August 8th, 2008

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I really don't want this journal to become a chronology of despair, but for some reason I want to have a record of mom's decline.

This week has been hell.

After having one person flake on us, I got some more references and called more people. Two of them came over on Wednesday; we hired one to complement the existing caregiver, so now mom will have coverage Monday through Thursday.

The one who was supposed to show up today to meet mom never showed. Unfortunately, I didn't put names on my numbers so I wasn't sure which number to call to check on her. I may have called the wrong person (no name on their voice mail), but I did leave a message. Something weird with my phone where my call log seems to be missing some entries.

So now I have to get more numbers.

Part of the stress was that I wanted to be in Seattle for Melissa's wedding today. So I was trying to get a lot of stuff done. I first schedule the interview for 3:30 which would have meant I couldn't get to the wedding. When I realized it I called her back and re-scheduled to 1. (That outgoing call I can't find in my log...)

I bought my mom a used tablet PC that we can use to play audio books from Audible (among other things). I spent about 20 hours setting that thing up. Unfortunately, mom can't operate it right now. The screen is too far away for her to read unless she has it on her lap. And when it's on her lap she can't operate the trackball with her feet. Retha can play the books for her for now, but it's still a huge disappointment. I'll look up some swing-arm things and get Joe to tinkering. It may not ever come together though.

About the only way mom seems comfortable the last few days is if she has the bipap machine on. Otherwise she starts choking on her saliva within about 3 minutes. She can't suction herself. Retha does an okay job, but mom can't tell her where the saliva is pooling so it's hard. I told mom she should reconsider the medications she rejected because they would dry her eyes. At the time, saliva was more an inconvenience than it is now. Now it's life or death, and a miserable life too.

Watching her choking off and on for 2 hours was pretty wrenching.

Her brace no longer fits either.