May 15, 2006


Well this week isn't going as planned.
I had planned to take the Kaplan review course through the week (For the NCLEX). I went today and it was a Complete....Total....Waste of my time. I'll give them this....They have excellent testing strategies and a cool online test taker. Everything you need to know is online. My advice to students.....Take the online program!
I will not waste 8 hours for 4 days listening to an OB NURSE go over possible test questions that I can get online. OB nurse taught the course and couldn't explain half the questions and even disagreed with some of them.
(I have nothing against OB nurses, they are still RNs...but if that's your only specialty...Then maybe teaching NCLEX review is not a perfect fit....I want someone a little more rounded.)
It's OK that I decided to self study for the boards, as it turns out, I am going to head to Mom's again tomorrow. I'm hesitant to say it looks like the end for my stepdad.....I've said it before. But the last 24 hours he's been agitated, disoriented, hallucinating, and now has a "rattle" when he breathes (says my Mom).

I have a line here and I'm crossing both ways. On the RN (GN) side I've been trying to hand over tips and advice on how to care for him. On this side I'm trying to stay objective and respect my mom's wishes. On the other side, the family side....I want my mom to stop the tube feedings and allow my stepdad to go. The tube feedings is the reason he's remained in this subconscious state for months. He's down to about 80 lbs...Mom's only giving him a can of formula a day. Just enough to keep him suffering. She doesn't see this as suffering because they have his pain under control. But the Good Ole boy/Redneck/Biker man my stepfather was would have HATED his wife bathing him, wiping his nose and butt.......HATED living in this state.
Since he had a laryngectomy and is too weak and sometimes too confused to communicate, it's hard for him to stop her.
I'm afraid his GI system is going to completely shut down (It's obviously slowed now...9 days before the last BM) Then he'll be even more miserable when she runs a feeding.
I'm going up there to help Mom with his care, and intervene with Hospice (They haven't been coming out because Mom tells them he's just fine when they call). I want to get them out there and tell them that he's fallen twice getting to the bathroom, that they need a urinal or a foley, that my mom needs someone to relieve her so she can go to the grocery store.

Mom hardly sleeps, hardly eats. She's squeemish about body fluids....and she says "She's not ready to let him go."

That leaves me with little to do but help.

Here's my living will right now....If I am ever diagnosed as terminal, Don't ever allow my family to leave me in that state. Don't prolong the inevitable.

Listening to: "I go to Extremes" by Billy Joel


At 08:01, Blogger Nessa said...

It is so hard to be in your situation. I'm sure it's hard for your mom, too. It is hard to have the strength to let go, to do what is right for the dying, when you don't want the person to go.

At 15:06, Blogger furyouhin said...

your mom and stepfather are fortunate that they have you, with all your compassion and skills, at their side.

At 07:17, Blogger Nurse2B said...

This is tough stuff, I wish you strength. They are lucky to have you.

At 09:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got so much going on. Hang in there and don't forget to nurse yourself too!

At 13:22, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A difficult situation, to say the very least. I think getting hospice in there to help both your stepdad AND your mom would be great. They probably think your mother has everything under control....

At 13:55, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your stepfather being in that state. It is so difficult to let someone go, but we sometimes have to bring their attention to just what we are putting the patient through (suffering). I am thinking warm thoughts of encouragement for you and them both..

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