Friday, July 29, 2016

"We have a problem with Gary's Nightime Behavior"

I was in the car today on my way to my other campus with an old friend from Heald riding shotgun.  I was showing her our campuses of which I am so proud and being in the same industry, I knew she would appreciate a tour.

The phone rang in the car and the conversation comes through the stereo speakers via Bluetooth.  I recognized that it was a phone from Gary's hospice nurse, so I took it.
She greeted me and started talking about something that she was sure I knew she continued talking I realized that she was talking about something that had not been mentioned to me.  I had trouble deciphering exactly what she was saying.  Either Gary had been improperly touching the caregivers or he had been "touching" himself.  They were recommending, after talking to his doctor, that he get an additional medication to help him relax and not fixate on his private parts.

I looked at my friend and we were both about to burst out laughing.  Apparently, he is not doing anything unacceptable with the caregivers, but they have "interrupted" him at night and have to leave him alone to finish.  I didn't know whether to be embarrassed or cheer him on!  Thank heaven Debbie is an old friend who understands caregiving and we had a laugh.

During the same car ride, I shared with her that I had received a call from U.C. Irvine requesting that Gary again visit the neurologist.  This seemed odd in that the last time we spoke the doctor shared that he did not need to see Gary again as "there is nothing I can do for him."  His diagnosis is why we now have Hospice benefits.  I had asked the calling secretary to ask the doctor if there was a mistake.  While we were in the car, they called back to confirm that indeed the neurologist h confirmed he did not need to see Gary. 

I shared with Debbie that I was glad that I did not need to take him out of Memory Care and drag him down to UCI for an appointment.  On the other hand, the neurologist was confirming that there is no hope for him to recover. I knew that but it does not make the fact any easier.  My husband is terminal.  How sobering. The whole situation was uncomfortable.

I later visited Gary and fed him dinner.  I took some new CDs that he and I have listened to multiple times.  After dinner he was singing along to "Mack the knife: I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and other Grammy winners.  Hearing him be aware of the songs made me feel better.  At least for now, he appears okay.  I will not say happy and I can't say sad....he just is.

So tomorrow he will be slightly medicated.  I'm sure this is not the last adjustment we will have to make .....

When I think back over the day, I am grateful for friends. The reaction of someone sitting in that seat hearing about my husband's behavior in the Memory Care Unit could have been ugly....instead, it was accepted and the reaction came with acceptance.   God sends what who we need when we need it....

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