Today our new hospice nurse came to visit. Her name is Stacey. I hope we can keep her until we don't need her anymore. I don't do well with change. I never have dealt well with change. Richard was always my rock and he would help me through any changes I ever had to face. Usually trying to convince me that it would probably end up being better. And it usually was. Don't you hate it when they are right? But now he doesn't deal too well with change either. So I hope this is it!
Not only do we have a new nurse, but we have a new Hospice. Our Hospice (which was known as Harden Hospice) was just bought out by Gentiva Health Services, the largest provider of home health services and hospices in the United States (based on revenue). I am hoping and praying this change won't mean anything to us at all. I am hoping and praying that this will just mean that things will only get better.
Anyway back to Stacey. She is around mid-thirties and quite easy to talk to. She included Richard in our conversation (he was having a good day) and took the time that was needed for him to answer her questions. She touched him and I could tell that she will be the kind of nurse who will be caring. Our last hospice nurse only touched Richard when he was taking his vital signs. She has grown as a nurse in hospice, starting as a home health aid and working her way up to her present RN position. She is married to a recovering meth-addict (14 years clean) so that gives me hope in my own situation with my eldest son. She has no children, but does have 'dog babies' and was very interested in hearing all about Darian and Harley. Even asked to see their pictures. Can you believe that? No one asks a grandmother for pictures of her grandkids! She gave me her personal phone number and said that I can text her my supply list or any other questions or concerns at any time. We set up her visits for every Wednesday afternoon, for now.
We also ordered a hospital bed, which will be delivered next week. Richard has been suffering some skin issues and I need to get him out of the chair and off his backside for part of each day. He has fought us every step of the way for the move to a bed. I have promised him that we will only use it at night and if he isn't comfortable will get him back up to the chair. Hopefully, we can ease him into it at least for a few hours at a time. Justin will help me re-arrange and remove furniture this weekend so that the bed can be in the living room. Richard feels like this is the final step. I try to reassure him that isn't necessarily so. But he can be stubborn at times.
His confusion, hallucinations, and paranoia are becoming worse. We often have a man in our house (that only he can see). This man carries a clip board and is making note of all our possessions. I tell the man to leave and usually that works. He sees things on the floor that are not there. And recently he wanted me to help wash all the blood off his hands. There was no blood there. I am thankful for my nurse's training as I wonder how untrained people would deal with all of this. Can you imagine how frightening it would be if you were told there was a man in your house and you couldn't see him?
So this is a little update in the middle of my 30 Days of Thanksgiving. We have much to be grateful for. Today is day 7. The other of my posts can be found here. November is rushing past. What are you thankful for today.