Story 30Nov2021: Boring is still good.

Sleeping in the spare bedroom, I did not hear my alarm and was up at 7:30ish, making the morning a bit more hectic. The floor in the bathroom connected to the master bedroom was torn open and the smell of mold was strong.

I had to rush, and it was a long blog. I was a few minutes late when I reached the hospital. The docs did connect with me, and I was right in my understanding of the MRI write-up in MyChart for Susie. Susie had three minor strokes on Sunday. Susie is recovering fast from most of the impacts of these strokes.

Susie was eating better and looked more alert than the days before. Her nurse was Barb today; nurse Barb was previously assigned to Susie. Barb thought Susie was harder to understand but looked much better now.

I missed helping Susie with breakfast, and lunch was late. I had only toast for breakfast, so at half past noon, I stepped out for lunch at the Red Onion and ordered mildly spiced Tom Yum soup.

When I returned, nursing aide Alex was feeding Susie. I took over and helped her finish about 1/2 supplied lunch. The mac and cheese was paste and impossible to eat (we sent word to the kitchen). Susie was eating better, and we had no choking from the food or any drinks. A much better improvement.

The speech person came in and got us another Jello, and she watched as Susie ate that and drank iced tea. Thusly, Susie got ate two Jellos for lunch (and one for breakfast, she let me know). The speech gal thought Susie had improved, but not yet enough to advance to chopped food.

I put on Elton John and later Billy Joel for Susie. She chatted, it is difficult to understand her, with docs and nurses today. Susie seems to know she needs to improve.

The day continued to be blessedly boring with Susie napping and I even falling asleep once. Often Susie would ask for a drink–it comes out as a demand, but words like “please” and “would you be so kind” are not working for her. To do this, first, Susie has to have her head raised to drink. This feat is done by pushing a green button to unlock the bed and then raising the head using the 45-degree button or the head raising button. There is some iconography near the buttons that sort of help. But, the trick is to know that you must press the seemingly meaningless green button first. You then carefully pass the iced tea containing cup, no lid, to her. She then takes a tiny sip. You take the cup back. She looks forward, lowers her chin, swallows, and again swallows. Often she gets distracted, and you remind her, “swallow.” This may repeat, and an intelligent person asks again if she wants more; otherwise, you end up repeating the whole process. Lastly, pressing the green button first, you lower her head to 19-degrees. The process will stop at convenient regresses like 45 and 30, thus one must push the head-down button until Susie is happy.

Aside: Details provided for anyone that might help.

I did the drinking process about every twenty minutes at one point.

The nurses did not have Susie’s dinner tray until after 6ish, other challenges on the floor keeping Barb busy. So I helped with the first enjoyment of pureed turkey and a shake made of ice cream and Ensure supplement drink. The shift change is at 7PM, so it was a bit crazy, but I kept helping Susie eat. I would do the spoon control for the shake, but the turkey was put on her spoon with the extender to help her hold it, and she fed herself. It is sticky while the ice cream-like stuff would well fly. We also had new iced tea I brewed and poured over ice (Susie and her family like only freshly made unsweated iced tea). We managed to get through about 1/4 of the food.

I headed out after 6:30 with Susie planning a second round with the nursing staff in twenty minutes.

Nursing Homes: Our first three local choices did not take Susie for various reasons. We are now applying to homes in Newburg, Portland, and other not-as-close-as-you-would-wish but highly rated places.

My drive back in Air Volvo in the dark was without incident. I stopped by Olive Garden and waited for a to-go order of soup, salad, and breadsticks. Remember, I have a colonoscopy on Friday. Time for soup!

I watched the second half of the latest Doctor Who episode while I ate. I still like it. There was some very light comedy at one point that made me laugh pretty hard. However, on my first time seeing this gag, it was not that funny as it was a bit of a shock to have a joke in a quest to save the universe.

Reading in bed in the spare bedroom, I finished Mexican Gothic, a new book I was reading, which kept me up a bit late. This is a horror-sci-fi novel translated into English. I found it a bit plain for a horror story, and the characters were not that interesting. This translator made a few English errors here and there and used very strange words a few times. However, it slowly builds, and the last twenty pages were exciting, and I could not put it down. I cannot recommend it, but if you can get through the first half, it improves and then is impossible to put down.

I slept after that and managed to wake for my iPhone alarm with the iPhone under my pillow.

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