Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Feb. 24, 1999

Renette Davis

Paul fell this morning and couldn't get up. I wasn't strong enough to help him up either (even after looking in the Hospice manual to make sure I was doing it right), so I called Hospice and they said to call the fire department non-emergency number. A couple of guys came out and helped him up, and then the Hospice nurse came and checked him out.

He didn't seem to hurt himself. I didn't see it happen, but I think he was bent over getting something out of the refrigerator, so I don't think he fell very far. He's been a lot more unsteady the last couple of days. It's getting hard for him to get up out of bed, although so far between the two of us, we've been able to manage.

I've decided I need to look into hiring someone to be here with me as much as possible because I'm just not going to be strong enough to do things myself if he gets any weaker. Mom will be back on Thursday night, but I don't think she's strong enough to do that kind of thing either. The Hospice social worker gave me a list of agencies that provide home health care workers, so I thought I'd make some calls today to see how much it will cost, find out whether I can interview a few people, etc.

I've also thought about talking to a young man from our church, who last time I heard was unemployed, to see if he would be interested in something like that. The Hospice nurse and nurse's aide both said they would teach someone what they need to know if I don't use a CNA (certified nursing assistant?). I thought Paul might be more comfortable with someone he knows already.

Karen has the flu. Dr. Will prescribed Flumadine for her, which I guess is a fairly new drug to treat influenza type A. He had given me a few sample pills last time we saw him (when Paul was running a low grade fever) and said to give them to Paul (and call him for a prescription) if Paul's temperature went up. Paul's temperature is back to normal, however, and he doesn't seem to be showing any signs of flu.

Philip is thinking about taking a leave of absence from work. His supervisor called me yesterday and said that he has one month of leave without pay. He gets to keep his benefits, which is good. After that month is up, however, he would have to terminate his employment. When he wants to go back to work, he would have to be re-hired. He has already used some of the leave without pay (I don't think he's been to work for 2 weeks) so he doesn't really have very much left. He hasn't been there long enough to qualify for the family medical leave, which I'm getting.

I'm really concerned about both kids. I've been getting lots of support and counselling from Hospice, and I think it is really helping me. I've been trying to get them both to go see someone too, but so far haven't had much luck. I know it must be awfully hard for them seeing Paul decline. It is certainly hard on me. I imagine if I didn't feel like I had to keep going in order to care for Paul, I would be pretty severely depressed too.

Continue to: Feb. 26, 1999

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Created: June 11, 1999
Last updated: July 21, 2010