Day 91 Mike: ShortTimers

May 20, 2011

Family, Health, Mike

It’s looking good for the 26th and D-Day (in this case, Discharge Day).  I’m a little scared the bedsore might throw a monkey wrench in…it suddenly started to have yukky drainage again.  I’ve insisted the wound care nurse evaluate it again today and I’m hoping that they can turn whatever has flared up around very quickly.  I’d make us a ShortTimers calendar if I had time!  Yesterday PT wanted to teach him to get in and out of the car.  He instantly knew how to do so.  Amazing which things are almost instinctive and which are elusive…the brain and its OS are definitely a curiousity to me!  What a fascinating thing it would be to research and figure out how to resolve problems such as Mike’s!  Wish I was younger…and smarter…

Once again this morning I’m doing Mike’s laundry.  There seems suddenly to be a mountain of it lately.  Always wet.  Makes me wonder if he’s been offered the bathroom often enough.  He can’t tell them…and my observation is that they don’t seem to think to regularly take him.  I’ll be very glad to get him home for that reason alone if no other…

The new barium swallow evaluation is done. He is able to swallow thin liquids now (water etc) without fear of aspiration.  Diet is still pureed foods, however.  No more Vital Stim either since his swallow itself is just fine.  Seems his cognition is damaged in such a way that when he has solid or soft or chopped food in his mouth, he chews forever.  Like a minute and a half for one small bite of food.  Then, he forgets to move it to the back of the mouth, where the swallow reflex takes over.  If he does remember to move it to the back of his mouth, the swallow reflex is working fine.  The trick is getting him to remember.  Nobody knows if he ever will.  Or if he will, when.  Meanwhile, the pureed diet remains because it’s not safe to let him sit with food liquefying in his mouth and running down his throat.  SIGH.  Did I mention?  He hates the pureed diet and has begun refusing to eat it.  I’ve resorted to Boost Hi Protein Shakes, Chobani fruit yogurt,  and please UPS, get my protein powder here so I can start making him smoothies? 

Tomorrow morning is basement overhaul day.  I’ve begun to make the list of what I need to do before he comes home.  Phew.  It’s dizzying. Then there’s the financial implications.  There’s the mountain of prescriptions (about 12) that must be filled with a 30 day script on D Day.  The doctors visits within a week with their co-pays, plus the 90 day scripts that will need to be sent in to be filled.  Diapers.  He tells me he knows when he needs to use the bathroom.  Since I will be right with him at all times, I am hoping we won’t need them long…if at all.  But I have to have some here to start.  A waterproof mattress protector just in case.  Wound care supplies.  I hear the various dressings being used are expensive…then there’s the cleanser, sterile gauze, skin prep etc.  I don’t know if they are covered under the insurance or not.  They might be.  The prescriptions are, with a co-pay.  The diapers are not.  Therapy will be 3 hours a day, three days a week…my co-pay is $15 a day (mercifully! ) but it all adds up.  I don’t know what the wound care clinic will cost…probably a $25 co-pay per visit like a specialist. I think about the staggering impact this would have on people with less robust insurance plans and shudder!   

Then there’s the modifications to the house, however small.  I’ll also need to grocery shop…I’ve been grabbing fast food.  The good news about THAT is that my waistline and arteries will be pleased with the change.  (Much as I love the lobster bisque from Zoup, each time I have a bowl I hear my coronary arteries trying to slam shut!) Groceries have gotta be cheaper!  Well, it’ll work out.  He’s coming home!  That’s the important thing. 

Meanwhile, I think I’ll take out a second mortgage for gasoline for the car…who’d have believed almost $4.00 a gallon???

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