Wayne’s condition would get a little better, then worsen again. I wasn’t sure that he would ever be the same. After two months of this, I was discouraged and feared that he would never make it. Sometimes the medication he was taking would make him agitated and irrational. He would hallucinate and try to climb out of bed. The nurses kept him restrained just to keep him in bed. They called him Houdini, because he could wiggle out of his restraining vest with no trouble, and they would find him at the end of the bed. They finally put an alarm on his leg, to alert them when he tried to get out of bed.
Just when I thought that he was making headway, he would slip backwards again. After about three months, it was decided that he would have to be discharged and placed in a nursing home. I struggled with his decision, but I knew that it was best for him. He needed physical therapy every day and good care.
After five days in the nursing home, he got a blood clot in the arm that was used for dialysis and he was placed in the hospital again. I refused to allow him to return to the home. The staff didn’t call me to notify me that Wayne was taken to the hospital. this type of notification is on policy that is too important to fail to comply with. I was so upset I decided that if Wayne was released from the hospital, I would care for him myself. I knew I could do a better job that the home, because I would be with him twenty-four hours a day.
We had planned to take a trip to Arizona in March, so I had already sent a ticket to my daughter in London, so that she could come and stay with Mother while we were gone. Our arrangement worked out great, even though we never went to Arizona. She stayed for two months and cared for the house and Mother.
Wayne went into the hospital February 8, and Pam came from London on March 1, and left April 26. By that time, I had rented an apartment on the hospital grounds in preparation for taking care of Wayne. St. Vincent’s has guest housing for families of the patients. Pam brought Mom down to Portland and we lived in the apartment...Mom, me, two dogs, and Wayne when he was released from the hospital.
After the doctor gave his blessing to my caring for Wayne, his nurses taught me all the procedures needed for his care. The week before he was released, I was giving him his medication bathing him, changing his colostomy and any other procedure that he needed, under the nurses’ supervision.