I have an uncle I've mentioned before on here who was one of the few kind men in my life as a child. A number of years ago (6-8) he had a horrible motorcycle accident. There are a lot of details that make me never want to need trauma care but ultimately he was paralyzed pretty much from the neck down with some minor use of his hands, some head trauma that was impressively minimal given the injury, and some other injuries, followed by complications. A lot of what he gained early on he lost rapidly. My aunt has taken more and more care of him as time as passed. She's a nurse so she knows what she is doing and my cousins help a great deal but she bears the brunt of it, more care than one person should ever try to do. He has to have 24 hour supervision. He's entering the time that is the average time for someone with his degree of spinal cord injury to develop various issues and well he just probably won't be here forever.
Now, apparently somewhat suddenly, his cognition has rapidly worsened. Sometimes this happens a long time after a head injury, like the professional football players. Sometimes it happens as a reaction to medication and has come and gone. He is always extremely depressed and psych meds have been a nightmare because he reacts much like I do (we are not related by blood) and the psych units won't take him because he is too medically complex.
My heart is breaking for my aunt. She wants to provide care at home as long as she can. She declines anything like home health or hospice (if that time is here and it sounds like it is). He doesn't want unfamiliar caregivers. (again, we aren't really related...:). So now things are getting worse rapidly and nobody really knows what is going on. Everything sounds like it has worsened. And to make to harder, there are 2 cousins living within a few blocks but one is pregnant and single and so she's not able to do much right now.
I have dealt with death thousands of times professionally and almost never personally. But suddenly I expect I will be at several funerals in the next year or two for people who I really respect and 2 of whom are not old enough for this.
Please pray that he'll return to baseline and that my aunt is able to manage his needs without overdoing it herself. She went into this with back problems and has developed repetitive stress injuries over the years. And that he is able to meet and enjoy his newest granddaughter in a few months.
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