She has had two periods of “talkativeness” in the last few weeks—July 30 & 31, and August 5 & 6. She initiated conversation and chatted almost normally, though some of her remarks reflected disorientation and confusion. (For instance she wanted to know if I was working full time at the nursing home now.)
I had stopped carrying the little micro tape recorder, but last Wednesday she asked about it and wanted to resume taping “memories.” When I brought it Thursday, she was gone again, very sleepy and minimally responsive verbally.
Her stiffness seems to have eased, both because the Hospice nurse has prescribed a very mild daily pain killer and because the staff now understands that she has trouble realizing the position of her body in space and is frightened when they try to move her. I’ve noticed them telling her what they plan to do, describing what they are doing, and reassuring her about what they just did.
They discovered the beginnings of a bed sore last Monday, and three hours later the Hospice nurse had a special air mattress fitted over her regular mattress. This thing has oval air cells about 4” x 6” that electronically fill and deflate according to a programmed schedule. By yesterday, the spot was nearly healed.
Her appetite is still good, and she always seems to have room for the fresh fruit I bring her daily. One of her friends has generously shared tomatoes from her garden. Cut up and tossed with mayonnaise, they are her favorites.
The dogs are so accustomed to the routine that they bark as we’re turning into the parking lot, anticipating all the attention they’ll be getting from staff and residents, in addition to their Gram.
So life continues. I have come to terms with the two hours a days I spend at the nursing home as my trade-off for not turning my house into a hospital with strangers in and out 24/7. If I have something in the evening I really want to do, I visit over lunch time.