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Hi. I'm trying to think of another description to put here. Any ideas? I'll try again at 420.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


...it's still hot here and I'm still playing the air conditioner game with my father. When he passes the thermostat he turns it off and when I pass it, I turn it back on. Up until yesterday, the only summer clothes that I had was a pair of capri jeans. I took the money that my dad gave me and went shopping for some summer clothes so now I have some cooler clothes to wear. Today, I'm going to try to go to the beach and I'm going to wear a pretty "gypsy" skirt that I bought.

I didn't get a bathing suit but that's OK, if I want one, I can always go get one. I just don't know where to find the old fashioned bathing suits, not the early 1900's type, but I would like one that doesn't come up to my waist on the sides.

My dude du jour took a shower this morning and he broke out in a sweat just toweling off. It's amazing how men can sweat like they do. Rick did that too. He would dry himself with a towel and as he did, the dry area began to sweat immediately. Anyway, I have another sweaty man but this one doesn't smell as bad.

Rick had a particularly pungent brand of body odor. It was so bad that once as I was driving from Virginia to Chicago with my kids, I began to notice a familiar odor. After I noticed it, the kids began to pick up on it as well.

One of the kids asked, "What's that smell?" Then, another one of them said, "It smells like Rick."

It did smell like Rick. But...he wasn't there. After a while it got so bad that I had to pull over. I looked through the car and finally found the source of the hideous smell...one of Rick's t-shirts was, for some reason, stuffed under my driver's seat. Driving with the windows closed so I could use the AC made it impossible to miss the unmistakable rankness of my ever so odiforous husband.

I think it's a good thing that Rick's in Montana...the state of Florida would probably toss him back over the border if he hung out here for any length of time.

Well, I suppose I should get ready to go to the beach. My friend has to use the computer to get a few things done for work and then we will leave. I've spent the morning taking care of Jean and interviewing people to come over a few times a week to bathe her. I'm ready for a break.

I gave her a manicure a little while ago and when I took her nail polish off, the cotton balls seemed to have more tar and nicotine on them than they had nail polish. Her nails were so filthy that I actually had to use diluted bleach to clean them. Now they're as clean as they can be and so is the rest of her. I've gotten the house cleaned up, the laundry done, the alarm on the door, Jean is as clean as she can be and I've cooked enough stuff to last a good while. I froze a few meals so that they can have something besides Stouffer's frozen dinners. As soon as I hire someone to care for Jean after I leave, I will head home.

Oh, I also filled all of her daily mdication things and she has a few of them. Her meds are taken care of for the next month. When I first dumped the old meds out of the container, I saw that she was taking three 1 mg. Xanax a day. I have an order for three half mg. Xanax a day but I only take two of them unless I'm having a bad day. If I took anymore than that, I'd be out like a light. No wonder she ended up totally confused and in the hospital.

Jean has a quack for a doctor in Chicago who treated her for well over twenty years. He's a psychiatrist and he was giving her so many heavy duty medications that I'm surprised she didn't overdose. He was the doctor who's name was on the bottle of Xanax. No other doctor would give an Alzheimer's patient that much of a mind altering drug. My father once said that, "Any doctor who treats a patient for 20 years and doesn't cure them should be shot."

I don't know about shooting them but this nut should have his license pulled. I couldn't believe all the meds that she had from him even though he hasn't seen her in over a year. He was still calling in refills for controlled substances without seeing her at all! My father doesn't know a controlled substance from an antibiotic so he was just giving Jean what was ordered. I threw all of those Xanax in the trash so that no one could give them to her anymore. If her doctor down here wants her to have them, he can order them at a lower dose.

Oh, I keep forgeting to mention something to you...the room that my friend and I sleep in has twin beds like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. I asked my father if we could push them together if we promised to keep one foot on the floor. I doubt that I could really get it on with anyone in my father's house anyway so I guess it's just as well that we are waving at each other before we fall asleep.

On the way home, we plan to stay somewhere for a couple of days. It's starting to look like we won't be coming home until the weekend. I have to call the probation office and let them know that. When I left home, I had planned on helping my father find a nursing home for Jean but they decided to bring her home so instead, I have to set up some sort of care for her at home instead. She didn't qualify for hospice and that surprised me. I thought that if you had a doctor's order, you would qualify but she didn't.

So, I'm back to home health care and I'd rather hire someone that I can pick out than to just trust strangers from an agency. I figure it'll be worth it to pay a responsible, pleasant person to come over and help out instead of paying an agency who would take a percentage and then pay whomever they can find to come by. Someone who's making all the money themselves would be more likely to take this job seriously.

OK...I'm going to let my buddy take care of some business and then I want to go to the beach and play in the water. Doesn't that sound like fun?

I'll be back later!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Meg, I am Jean.

Not the Jean you write about. (Didn't want to freak you out there.)

I am not surprised that Hospice didn't think your Jean would qualify for their care. You have to be within 6 months of death before they will step in. The Doctors can order Hospice all they want to but Hospice has the last word.

Jean does have terrible issues but you know from working with them how long Alzheimer's patients can last-- years. Especially if they don't have other health issues.

My Dad had all his marbles but he had pulmonary fibrosis. He was finally taken in by Hospice on Saturday. He died the next Monday. This was in April. I am still pretty sad about it.

But anyway, I just found your blog yesterday and have been enjoying you very much.

I hope all goes well for you and yours.

July 26, 2006  
Blogger Meg said...

Hi Jean,

Yes, I used to work for hospice so I knew about the 6 month thing. My Jean has multiple health problms and the 6 month period is probably an accurate time frame. I would mention her other health problems but it's probably not a good idea. If I did, someone who knows her might recognize who I'm talking about and that can't happen.

I'm so sorry about your father...I lost my mother a few years ago and I know how tough it is to lose a parent, no matter how old you are. My mother also died of respiratory problems...never a good way to go. Besides the pain of the illness, they live with the terrifying feeling of not getting enough oxygen and that's awful to watch anyone go through.

To this day...I still occasionally think to call her on the phone to tell her something that has happened. I don't actually grab the phone, which I did before, but it takes a moment before I remember that she's not here anymore.

I'm glad that I still have my father and I hope to keep him around for a long, long time.

I'm glad that you found me...keep in touch!


July 26, 2006  

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