My long weekend began yesterday, after another rough week. I have to work Memorial Day, as I volunteered to do medication prefills on two Clients who can't manage their meds alone due to physical and/or mental disabilities.
At least I hope I'll be able to do the visits, as I had to turn in the fleet car on Thursday, my car is still in the shop, and my sister's van has a broken window on the passenger side. The power windows have been messed up on it for years. She let it down and it won't go back up. And, (wouldn't you know it), a monsoon has set in after years of drought, and there's no way I can drive it in this wind and rain. I guess I'll have to find a clear trash bag or something to cover it, until we can get it fixed.
BIL has also not been doing well this week. He started running intermittent, low-grade fevers last weekend. I thought he might be developing an infection from his Penrose drain. My sister finally transported him to the ER on Thursday (his surgeon refused to allow his HH nurse to do a C&S of the drainage at home). Turns out that a section of his midline incision, which was masked and covered by steri-strips had become infected and dehisced. He also had a infection of his one remaining kidney and was dehydrated. An I&D of the incision was done, and he was given IV fluids and Levaquin and sent home.
He has also been an absolute bear to care for. My sister, who is burning out, lost it yesterday when he (again) refused to get up and walk. I had had enough, too, and I got in his face:
"Do you want to be an invalid?", I asked.
"No", was his reply.
"Good", I said. "Then you're getting up".
"Ya'll just don't know how I feel", he complained.
"Maybe we don't", I agreed, "But you're getting up, just the same".
He got up. He tried to manipulate me into taking him back to his recliner as I walked him from the bedroom to the dining room, a distance of about 30 feet:
"I'm gonna fall and you ain't going to be able to catch me!"
"No, I'll just let you slide to the floor, like I've been trained to do", I reassured him. "Move along".
After he was seated at the dining room table, I pulled up a chair in front of him. We had a heart-to-heart talk, in which he finally broke down and cried, admitting for the first time how depressed he was. I think his year-long battle with cancer has caused him to crash, both physically and emotionally. "Hey", I soothed, "You are a survivor and
not a victim, and the cancer which caused this mess to begin with has been burned to a crisp in the hospital's incinerator. "And you are not an 'invalid', by any source of the imagination", I emphasized, "Unless you
want to be". He assured me that he did not.
I think that was a real turning point for my BIL, for he was more cooperative afterwards and even asked to get up and go to the dining room table.
Hopefully today will prove more of the same.