Monday night, Audrey and I managed to get my aunt's pants changed, but it was a long, drawn out struggle. We barely got her to step the tiny distance to the commode and she could only stand for a few seconds at a time. Eventually we got her changed and back in her chair, although she more fell into the chair than sat in it. We did get her to take some morphine in the jello, but again...a struggle.
Tuesday, Jolene, the nurse came by for one of her routine visits and we were so happy to see her. After explaining how things had been deteriorating, Jolene & I tried to move my aunt once again over to the commode. It wasn't happening. We couldn't even get her to stand up. So we mutually decided it was time to move her to the hospital bed. Auntie protested, of course, but it was the best move for all of us. I could just see her falling as we tried to move her to the commode. Couldn't be done anymore.
So we moved the bed over to her and lifted and pivoted her onto the bed. We got her comfortable: raising the head of the bed and then Jolene worked on her legs. She took the bandages off and we decided not to put anymore on for now. They seem to just hold in the moisture leaking from her skin. We put a pad on the bed to soak up the moisture and Jolene lathered on some lotion and we left them at that. Then we had to change her pants because they were long overdue. Jolene showed us how to roll her to either side and get the used pants out, wipe her down, and put a new one in. Again, auntie protested, but we got her through it. Once we got her finally all settled we were all exhausted.
Jolene tried to give my aunt some drops in her mouth to cut down on the secretions, but again...auntie wouldn't have any of it. *sigh* Once Jolene left, the plan was to give auntie more morphine, but she fell asleep and I figured that was for the best.
We were expecting a new gal to come in place of Audrey last night, but Audrey did indeed arrive, saying that they told her she'd be on again for the next 2 nights and the new gal would start Thursday. Ah, well. No problem. At least we're used to Audrey.
We had quite a windstorm last night and the lights flickered a lot. So much so that I went over to our house to pick up a few more flashlights. My aunt only seems to have 2 for the entire house! Anyway, an hour or so after Audrey arrived we heard a big gust of wind and then a loud Boom! We looked around out the windows, but couldn't see what had hit the house. Come morning we found a tree branch in the next door backyard, right by the kitchen window had broken and was resting on the roof. We looked at it this afternoon and it doesn't look bad. The branch isn't a big one (compared to what hit our roof several years ago) and it doesn't appear that anything broke through the roof. K's husband, J is planning on coming down and taking care of it and the tree out front.
As for today...what a day it was. K arrived around noon and thought her mom was in pain. It might look that way to most people who saw her in the state she's in now, but a lot of times when you ask her she'll say no. Other times she'll say yes, but then when you try to give her anything she'll refuse it. That would turn out to be the theme of the day with my aunt.
Anyway, K DID get some morphine into her eventually. Then she and I started clearing out my uncle's old bedroom to make space for a 24 hour person to move in. We got that done and the lawyer arrived to try to get my aunt to sign the final draft of the will. Unfortunately, my aunt not only didn't want to sign anything, K tried to have her write something down earlier and it was totally illegible. So...we were at a slight impass. The lawyer said he'd go back to the office and see if he can find a work around for when someone understands what they need to sign (which my aunt does...she understands what's being said to her) but they can't sign their name. He mentioned this happens with stroke patients. We're hoping to get him back here tomorrow with some kind of solution.
Around 2 pm, Joan, the social worker with the Hospice outfit came by to discuss what arrangements we wanted to make now. She tried to ask my aunt some questions about if she wanted CPR, antibiotics, and what steps she wanted taken in such an event. She got conflicting answers. Meanwhile, K was trying to give her more morphine and auntie was still refusing it. Oh..we also changed her pants before the lawyer arrived and again with Joan helping us. She had on all hats today.
My aunt was in quite a bit of distress and there was a lot of hand-holding and some crying. Of course, we're all trying to do what's best for her...to make her comfortable and pain free and she's not helping by fighting us all the time about the pain medication. It's frustrating and difficult. So the decision had been made to try and get her into a home where there's a 24 hour nurse to take care of her. Joan made some calls and we'll be seeing how those pan out in the next day or so. The plan is to hopefully have auntie moved to a place by Friday. Joan also called Jolene about the possibility of using a pain patch for my aunt. That way she'd at least get the medicine. I just wish these things didn't take so damned long...first you gotta call the doctor and clear it with them, then you gotta get in contact with the pharmacy...meanwhile, days are going by. It's nuts.
This will take the load off of my mom and I. A 24 hour person staying here would've been an option, except with the outfit that does that the people really aren't nurses and there's only so much they're allowed to do. We'd still have to control giving auntie her morphine and changing her pants, so she really wouldn't be getting the full care she needs. Of course, mom and I are willing to keep going, but the truth is it's getting beyond our abilities.
K will be back down tomorrow and hopefully the lawyer will be back to with some kind of a solution about the will. If only we hadn't gotten all that snow and ice last week....a lot of this stuff could've happened sooner while my aunt was still able to do some things. She deteriorated so much during that time and there was nothing we could do about it.
So there you have it. It's been an emotional, frustrating day for everyone. Audrey will be here tonight and we'll have to see if we can get auntie's pants changed again. We'll keep trying to give her the morphine, but she's a stubborn woman. Not much you can do when she clamps her mouth shut and refuses to take anything. She's even having trouble drinking water, so we're trying those mouth swabs you get in hospitals...she doesn't like those either! *sigh* Yeah, did I mention frustrating? *deep breath* But we're trying our best and that's all we can really do as long as she's here under our care.