Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Update from Bert (sent 6:57 pm June 4)

Dear sibs,
Yesterday afternoon Dad had the best few hours since he came here. He felt stronger, was perkier, and stayed awake more.
This afternoon he's been short of breath, but stronger than when he first came.
Things (strength, balance, pain, shortness of breath, slowness of speech, being confused) come and go without rhyme or reason (at least known to Dad or me). He has been saying things as we looked at a few of Doug's new photos like, "C.B. and others don't have time to come see an old codger, and I don't blame them," and, "People don't take time to run everything in the schedule by me," as we looked at the Civil War re-enactment and he couldn't tell me when it was. (Later he told me the re-enactment was near Letchworth, so we know he remembered being told about it.) He calls himself "useless" and other things. I try to tell him that he would not do that to anyone else, so why do it to himself?? As he did with you, Doug, he started in on how hard Gram had had life. I keep telling him to cut himself some slack, as he would anyone else.
Kim suggested Ensure dietary supplement when I said he wasn't eating much. I will get some tomorrow, but he has been eating more, too.
He has not been constipated, said he had trouble with one movement since he came here. He told me the doc told him only 3 8oz. fluids a day, and I said that couldn't be right, so now that you told me 6 I may be able to get more fluids down him. He's been enjoying grape juice. The rectal bleeding stopped and was never a huge amount.
The medical supply store has a toilet seat with armrests, and I will get one tomorrow. She said state law says they cannot be rented when I asked about that.
As far as visiting, Cathy, he probably does perk up and make an effort when someone is around, but it also tires him out.
As of now, I think we can stick to your plan to come on June 17th and return to Alfred 18th or 19th, Doug.
He complains about the coughing, but it sounds like it's a tickle or slight choking rather than a need to clear the lungs. I have been giving him little pieces of candied ginger for a good taste in his mouth and to moisten it. It is good for the digestion, so can't hurt in that department either.
Better go get him some supper.
Love to all, Berta

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