Every Day a Blessing and Curse

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Jim's wife
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/31/2006 6:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Jim (ESLD since August 2006, alcoholic) has become somewhat stabilized in his dementia. He's been home since the day before Thanksgiving, and we are looking for him to be home at least another few weeks so we can "reset" the Medicare 60 day "clock" on hospitalization coverage. He is only ambulatory with help, and is mentally lost in time and space. But his long-term memory is good. He always knows me, and generally is cordial to me, but seldom thanks me for anything I do.
I wish we could find the "magic pill" to clear up his mental confusion.
The next few weeks will be busier than I would like with DR appointments, not just for Jim (his family DR and GI DR) but also for me. I have my final breast cancer surgery in early February, so I have to be checked out by my breast surgeon, reconstructive surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, thoracic surgeon, and family DR.
I have found what I think would be a very good Hospice to help us out, but Jim is highly resistant. It's the whole "Will they deliver what they say they will? Home Health Care doesn't!" I can't disagree with his concern, but I can't do this completely alone and with a few hours a week from friends. The Hospice agrees that Jim is not mentally competent to make the decision to sign himself in, and I do have power of attorney. However, I would like to find the magic words to get him to think entering Hospice is his idea.
I also would like to find a way to convince myself that enrolling him in Hospice is not "giving up on him." I am still in denial that his condition is permanent/terminal.

Venita and Jim
Wlmington DE

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 12/31/2006 7:39 AM (GMT -7)   
JIm's Wife

I am glad that Jim is more stable and was able to be home for the holidays. I know you are struggling with this decision about hospice and I am sure with alot of thought and prayer you will be able to find peace with whatever deciision you make. I know that it is hard to realize that this disease is forever. I can't speak for everone but I am sure that each person that faces these kinds conflicts goes through a time denial that things in there life will be forever changed. I don't believe that you would ever give up on Jim no matter what your decision.

Good luck to you on your own surgery and stay strong for yourself.

Will keep you both in my thoughts


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 446
   Posted 12/31/2006 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Venita,

Just letting you know I am thinking of you and the choices you have to make. One very important thing is to look after yourself. Without your own good health you will be unable to look after Jim.

Take care,

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 1/1/2007 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Venita, I know I have had a hard time, believing it could be the end for Mark. I keep on handing it over to God, and right now, I am okay with whatever happens. It has been such a hard year, he has been in the hospital around 14 times this past year. He just got out on Saturday again. With each time it has made me realize, he is living on the edge and I have no control of the outcome. I am okay with whatever happens at this point. But I definitely have not given up hope. This has been a big acceptance issue for me to get to this point. I do know Hospice does help alot with the patient, they also help the caregiver in many ways also, with support emotionally. I can only imagine the stress of this decision making on this issue. I will certainly keep you and Jim in my Prayers!!! I hope all goes well with your surgery. I think you have been doing a wonderful job taking care of your husband and being sick on top of it all! I also know how hard it is to live with the encephalopathy, it is enough to drive anyone crazy! It is a nightmare to those of us that live with it. I know one of our forum members has Hospice for her husband and she could be very helpful to you! Please keep us posted.


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