is certainly not the road we thought we would be on in January.

Jim is starting to get psyched about his new schedule for this week: specifically the Adult Day Program. He seems to be looking forward to the independence of riding the Paratransit; getting out of the house for several hours each week; of making his own lunches the days he will be home; of being able to let me work.

We have decided to get his blood test on Tuesday as the DR originaly requested. I will drive him to the lab and then to Gilpin Hall (the Day program), instead of riding the Paratransit with him and cabbing home.

I spent an hour with the Hospice social worker today while Jim was out. She does seem, humm, inexperienced with counseling. When she was here with Jim and me last week, Jim complained about all the time I spend on "the cat board," meaning the Feline Diabetes Message Board (FDMB). I printed out and she read the FDMB threads from when I posted I had breast cancer and when I posted that Jim was in ICU with sepsis. She seemed to understand that the FCMB is not just some frivolous "chat room," but my support network. And that the people on the Board are my friends, not just some "Internet junkies."

She and I discussed how jealous Jim is of my time. We didn't come to any conclusions about that, except that Jim gets far more of my time now than he did before he got sick. She finally seemed to understand my need to get back to as "normal" as possible. She agreed that the Day program would be good for Jim.

She wants to come again next Saturday, and I am hoping she will be able to have a one-on-one with Jim. Jim had his normal "what might I gain from that" attitude when I told him about that. She said she could spend next Saturday again with me, and then talk with Jim the following Saturday, when I likely will be "knocked out" in bed post surgey.

Her regular full tine job is substance abuse counseling. She doesn't seem to believe it is possible for Jim to have given up drinking cold turkey and not have a craving to drink.

As for me, I am flying high and probably doing alot of typoing on 2 Percocets tonight. The pain pills, various creams and aloe, and a cold wheat bag and ice packs are not touching the pain I'm having in my right "breast." The more the pain goes on, the less likely I am to think it is a late-onset radiation burn, and more likely s reaction to the expaander implant. Hopefully, it is not an infection, but we'll find out when I get my pre-surgical CBC next week.

Jim is going to the grocery with me today. I think he is looking for more food alternatives. Last week he found a bag of roasted, unsalted peanuts, and has been scarfing them down. He also complained, once he saw the monthly grocery bills, that he wants to cut backk on the Boost, a protein drink he takes. I talked to the Hospice nurse about that; she said she would check whether they had any "donations" of Boost she could bring him. I also talked with the company that makes it, and was told they would send us some coupons monthly.

Things are going remarkably, miraculously well here.

Well, back to bed. With the Percocet, I can hardly hold my eyes open.

Our best to all!!


Alice said...

So glad things are going well. I can't wait until that expander is out. And I hope it's not an infection. Sending lots of luv your way.


Annie said...


This is great news. We will keep the prayers coming your way!

Love, Annie and Doug