Even More Decisions

Today has been rough. I coughed and coughed last night and what time I wasn’t coughing, I was having to get up and pee. It makes wearing adult diapers an attractive thing. I’d drift off to sleep and then cough, cough. OOPS! Better get up before I have an accident!

One reason I coughed so much is that it was HOT in here. When I went to bed, it was 78 degrees. I spent a lot of the night with nothing over me. It never cooled off enough for me to need the comforter and that’s when I sleep the best — when the room is cool.

I didn’t know what time the rep from hospice would be here. She’d just said afternoon so I was sure I’d be up. I was, by a long shot.

When I got out of bed to stay, I tended to my nose as best I could. It gets so caked with blood, it’s sometimes almost blocked off. I keep forgetting to ask Cuz about Vaseline. I had a huge container of it in the kitchen cabinet that I used to lubricate the handles of my Saladmaster cookware and the gasket of the pressure cooker. Patricia indicated in a comment that it should be good for my bleeding nostrils, too.

I called my CIL and he answered. It worked! He heated up my water and I took a pain pill. That’s when I ate four crackers, then asked for a full glass of water. He brought me a bottle of ginger ale, too.

The phone rang and it was my roommate. She and her daughter had gotten back from a trip to New England last night. They’d had quite an adventure. She had seen my memory I’d posted on Facebook of Helen Reddy singing “You and Me Against the World” and was touched all over again.

She broke down and started crying. That song always makes me cry, too. It was a song she and her husband loved and he’s been gone for a long time. I told her it was one that I listened to a lot after DH left in 1986. It was already an old song since it came out in 1974 but it will always be a classic.

A couple of hours later, I just called for my CIL. No answer. I yelled again, as loud as my energy would allow. Nothing. I picked up the phone and got a fast busy signal. I tried that several times and there were only two times that it rang through but it went to voice mail. I ate two more crackers and drank some ginger ale.

When Cuz got home, my CIL came in and asked if I needed anything. Yes. Applesauce. He brought me a bowl and I ate it, then asked for another glass of water. I drank that.

A while later, he checked with me again and I asked for some more applesauce and a piece of toast. He was getting it ready when the rep came in.

She introduced herself and said she understood that she was here to do my admission. Well, no. I had some questions. We started talking and I learned that they can do my B12 shots weekly. No problem. They will also give me a flu shot. Home health won’t. They don’t generally do blood work. If an infection (such as a UTI) is suspected, they go ahead and treat. That concerned me a bit since I don’t like taking antibiotics unless it’s absolutely necessary. A nurse can come in as often as needed, up to five times a week. I can have showers or a full bed bath three times a week if I want. An aide will change the bed and straighten up the room. They supply all of my medications and any supplies should I become incontinent. A doctor would see me at least every six months and they have a chaplain.

I texted Cuz that she was here so she came in and asked some questions, too. She’d pretty much already answered them but she gave her a rundown of what we’d discussed. It sounds like something that would help all of us and not just me.

After she left, I had the bowl of applesauce and a piece of dry toast.

For days, I have been agonizing over something that should have been an easy decision but it wasn’t. I knew I needed protein but it would have to be very digestible. I finally bit the bullet tonight and asked Cuz to get me a half dozen organic free range eggs the next time she was at Kroger. The ones Walmart lists comes up “Item not available”.

eggsIt was like an Abbott and Costello routine when I asked. “DD said I mix it with water.” “No. I mean eggs. Real eggs. From hens.” “You’re going to eat DAIRY?” “Eggs aren’t dairy.” Blank look. “Eggs come from hens. Hens aren’t cows. Hens don’t give milk. Milk products are dairy.” Oh, okay. Honestly, if it didn’t produce phlegm, I’d probably go the dairy route, too, but I don’t need a stuffy nose.

I showed her the picture of the eggs and she wanted to know how many to get. I told her just a carton of six. No use to stock up until we knew whether or not I could tolerate them. I hadn’t intended for her to go right then but she and my CIL geared up and left. A little over an hour later, they were back. She’d said it would take 20 minutes to get there and 20 back and then at least 10 minutes in the store.

My CIL scrambled one egg with water in a pan sprayed with Pam. I had it with Cream of Wheat. I mixed them both together and asked for pink salt. Well, I had to recant and take the kala namak, after all. I’ve asked my DIL to bring me a dozen of their free range eggs when/if they make it here. So far, it hasn’t riled my stomach. So, I’m not a vegan any more. I guess this is a circumstance of “you gotta do what you gotta do”.

One of my friends has sent me a long list of foods I should be eating. I wish I could. In the meantime, I’ll eat what I can that will sit easily on my stomach.

12 Responses to Even More Decisions

  1. Alice Fontana October 17, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    Hi Tommie!! Such great info you shared re hospice. Bits of knowledge we all should gather ,,,, just in case, for ourselves AND/OR our loved ones. It takes much of the burden off the caregiver, giving them the opportunity to just love on you and enjoy you. I’m sure it gives the patient a better feeling of NOT being a burden to those they care about too. I truly believe in their philosophy.

    My sister and I are flying to the Northwest on Friday to visit another sister. We will be visiting a very special cousin living in a nursing home in a northern suburb of Seattle. I’ll wave to your daughter as we drive thru her area. Its a beautiful part of our country. Have a really good day, my friend. God’s blessings to you…

    • Tommie October 17, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

      That’s my feeling about hospice, too, Alice. Some of the things I’ve read about hospice in other states aren’t quite so encouraging but hearing it from the rep was a relief.

      Please do wave and, yes, it IS beautiful and should be very green after all the rain they’ve gotten. Have a safe trip and be blessed, too!

  2. Les October 17, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

    Hi Tommie,
    Glad to hear you’re getting some help through hospice. Also glad you’re getting some protein, sorry it’s not vegan but at least they’re from free-range chickens. Some friends raised free range chickens for years and those chickens were pretty happy birds.

    I had given up dairy for the past couple months, then a friend brought over a dip with cheese in it the other day. I had some and within an hour I was a mess, stuffy nose, runny eyes. I had wondered why my allergies haven’t been bothering me, I think all these years dairy pushed me over the allergy edge. At least now I know, so no more dairy for me!

    Praying you’ll have several cough-free nights so you can get some rest. God bless you!

    • Tommie October 17, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

      Yes, I believe hospice will be a great help.

      My son and his wife and daughter have chickens more or less as a hobby and they’re going to bring me a dozen eggs Sunday. I know what you mean about the dairy. I’d accidentally bought some soup that had milk in it and didn’t realize it until I’d already opened it. I thought I’d eat it so it wouldn’t go to waste and talk about a stuffy nose! If I’d been on oxygen then, I would have been in bad shape. I figure ovo-vegetarian will have to be what I am now.

      Thank you for the good wishes. I keep thinking I should answer your last email but that round tuit is very elusive even though there’s next to nothing I have to do. Bless you and yours!

  3. walter maude October 18, 2016 at 7:30 am #


    Walter from Ashland, KY, (formerly Taylor, TX) on Upper Room. You may or may not remember my posts, but I experienced Hospice with my wife Susie as she battled pancreatic cancer. Honestly, It was an extremely positive experience. The nurses were wonderful, caring people as were the aids who came and bathed her. The Chaplain was also huge help. I would encourage you to sign up if you haven’t already done so. I pray for you daily…


    • Tommie October 18, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      Thanks for the encouragement, Walter. Someone is coming from hospice to admit me today.

      I can’t imagine what your wife went through. Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease. It’s good she had a loving husband as well as hospice caring for her.

      • David Miccinello October 18, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

        Hi Tom
        Been reading upper room on line latly and found your blog today
        Ever heard of quinoa?
        It’s an ancient grain and great source of protein
        I cook up some onion garlic and cabbage sometimes spinache then simmer quinoa and mix them together
        Also on the hospice note,I had an old co worker that had many health issues,and some friends that helped him
        Well he really needed more professional help
        And hospice was the answer
        They will care for your every need
        QOne day a woman came in to read,another with a visiting dog,live music,recorded music,just about any request was made
        Plenty religious folks also,for all
        Rest well sir
        Your in our daily prayers

        • Tommie October 18, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

          Thank you, David. The quinoa would sound good if I were eating normally. I have no appetite for anything that might be hard to digest. I have high hopes for hospice. And thanks for the prayers.

      • walter maude October 19, 2016 at 8:12 am #

        Just read your UR post this morning (10-19). I’m glad you have Hospice in place. One of the things that came as a bit of a shock to me was that once Hospice started for Susie, and I went to the local pharmacy to pick up her meds, there was no copay. I hope that is the case for you as well. Her primary care physician did sign on with Hospice, which was a huge relief as well. May the good Lord bless and keep you throughout the day today…

        • Tommie October 19, 2016 at 11:49 am #

          Yes, Walter. Everything will be covered. No co-pays or deductibles. Cuz checked with the pharmacy and they are willing to fill my prescriptions even though they’d been reluctant to dispense my pain medication before.

          When DD was little her nickname was Susie. I still accidentally call her that at times even though she outgrew it and is going by her first name now. I still love Susie, though. I’m sure you do, too.

  4. Lennis Wafford October 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Hi, Tommie,
    I’m a volunteer for a hospice in Bakersfield Ca. I have been since 2008. I really can say that it is the most rewarding experience. I meet some wonderful, exciting, energetic people. I run errands, sit with lover ones , in order for care takers to go shopping, dining, Dr. appointments etc. Also dementia patients qualify under our foundation. The Foundation assists those who are in need and no patient is turned away. Some patients have been with me 2 years and counting. I play bingo, polish nails, read, sing etc. We have a team of doctors, nurses, assistants, social workersecurity, chaplains,therapistso etc. It is wonderful to be a part of this team. Optimal Hospice Bakersfield California.

    • Tommie October 18, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

      You definitely are in a position to know about hospice. I believe the one here will provide most, if not all, of those services, too.

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