Chaos Chronicles

I intended to send some bark outs to my dogrades and catrades (like comrades) tonight but I’m truly under the weather. No it’s not Arthur that’s bothering me. Well, I am very worried about my framily members who will be affected by the hurricane and hope that it passes over without incident.

My PCP vet prescribed twice daily oral doses of peanut butter for this spot on my neck. I thought what a great vet until he told my mommy that she did the right thing by fetching the elizabethan collar from the dungeon and putting it on me. I must admit I have adapted to it pretty well but when I went for my evening constitutional and smelled Colby and Jake (bloodhound and golden retriever) approaching, their parents forbade our customary butt sniffing because they were afraid I was contagious. And then they had the nerve to tell my mommy that she could be susceptible to my infection. GOOD GRIEF!!! Well mommy isn’t quarantining me since she has done a risk assessment and concluded that it’s better for us to cuddle than to be isolated from each other.
Before I settled in on mommy I had this urge to cocoon so I climbed in between the couch cushion and the back of the couch. Mommy was about to have a canary when she saw me climbing on top of the back of the couch because she was fearful I might fall off. I slipped comfortably into my den in the den! Now I just have to get through the next few days of firecrackers causing me to bark incessantly without being fitted with another form of doggy paraphernalia.



2 thoughts on “Chaos Chronicles

  1. My father had a shunt placed in 2012. Immediately, he got better; but, still had a difficult time walking. Here we are in 2017. Same symptoms. They initially said the shunt was clogged, then possible infection, then they took the shunt out and put an external shunt in. He never got better, just worse. Now they are saying he has a incurable brain disease and have decided to not replace the shunt. Wondering how long he will live in this state. He can’t talk or eat. They have him on a feeding tube. He is still breathing on his own, but they are concerned with pneumonia or other complications.

    • Dear Carmen,
      I am very saddened to hear about your father’s condition. I hope I can help you with my response. My sweetie fell at home one evening, transported to the hospital and it was determined that he lost the ability to swallow completely. During the swallow test everything went into his lungs. He was able to talk and understand the situation. The only option to prolong his life was a feeding tube like your father’s situation. My sweetie had written his wishes years ago but he was able to say he didn’t want the tube. His quality of life had deteriorated so much from the NPH and other diseases and he understood the complications of the feeding tube. It was an extremely difficult moment to realize that my sweetie had decided to find peace. His blood pressure was always perfect, his oxygen saturation and pulse did not change. This is the conundrum of life and death. He died 4 days later.

      There is no way to predict how much time your father can live. Some people with Alzheimers survive many years without the ability to talk, feed themselves, move, etc. Their quality of life and that of their loved ones is deeply impacted. Like your father my sweetie’s inability to swallow was neurological. This meant that the NPH was damaging more systems than the three everyone is aware of. I do not believe there are any reports or studies that discuss the final years of a NPH loved one.

      Yes there are very serious complications with the feeding tube especially if a loved one cannot communicate how he is feeling. Aspiration pneumonia is a common complication. Some people try to treat that as well. Infection at the feeding tube site is another painful complication.

      It seems to me that it is time for your family to make some very difficult decisions about the end of life care for your father. I hope you have a hospice provider helping you. If you are in the US and your father has medicare hospice is provided at no charge. Some private insurances cover it too. Calling in hospice is not saying you are giving up on your father. While hospice is provided when a loved one is not expected to live 6 months there are many people who live beyond that period. Hospice will work to make your father comfortable, bathe him, provide family with emotional support and be an extra helping hand.

      If your father is in a nursing home, hospital, at home or any other facility you have the right to hospice care in all these settings. Many loved ones preferred the non-profit hospice providers. There is no need to work this through your father’s doctor. Try to interview 2-3 providers. They will come very quickly once they receive your call. The hospice provider will contact the doctor and get all the paperwork completed to start serving your father and his loved ones.

      I am very sorry that I am unable to answer your question with a definitive time frame. My sweetie’s sons asked how long the doctors said their dad would live. My answer was that sweetie is in the process of dying. No one can tell us when he will be at peace.

      This book was very helpful for me to make decisions about my sweetie’s end of life care. It’s called Hard Choices for Loving People.

      Click to access HardChoices.pdf

      If I have misinterpreted your note I apologize. This is a very difficult time but it is also a time to express love and comfort. Any decision your family makes will be the right one.

      Please feel free to contact me again at any time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s