raloria - Screencapping Goddess (raloria) wrote,
raloria - Screencapping Goddess

Tales From Auntie's House: Long Night Into Day

Another long day in the books and as what's fast becoming the new norm, I'm dealing with it on practically no sleep.

Late Monday night and early Tuesday morning was exhausting. Lots of time spent with me trying to get my aunt to take her pills on time and failing because I couldn't get her to wake up. There were several pills she didn't get until 2 hours late. Meanwhile my mom was also asleep. The only time she was awake was to help with the potty breaks for my aunt.

I got virtually no sleep at all during the night and did not go to bed.

Come morning, the phone kept ringing. First it was a Bath Aid to wash my aunt around 11:30 a.m. Then a healthcare nurse called to set up his time to come see my aunt. Then the social worker from Monday called to see if the hospital bed and commode had been delivered. I would just get to sleep and then the phone would ring. *sigh*

My mom woke up at around 10 a.m. and by that time my aunt was finally showing signs of being awake as well. Mom was kinda pissed off. The stress of the night and finding out more people were going to be showing up being the culprits. She made me call my cousin, K to let her know what was going on. So I did. K said she'd be down as soon as possible.

The male nurse showed up first, checking out auntie and hearing how we've been giving her the meds, etc. He suggested, since she'd been so sleepy, that we try spacing out her one pain pill and giving it to her only when she needs it. He also made other suggestions about helping her take the pills with a little bit of banana or applesauce instead of just water. Her blood pressure was a bit high, but she hasn't been on her medication for that in months. He was also concerned about the scaly skin on her lower legs. It's been an ongoing problem. Her legs are all red and peeling, but she says they don't hurt. The last time she was in the hospital they were working on putting lotion on her legs to help moisturize them, but there hasn't been time to deal with it since her terminal diagnosis. K arrived at the tail end of the nurse's visit and after he left the Bath Aid soon arrived. We just had her bathe auntie's legs and feet and apply the lotion. Still a long way to go, but she did seem to enjoy getting at least that part of her clean.

Next there was some time to spare before the lawyer arrived so I tried to fix myself some lunch. But then my aunt needed the potty, which even with my cousin, K helping, took an hour to do. When aunt has the diarrhea it takes several times of standing her up and cleaning her up. Then she has to rest in between those. We did this a couple of times before the lawyer arrived, in fact, he had to wait before coming inside the house while we finished up.

The lawyer didn't stay long. He asked auntie a few questions about her wishes, but she was quite tired from the previous visitors. He agreed to write up the papers for her to review and make any changes and meet back here later next week.

I finally got to eat my lunch, as did mom and K. There was about an hour where things were relatively quiet and we three could just talk while auntie napped. But at one point I broke down again, K comforting me. I was exhausted and she again promised she was going to get me help today, that I was doing a great job, but she was worried about me. She offered to spend the night or come down more often, but I explained that we didn't want to put more stress on her and the baby if we didn't have to. I know mom doesn't want her to come down here unless it's absolutely necessary. But K says we're all in this together and she knows practically all of my aunt's care has been put onto me. Anyway, I had my moment and we waited for the last visitor to arrive.

This would be a gal from another agency to provide help to people in hospice and their caregivers - volunteers who come to help out so many hours and days each week. While mom & I helped aunt with another potty session, K spoke with the woman in the next room, making arrangements to get us some help here in the late night / early morning hours so I can hopefully sleep. Originally we agreed to 5 days a week from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., but later found out that wasn't possible. We'll now have someone come 3 times a week starting around midnight or so. They'll start Wednesday night.

That means, of course, that I'm on my own again tonight. *sigh*
Pretty sure I won't get much sleep or get to go to bed since it takes 2 people to get my aunt up whenever she has to go potty.

Oh, and the idea of stretching out the pain meds isn't working. Auntie asked for them an hour ago and it was only about one hour beyond her regularly scheduled dosage. So I'm going back to the original schedule of every 4 hours. She's finally sleeping now for the first time in much of the day. It's certainly been a long one for all of us.

Tags: ramblings, real life, tales from auntie's house
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