From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Home Health Care -- Day 1

All In The Family...



Hospital bedWhat we actually need!

We brought Dennis home from the hospital yesterday afternoon. I won't say it has been easy so far, but we are coping.

His left arm is broken, so he needs his right arm at the side of the bed to help him get up and down. He also needs to sleep on the side of the bed that is nearest the bathroom.

To accommodate these needs, we are sleeping with our feet at the head of the bed. I cut a piece of plywood that fits between the bedposts at the foot of the bed and wrapped it with a quilt to use as a temporary headboard.

Since he doesn't have a pull bar or a button he can push to raise himself , I give him my right hand to pull on and with my left arm, I reach behind his back to lift him as he comes up. Going back down, I help him swing his legs back up into bed and get his pillows back into position. If he were any larger, we'd have to figure something else out -- like maybe renting a hospital bed!

Last night, I guess we were up and down five or six times in the night so he could use the bathroom -- or at least it seemed like that many times in my stupefied state of drowse. Dennis always gets up a couple times per night, and he says it's worse now. Maybe it's because of the catheter he had or the medicine he's on.

Today, I planned out his pills so that at midnight, he gets his pain pills, his muscle relaxer, and his anti-nausea med. I think that will help him make it through the night.

Dennis got half a dozen cards in the mail today and several phone calls from people asking about him. Our Mennonite neighbor from down the road stopped to see how he was. His spirits are a little better now that he's home. He actually told his mother on the phone that he was getting much better care than when he was in the hospital.

I am hoping to find a used recliner in good mechanical condition for him. I can sew on a new covering of upholstery fabric if need be. I'm interested in function, not form. After buying a new water heater and finding out what it will cost to put Isaac on the car insurance (gasp!), I don't really want to buy a new recliner right now.

5 comments:

Wrkinprogress said...

Gen, please check out Freecycle dot org -- it's an organization that allows people to post things they want to give away (don't want to throw it out, don't want to go to the trouble of hauling it somewhere) with people who need those things. It's free, and I've used it very successfully for about six months. I have friends in other cities who've also had 100% success with it. Do let me know if that helps you find what you need.

And please, give our best to Dennis. We're thinking of him (and you, of course) during his convalescence.

Genevieve said...

I registered with Freecycle a while back and gave away some stuff. I posted a note the other day for a recliner to see if anyone had a recliner, but haven't heard anything. Unfortunately, most old recliners that people are getting rid of are probably broken! Tomorrow when Isaac can stay here with Dennis, I'm going to check with a man who buys estate tag sales leftovers and see if he has anything. He has a big, long metal building that is stuffed with everything you can imagine.

Trixie said...

I'm glad to read that Dennis is home. I know you still have a long road ahead of you but I'm sending my best thoughts from Oklahoma. I hope things improve quickly. Good luck with the recliner hunt -- I believe you'll find exactly what you need. Ingenuity has a way of making things happen!

Sarabeth said...

I'm still thinking of your family. Good luck finding the recliner.

Genevieve said...

Well, I didn't get to that man's furniture barn today, but I'm hoping for the first of next week.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.