4/19/12: Every week…

…the hospice nurse comes. We look forward to her visits for all sorts of reasons. First of all she is an interesting woman with a sense of humor that is a good match for L’s teasing. She has quickly become someone we trust to honestly answer our questions and troubleshoot any problems we may be having. This week she alerted us to the fact that we are coming to the end of the first certification period meaning she will need to show reason why L should continue on hospice. I have to bluntly say that the first thought that ran through my mind was that apparently the powers that be have set a time limit on how long it should take a person to die. But I do get it that–as with any system–there can be abuses.  Still it was upsetting to realize that we might lose this support that has become so important in our lives. There is no question that L is failing albeit by small sometimes hard to measure increments. And frankly sometimes the reason I look forward to the nurse’s weekly visit is because L will explain what he’s experiencing in greater detail than he will say to me or others. Like today he spoke about how this morning brushing his teeth, etc. he became so weak–even with oxygen–that he wasn’t sure he was going to finish before he had to sit down. After the nurse left I got out a shower stool we had in storage (there’s already a built-in seat in the shower he uses) and set it against the wall just opposite the bathroom sink. That way he’ll have something to sit on should this kind of weakness continue–which obviously it will. So another small concession to this thing that is slowly killing him. And so it goes…week to week….

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