Monday, October 6, 2008

Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. - Aristotle

Another October morning - a crisp 44 degrees - Autumn in New York. Butch is still sleeping (it is only 8:10 in the morning). We had lots of company yesterday - Mellie, Glenn and the girls came over in the afternoon, followed by Carolyn, Joe, Matt and Raven for a few minutes. We were able to have a good conversation with Samantha and Alexandria, about the things that are important to Grandpa (studying hard, respecting people, etc), and we talked about all the good times we have had together - it was a good talk. Butch watched the football game, and I made some soup in the slow cooker, and apple crisp with fresh apples - I told you, cooking soothes me, plus - I usually make only things I like to eat! He did eat a very small piece of apple crisp, which made me happy. Sharan is flying in from Texas today - Alan will meet her in Syracuse and bring her here. She is going to stay with us for awhile - She has many, many years as a hospice/home health nurse, so she will be invaluable to us, to say nothing of the company for me - I am so grateful. She has been ready to leave for a month - just waiting for me to say the word. Actually, just knowing that - that she was there and ready to leave - has been a comforting thing for me. Alan was coming to visit today anyway (and take the Sunsetter awning down for the winter for us), so I asked him to come (from Ithaca) by way of Syracuse. I believe Mom and Dad will be here for a few minutes today, also.

Saturday was a beautiful afternoon, so we managed to get Butch down to the car, and we went for a ride down Route 26 to Whitney Point. We stopped at the Country Wagon, and I bought us some doughnuts (he didn't eat his - I ate mine!), then we came back Rt. 81. The trees were lovely, and the clouds were outstanding - we saw them take many shapes. Do you remember when we were kids - laying on our backs and looking at the clouds - imagining that they were many different things? I used the apples I bought at the Country Wagon to make that Apple Crisp, as a matter of fact.

The hospice people are very nice, and also very accommodating. They have brought us a wheelchair, in addition to the walker we already have and the oxygen. They (Dr. Gehring) have put Butch on a 24 hour pain medication called MS Contin (morphine), and it works very well for him - he is in NO pain - however, he is very confused from time to time - it causes a lot of trouble, I can tell you. We will use the other medication - the original - for break through pain as it occurs. They are also bringing him some Ativan today (for agitation). They will be bringing in a hospital bed and we will put it in the living room. I will be able to put the sides up to protect him - two nights in a row, he has gotten out of bed in the middle of the night, and he is too weak to manage by himself. The night before that, he fell, and I had a very difficult time getting him up - luckily for us, nothing broke, but it very easily could have. He and I talked and agreed that this is the best route to take. Dr. Gehring is scheduled to make his house call on Wednesday, and we will talk with him then about anything further we need to do to ensure Butch's comfort, and safety.

The other problem we are having is that the alarm is going off on the oxygen condenser - it doesn't shut down, it just goes off - mostly in the middle of the night - kind of a high pitched noise that startles us. They are trying something and - if it doesn't work, they will replace it with another. We do seem to have an inordinate amount of things go wrong, don't we, but - I guess that is just life today. When everything is said and done, we are grateful for all the support - I couldn't do this by myself.


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