Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Home Stretch and Discussing Cares

My final FAA physical is in the books. I thought I'd had my last one a year ago but you know me. Anyway, this truly was my final one because there's no turning back now. I've reached the point where I'm mentally ready to move on. I wasn't there before despite all of the previous retirement dates that came and went. I am now. I think had I left a year or even six months ago I would've lived with some misgivings about not sticking it out and doing all I could to not sell us short financially. I think I've put all of those worries to rest.

I had an appointment with my dermatologist Tuesday morning. He walked into the room and said "this is the best I've see your face in the ten years you've been coming here." I think he's right. The PhotoDynamic Therapy definitely helped. He wants me to do the treatment again in six months.

I told him how I'm using sunscreen like I've never used it before. I never go out in the sun without it anymore. I try and work it in the best I can but I still leave the house looking a little pale but I don't mind. It's a look I wear with pride now.

I made an appointment for the follow-up PDT on the way out and had to laugh when the woman scheduling my appointment asked "what day works well for you?" I replied, "I'll be retired by then so you pick a day!" I've been waiting to say something like that. I'm in the home stretch.

Tammy spent most of today with her good friend, Sue. They both needed some time away from their moms to commiserate a little as they walked around Como Park. Tammy is doing such a good job taking care of her mother but she needs to be able to get away more than she is. It's so much more than a full-time job and you can't fully appreciate it until you're in the middle of it. We're using a daycare facility not far from us where for $81 they'll watch your loved one between 7:00AM and 5:00PM. I think we're going to budget for a couple of days each month to give Tammy an extended break.

We had a care conference at Three Links today to discuss my mom's advance directives and how to incorporate them into a decisive plan of action for doctors and nurses in the event that her health fails so they'll know how to proceed. With the guidance of a nurse practitioner we filled out a POLST, Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. We discussed which medications should be continued and which should be stopped. E.g., we decided that because she's become a considerable fall risk her coumadin (blood thinner) should be replaced with a baby aspirin because of concerns for her hitting her head in a fall and having a brain hemorrhage. Questions about whether or not to treat for pneumonia or a hip fracture were also discussed. As per Mom's desires we're opting for comfort cares at this stage in her life. Had we had this discussion even a few months ago we would likely have come to different decisions.

We all stopped in after our conference to spend some time with her. She was doing very well today, probably the best I've seen her in a while. She loves the company and that's so evident. My concern is for two of my siblings who are choosing to remain absent from her at this time. I don't understand it. Whatever concerns or battles you feel are still being waged are over. Please consider her well-being and not what's in your own interest. She mentions you often.

I can't seem to get enough of Jason Isbell's new CD, especially this song. The guitar has a definite Neil Young flavor to it that works very well for me.


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