Saturday, October 17, 2009

Notes for next week's visit

I got this in email from my sister Marie yesterday:
Some things you should know about [Jean] and her condition:

She takes forever to eat a meal--as much as 3 hours. She needs bibs and a plastic "tarp" underneath her to protect your carpet.... Food needs to be cut in small pieces and/or near puree so as to prevent choking. Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, salads, deli meat and cheese are all ok, for example. She seems to eat constantly mostly for "comfort". Also, they both forget to keep her pills on schedule so she always needs liquids to drink to take care of that. She's been drinking cranberry juice, diet coke (or root beer), milk but no hot beverages.

She drools incessantly so always needs something to wipe her mouth although she doesn't use it as much as she should. Your chair/sofa cushions might need to be covered (towels?) so as not to stain them.

Unfortunately [Reg] thinks her brain cannot remember from one day to the next so she has to be reminded of everything. Yet, she can arbitrarily try to get up and walk somewhere because she has thought of something that needs to be done but she doesn't verbalize it so we all jump to help!

Her speech is unintelligible most times unless she is reminded to slow down. Especially when eating, she tries to read or do something else---she thinks she can do 2 things at once! [Reg] thinks she doesn't mind the nagging since she forgets it the next time she tries to do something.

With all this in mind, [Reg] wants you to know that they can't plan many special trips outside the house especially out to eat since she doesn't have the "appropriate table manners". Someone needs to accompany her with her walker since she weaves from side to side! She falls frequently if someone is not there and could end up breaking anything she falls into....

In other words, they can take walks together (with the walker) for short distances, but generally will need a wheelchair for longer excursions. She does need to move for some physical therapy but always with help.
And also, FIL fell--again--last night. It's disturbing that this is becoming a weekly event.

Moral: Being the meat in the Sandwich Generation sux.

1 thing(s) to say:

molly said...

oh, my goodness, that is so depressing, and I am so sorry. I think "sick of this" is a good label for all of this. It does sound as if Jean "enjoys life", in some way, which is what we are all about. You will need to adapt your life habits to hers. Why would she want to go out to a restaurant, anyway? Why would you, when she is there?
But, how long is this visit going to last? It's quite a lifestyle shift. (I typed shit, by mistake, instead of shift, but it may have been my fingers talking...)
you take care of yourself. rest and pray.

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