Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This is a Test . . .

Robert was anxious to come over to our house this past weekend and I was happy (and ready) to bring him over.  He is staying for a couple of extra days because he has a neurology appointment today and it just seemed easier to keep him than transport him back and forth and rush to get him back in time to take his meds.   

He’s been here since Saturday and is staying through tomorrow morning.  We planned to still take him to Day Program which means dropping him off and picking him up by mid-afternoon.  It’s a bit of a juggling act (because of work and because Hubby has his own caregiving to do, helping out his mom) but I mentally prepared myself for it and have been looking forward to seeing how a longer stay goes. 

Will I be exhausted by Wednesday?  (probably)

Will Robert be sick of us after four days? (doubtful)

Will we make it to his doctor appointment on time (which involves leaving work from downtown to his Day Program 40 minutes away, back toward downtown to his doctor appointment which should take about 30 minutes, finding parking and allowing for bathroom breaks)?  (hmm, I give it a 50/50 chance)

Will I run out of Rocky Road Ice Cream after four days?  (absolutely)

I felt up to the challenge and was excited about feeling refreshed after a break.  I am also focusing on recognizing stress and dealing with it so it doesn’t come out in impatience.  

It’s a good thing I’m working on that stress thing since, so far, my strength has been tested!

Saturday:  As soon as Robert and I were in the car (with the doors and windows shut) and driving to my house, I realized he needed to change his protective brief.  Once we arrived at the house, I realized a clothing change was in order too. 

No problem.  Robert was happy I had stopped to get him a chocolate shake (otherwise known as a Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino) and I had my brand new, patient, attitude.   We made quick work of the clean-up and change and Robert was watching the Jeopardy shows we recorded for him.

Two hours later . . . another clean up and full change.  I had to laugh at this obvious test of my patience.  One clean-up and change a day is not uncommon but two?  Not a usual occurrence so I was sure the Universe was testing me.  Bring it on!  I can do this.

Bedtime . . . Robert is visibly shaking under two comforters and telling me through chattering teeth he is freezing.  (note to self: stop taunting the Universe).  I run to the pharmacy for a forehead thermometer because I don’t trust him to keep an oral thermometer under his tongue for two minutes.  After  several minutes of consulting with Hubby and the directions, we figure out how to work the darn thing and take Robert’s temp.  No fever.  Odd, considering he feels warm and his chest is reddish and hot (I chalk it up to the three comforters he is now cocooned in).  I give Robert a fever reducer with his normal bedtime medications, just in case. 

Sunday:  It’s 4:30 a.m. and Hubby is telling me Robert is calling me.  Oh crap.  I meant to wake up earlier and check his temp.  I extricate myself from the fort created around me on the bed which is my two cats and large lab and check on Robert.  He says he’s too warm and needs one of the comforters off.  I remove it in my half-awake state and feel his forehead.  I think it felt okay but I was still so sleepy, I just went back to bed without it really registering. 

By 6:00 when I actually wake up for the day and am not quite so fuzzy headed, his temperature is over 100 degrees (which isn't terrible but for Robert it takes a huge toll).  I give him his morning meds and two more Acetaminophen. 

Robert’s temperature was back to normal by mid-morning but the damage of the fever had been done.  He was moving at half speed (which is pretty darn slow considering he’s slow to begin with).  I got him cleaned up from the night before and remade his bed so he could spend the day resting.  He slept all day, only waking for meals and meds. 

By evening: His fever was back up (I know this because I’m making the most of the new fancy thermometer).  More comforters, more Acetaminophen, more sleep.

Monday:   If Robert was moving at half speed on Sunday, he’s half of that Monday.  He was up most of the night coughing so I keep him home from Day Program, rearrange my schedule and run to the office to pick up some work while hubby is still home in the morning and find an urgent care center for Robert.    By early evening, Robert had antibiotics and no fever.  Still extremely tired and needing three comforters but I think we’re making progress.

Today, he’s back up to half-speed and seems to be feeling better.  He feels well enough to go to Day Program and he has his neurology appointment late this afternoon.  I’m up for what is in store for us today . . .

(Note to Universe: to be clear, that is NOT a taunt!)


Kathy Lowrey said...

Look at you Trish!!
Sounds like your break was just the thing you needed to feel revived.
Seems you put it to great use in dealing with the challenges of the days!
Don't you love it when you have a perfectly good plan in place and BAM! kinks EVERYWHERE! Those days feel like all you do is weave and dodge!
When Wed gets here, you will be exhausted. I sure hope Robert is far down the road of recover by then.

I'll be looking for updates about his Neuro appt. :)

Other Brother said...

I would have failed the test.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Oh, Other Brother! You have Other Skills so don't worry about this test. :-) Plus, if you really had to, I know you could do it.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Kathy, Here it is Wednesday and Robert is feeling much better (and moving quicker!). I'll update you on the neuro appointment soon. In the meantime, dodge & weave and then, to mix it up, weave & dodge! :-)