Today I will begin with a bit of background. My mother died of ovarian cancer that invaded both her colon and her bladder. The colon 'fix' was a colostomy. To 'fix' the bladder a surgeon went through her back and surgically inserted a tube directly into each of her kidneys. The tubing was brought together into a Y that joined a central tube that drained into a catheter bag. We cared for her in our home and she died there. My father did not thrive after her death. Six months later we again called for delivery of a hospital bed, and home health nursing. It was back to a catheter, and for him it was diapers. He died seven months later, also in our home.
I almost never let those memories out of the space I've kept them locked all these years but last night Bob opened the door and let them out.
I suppose he'd been thinking about those days, and wanted to talk, I did not. It may have been good for him but it was not good for me. I did not sleep well at all after our talk.
I can't let my mind go there. If I do I'm going to be no good to either of us. I must focus on one day at a time. I so hope neither of my children have to have this experience with me but we don't get to choose how our lives will end.
There are a few things I learned from my mother that I hope I can remember.
1) Always be pleasant and express appreciation to caregivers. They're doing their best and dealing with a grumpy, complaining patient is not the treatment they deserve.
2) Keep current in what's going on in your community and the world. Don't let the world pass you by.
3) Mother was completely housebound the last 15 months of her life but she continued to have visitors every day of that time. I decided it was because she never talked about herself. She was interested in those who visited and wanted to know what was happening in their world.
She was a little vain and didn't want her visitors having to look at a catheter collection bag hanging on the side of her chair. I bought pastel gingham check quilted fabric, eyelet edging, and some velcro. I made myself a pattern and sewed some bags to cover that bag. She could just drop her catheter bag into one of those bags and close the top with velcro and no one saw anything but a cheerful gingham bag. I was the only person that knew all the horrible things that went on under her clothing.
Yesterday I finally got time to write a nice review of our ER experience on YELP. I've mentioned before that hospitals now receive some funding based on good reviews from Medicare patients. Unfortunately people are much more likely to write a review if they're unhappy than to write one when they're pleased. It's a small thing I can do to say thank you to our hospital system for the good service we receive in their ER.
We feel very fortunate to have Medicare and good insurance. We're also very grateful for the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
On the subject of 'Obamacare,' let me say just a word. If you've been led to believe it's going away, put that thinking behind you. I think all Republican candidates as well as Republicans in Congress continue to say they will repeal Obamacare, not.
Very recently I took the time to research what it would take to repeal it. First, they have to get a Republican in the Whitehouse! Given that, it can be done, but the chances of Republicans being able to steer that very narrow path is indeed slim, very slim. But let's pretend they accomplished the path to repeal it, they have no plan to replace it. Obamacare has been the law now for six years. In that six years Republicans have repeatedly voted to repeal it. All votes have failed. Wouldn't it have been better use of their time if they'd looked for ways to improve it? Nobody thought it was a wonderful plan when it went into law. Every lawmaker has a choice to help in making it better or continue the futile effort of repealing it.
Finally, if Republicans reach the goal to repeal it, their party is in shambles. In six years they've been unable to agree on a plan to replace it. What makes you think they will come together now in agreement?