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Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

I started out adult life as a documentary photographer and ended up as an executive assistant.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Taken at the Rehab Center October 5, 2005

I don’t know where to start. The last few weeks have seen a serious downturn in Jim’s health status. During this time he experienced considerable motor control loss while standing, sitting, feeding himself, and using the Privy. He also suffered considerable cognition deficits. After one particular fall in the bathroom when he couldn’t move a muscle and had to be hauled off the floor to safety, we realized that he needed more care and evaluation than we could provide at home. At that point, many telephone consultations and his transport to the emergency room resulted in his placement in the Medical/Surgical unit of a local hospital for tests. He was seen by neurologists and other specialists for a complete update of his condition.

I must say that his sense of humor was absent for the most part, although he was a good sport about the situation at first. After we left him and came home for some rest he called not long afterwards and demanded to be taken home. When I said he needed further testing he became very put out with me and did not seem to understand what was happening. He didn’t remember this the next day and probably this is just as well. Since then he asks to go home with us every time we visit him and we need to steel ourselves to this. I have tried telling him that if he applies effort in his occupational therapy and physical therapy sessions he will gain the strength he needs to come home and live there again, with the assistance of aides from the HBCS (Home Based Care Services). Of course we are just fighting a holding action and will ultimately lose the war to the dread disease, which will lead to long-term care and finally a hospice.

Where is the humor in all this? I am sure it must be there somewhere, but not in this particular space and time. I can say with certainty that the “Valley of Death” seems quite long and narrow, without any rest stops. On the other hand, Jim seems in much better spirits than many of the patients in the Rehab Center where he is struggling now to regain some of the skills most of us take for granted. No loud groaning, screaming or outward signs of pain. Only repeated demands to be taken home.


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1:42 PM  

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