|A Hoyer lift|
“We’re just so worried, and we want to make sure we do everything right for him,” I told her. She told us that, above all, Hospice would focus on symptom-relief and comfort, and she pointed to a little box that had been included in the delivery from the pharmacy. “That’s the Crisis Kit,” she said. “It will be here just in case.”
“In case what?” my sister asked her.
“In case he gets into distress for any reason – if he has trouble swallowing or breathing or if we need extra help controlling his pain,” she said. She must have seen the panic start to creep onto our faces, because she quickly added, “If you have any concerns or notice any changes in him at any time during the day or night, you should just call the Hospice nurse on duty and she will come right over. She may even instruct you over the phone about giving him medicine in the Crisis Kit or in the prescription medications he has. Don’t worry, though, you won’t have to decide any of it on your own. We will take the reins, so to speak.”
“Just do it on me!” Jennifer volunteered.
“Seriously?” Linda said.
“I’d rather have it practiced on me than on Dad,” Jennifer responded, and so Nancy set up the meter and checked Jennifer’s blood sugar (a perfect 100!). We were good to go on that.
I told Linda about my quest for suitable clothing options for Dad, and she said that, while we were of course free to purchase custom-made clothing, many of her patients who didn't just wear hospital gowns wore "street clothes" or pajamas that had been cut down the sides or up the back to make it easier for those items to be put on and taken off. Easy enough, I thought.
“You are home, Dad!” I told him. But he wasn’t convinced. We told him he was in his den and we pointed out the things around him. The more he looked around the room, though, the more disoriented and upset he became. Finally, Jennifer picked up Foster and put him in the bed with Dad. Foster curled up right next to Dad and purred loudly, as Dad petted him and dozed off again.