Sept. 6, 2008–inadequate care

This lady keeps defying the odds.  Two months ago, I did not think she would make it to Labor Day.  But this last week has been a good one.  She has been lucid and somewhat talkative for six days, although she has memory lapses and is still looking for the elevator in her one story building.

I have convinced the nursing home doctor to have her evaluated for limited physical therapy (fighting the attitude that she’s a Hospice patient, just keep her comfortable and let her die) and have been taking her own wheelchair to the nursing home so she can practice steering and getting herself around.  We bought it shortly after she moved in with me, but always used it so I could push to save her having to walk.  She did not need it to get around the house.

(They won’t put her in one of their’s because “she might fall out.”)

Her major problem is a toe infection that is severe and has not responded to three different courses of antibiotics over two months.  I’ve tried gentian violet and soaking in Epson salts as well, to no avail.  It is still oozing pus.  Fortunately she is not in pain, but the circulation in her hands and feet is not good.

Her Hospice nurse ordered tests for specific antibody sensitivity.  We should have the results back on Monday.  Wednesday, I’ve arranged to take her to a local podiatrist, perhaps to have it lanced.  X-rays show the infection has not (yet) involved the bone.  There are two other last ditch things to try if the next antibiotic doesn’t work, including IV antibiotics in the hospital.

She has been somewhat interested in participating in activities, so I took her to play bingo one day and to a Founder’s Day BBQ in an adjacent park that is accessible to wheelchairs.  In the past I had been timing my visits for meal times because she had trouble feeding herself.  She has done well this last week, so I’ve felt better about leaving that to the staff.

on the porch

in her room. The boa was from her birthday party in July.


About estherfromolmsted

written and maintained by Tina
This entry was posted in 2008. Bookmark the permalink.

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