muffinhead

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Things haven't gotten much better for my friend who has had a stroke since the last entry.

In fact I think he's taken a turn for the worse. I haven't gone up during this work week. But I spent Saturday after work, almost 8 hours Sunday, and about 5 on Tuesday at the hospital. Though Sunday was more promising I've seen the quality of his communication go down since then. Sunday he was talkative and showed pictures on his phone (now he's not touching his phone as far as I can tell), I could understand most of what he said. By Tuesday all I was getting was mostly yes and no answers and when he did talk in sentences he was less understandable. He's shown no improvement at all on the use of his paralyzed side. The only improvement I saw over those days was less choking on his liquid diet and being able to drink from the cup as opposed to spooning it.

He also wanted to change his DNR to a CPR when the social worker came in Tuesday. I don't think my friend when all his facilities are working properly would pick CPR (hence the DNR already in place, though his mood was rather more gloomy then- even without that I'm not sure he'd go for it given the situation). I also believe he was more there immediately after the stroke as opposed to now. I wouldn't pick CPR in his condition. The social worker even said, while explaining the whole thing again, that a "healthy" 50-60 year old (and he's beyond 60) has about a 12% chance of full recovery after a CPR episode. He's not healthy, and not recovering well so far. I guess I get the will to live, but right now I think that will, is more instinct now than my friend in there.

They were supposed to move him Tuesday to a skilled nursing facility, but after talking to the social worker things changed. I told her about his kidney failure. Apparently the hospital had NO idea about this diagnosis, his VA records were unknown (they checked other healthcare systems but I don't think the feds share). So she took this information to the doctor on duty, and he came in and talked to us, then he went and called the kidney specialist and he came in and talked to us, soooo tests and labs needed to be done and he had to stay. Day before yesterday they'd planned to move him but they did not, again. I didn't contact them yesterday to get an update so I'm not even sure if he's still there or what. I feel like if he's not being moved there are ongoing issues. The nurse last told me that they haven't been able to get his blood pressure under control (and they won't due to one of his other medical issues).

The plan is to go up after work, provided where he is now when I confirm, has permissive visiting hours.

My gut feeling is this is the beginning of the end for him. He's regressed enough and shown not enough improvement that I believe it. In my mind I'm already mourning him in my own way and telling him in my head it's ok to let go. When I'm there I've been very positive about him recovering but I think I may stop that encouragement, I don't want him to hang on if that's not what's best for him. I will still be positive and if he does start to improve and get better, enough to live a decent quality life, then great. I just don't see it happening, not right now and given what I know and see.

He also doesn't have enough stimulation. My impression is the other two people that visit him don't stay all that long less than an hour or so. I've put in quite a few hours and when he does get the stimulation he has shown some improvement (except the last time I visited, as the day wore on I saw less and less effort) but in the days and hours I'm not there and no one visits him things go downhill. During my phone convesation with the nurse 2 days ago he's apparently been a bit unruly at night, and has thrown a diaper, albeit a wet one, into the hallway from his bed. He's refusing his physical therapy. He only "eats" Ensure, pureed fruit and milk. He won't touch anything else.

I really don't like doing this. Not that anyone would. This sucks. I wish he had more friends so there was less (self imposed) pressure on me to be there. Not that I mind helping and being a friend, though I wouldn't consider him a "Tier 1" friend. My Ranger is a sweet, intelligent guy but he's never been the kind of "I'll always be here if you need me" kind of friend my Tier 1 friends are (who I would not be typing like this about if it WERE one of them because I'd be doing this without complaint). I've learned more about him since he's gotten sick with his kidney disease than in the decade and a half ago that marked his entrance in my life (I say entrance because he's disappeared and come back a few times). There was talk with the social worker about who his designee is for medical decisions in case he's not able to make them. I was like "please not me, please not me". He replied he didn't know. Some relief on my end. I also feel very bad for the fact that he's dealing with this all mostly on his own. Lover has pointed out to me that he did put himself in this position by being the personality type that he is. But then I think....I kind of am too. Though I have at least about 15 people in my life that are Tier 1 friends, sadly most are a lot older than I am so I anticipate this is just a small taste of things to come. I feel sad for him. Then I get stupid and feel sad for me too. Will this be my fate? I won't ever show my conflict around him and will do what I can to be supportive to him, but I can't do this as much as I have been. I am drained. And that sucks because he does need, and deserve more.

Entered: 2018-01-13


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