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August 6, 2017

I am sharing this very personal part of my mother in law’s care to help you with decisions you may have to make concerning your loved one’s care. This week I learned that a catheter is not always a bad thing. The Hospice nurse said that the aides that were giving my mother in law a bath three times a week suggested using a catheter. I was against it because I applied the “Would I want that done to me?” screen that I always use when I am making decisions about my mother in law’s care. So I said no thank you. I would rather change the bedding twice a day than have a catheter. My mom in law did not wet the bed constantly…she would sometimes go for a whole day without urinating but always made the bed wet at night. But I came home the next day (my husband has been staying with his mom through the day until school starts back again) and the catheter had been put into place. At first I was upset. I asked my mom in law if she was comfortable and she said she was. That was five days ago and she is still comfortable and now I don’t have to change the bedding twice a day. The bag only has to be emptied every three days or so. It is better for my mom in law’s skin not to be next to urine soaked sheets for any length of time. And the whole house smells a lot better. I am still concerned about the care and cleaning of the insertion site, but I am trusting the Hospice nurse and aides to help with that.

My mother in law has not declined at all this week. She is still not eating or drinking much, but no less than last week. She is still able to swallow her medications. She has no pain. She sleeps most of the day and night. She relies on us to hold the shortened straw up to her lips so she can drink and the spoon to her lips so she can eat. She is able to tell me how much to raise or lower the head and foot of the bed for her maximum comfort. The good Hospice people gave us a new bed with an air filled mattress that prevents bedsores.

My husband starts back to school next week…we are going to pay a caregiver to be at home with Mom on the days that I cannot be home. We have licensed nurses at the club who can hold down the fort while I work from home.

May you and yours be blessed in the week ahead.