Today the Hospice nurse did her evaluation of Grandma F. She spoke of the pros and cons of having her on an IV. I learned some things I did not know. Things like, sick and elderly people like Grandma may start to need less fluid, and if the IV is pumping it in ... it tends to settle around the heart, or in the lungs. So constant IV fluid may not be a good thing. It could even cause congestive heart failure. The doctor had ordered 3 more bags, and she had finished the first one as we had this discussion. The nurse asked Grandma if she'd like to stop the IV's and get the needle out of her arm. Grandma said she thought it'd be a good idea to do what the doctor said, although she would be glad to get rid of the needle.
Final decision was that we would start the next bag, but if the needle came out, or there were any other problems with it, then we wouldn't stick her again. Turned out, that happened right away. When they got around to starting the 2nd bag, it wouldn't flow into the vein. They would have had to re-stick her, so the IV was stopped and her needle was removed.
The nurse also said we should use our own judgement and feelings as to whether we continue with the thickened liquids regimen. Grandma really dislikes that thickener, and I don't blame her. We understand she may aspirate some of what she drinks, but on the other hand, she's not drinking as much of the thickened stuff, so she risks dehydration. Plus, in the nurse's words ... we're talking about her comfort now, not so much curing what's wrong with her. When we asked Grandma if she'd like some regular water, she resisted ... saying "They wanted me to have thickened drinks." She's really wanting to follow the rules. We may try again later.
We visited at lunchtime and at dinnertime ... both meals were only 1/4 to 1/2 eaten. She's not talking much at all, and appears to be content to listen to us chat ... and sleep.
It's hard to think about having to say goodbye to such a "big" woman. She's frail, oh so frail ... less than 100 pounds. If you know her though, you understand why I refer to her as "big". I hope she realizes how much she's loved.
I got a call from the bariatric clinic today, asking if I'd like to move my appointment with the surgeon from March 28 to Monday, March 6. I agreed, and now I'm nervous. He's a nice man, so I know that's silly. Still nervous though.
Here's a fun thing I found on the Internet. Click this link and I can find out what you think about me, and how it compares to what *I* think about me. Come on, do it.
Hope you have a good weekend. :-)