Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Things are coming together

Julie, Jim, and the kids were in Texas all last week. They got back on Saturday, and then took Evelyn up to Maine, where she will be in camp for two weeks. On Monday and Tuesday, Julie spent a lot of time e-mailing and on the phone with the caterer, and it looks like the menu is pretty much finalized. The caterer had sent me some suggestions but I just felt too overwhelmed to deal with it, so I am so glad that Julie has taken on responsibility for this. Joan at B.U. has also been extremely helpful in getting various departments at B.U. coordinated (not just catering, but also buildings and grounds, and audio-visual). Since a lot of days recently my brain has just not felt engaged at all, it feels great to have so many people helping.

This morning I was coughing a lot, but it slowed down by mid-day. I spoke with Lauren, who spoke with the hospice doctor, and they are going to put me on a ten day course of antibiotics. I know from my past history that my lungs are breeding grounds for infection, which can cause a lot of coughing and make me feel weak. The aim, of course, is to make me feel more comfortable.

The new home health aide, Nancy, came today--she is definitely not allergic to cats but is, instead, a cat person herself. A few days ago I didn't feel strong enough to get into the shower, even with help, but today I decided that I was strong enough to try it, and a shower is definitely preferable to a bed bath (although I'm sure that in the future, if I'm feeling too weak for a shower, a bed bath will feel really good, too). Nancy didn't mind getting wet, and she helped to wash me, shampooed my hair, and then got it all combed. I have an appointment on Saturday to go to the hair salon to have my hair trimmed and layered, which will help it to curl more. I want it to look nice for the party.

Nancy will come for two hours once a week--in addition to bathing me, she can change linens, make the bed, do laundry, make my lunch, and similar chores. Lauren says that in the future I might need her more often, but for now once a week is fine.

Marty sent out another round of reminders and a lot more RSVP's are coming in. Last week, when I was feeling so sick and exhausted, I didn't know if I had the energy to go through with the party (even though other people are doing all the work), but now I am really beginning to look forward to it.


  1. Hi Judy!

    I'm so glad you decided to have an HHA come to your home and help you with your personal tasks. When even the most basic needs begin to take so much time and effort, it's nice (I hope) to let someone else ease that burden, so that you can focus on the other things that are really important to you, (like your party!). This is one of the ways I see myself as empowering my patients to live their lives to the fullest for as long as possible. If I can help take the time consuming effort out of the simplest thing, like taking a bath, then they can spend their precious time and energy on other things that are important. You are a woman of grace and dignity, and I hope that the care you are receiving from your hospice providers reflects that truth.

    Kristen <3

  2. Hi Judy
    My prayers are with you. I am trying to get time off to go BU on the 20th. In the meantime, I wrote to Oprah about you and would like to email you a copy of that letter. Do you think you could hang in there a bit longer to appear on her show to tell your story? Let me know where I can email a copy of the letter as your blogspot will not allow me to paste it in. My email address is
    Thank you, Cheryl Stevens