When I bought it back when I accidentally cut into my hand all those months ago, I never thought I would be using it so much... And actually, since I managed to cut off all the skin off as opposed to cut most of the skin off with it still hanging on like last time, I think this is a much worse wound... It looks to be as deep and it's certainly a lot harder to look at... I actually wondered if I should be putting ointment on it since it wasn't going around something that would scar...instead, it's like a crater in my finger... In the end, I just slathered it on and bandaged it back up. I'm hoping for the best.
And as if my day couldn't have gotten worse, it got worse.
My grandmother, whom I look after for most the day, has pretty bad dementia. We think she's in the late stages of it and for the last month or so, caring for has gotten a lot harder, a lot more trying, and she's gotten a lot worse. For the last week or so, she's been doing better. We've taken to pureeing her food now since she doesn't seem to be able to swallow whole foods anymore. And she's stopped eating by herself so we feed her by hand. About a month back, she had a bought with gastroenteritis (stomach flu) which landed her in the hospital for about three days. If you've never dealt with the stomach flu with a person who has severe dementia, hope never to because it's gross, very, very, VERY gross. Before that, her health had been pretty bad and she seemed completely miserable and sick but she seemed to perk up after her hospital stay.
That being said, when we took her to the ER that day when she developed diarrhea, the first doctor that we saw was very ominous -- start making phone calls to family, prepare yourself for the worst, this might it so decide what you want to do, ect., and that freaked us out like crazy. It seemed like she was knocking on death's door. And I realize, she's 91, any sort of illness is pretty serious, but it didn't seem as dire as the first guy made it out to be. The second doctor was much more optimistic and it seemed like he was the one that was ultimately right. But for a few hours there, I thought she was going to die.
But she got better, she was discharged and she seemed to be okay, back to her "normal" self. And then she started losing weight like crazy... She was a skeleton, just skin and bones and I never realized how literal that phrase could be until I saw her. That's when we decided we need to step up her food intake. Before, we've been doing what the doctor's said -- let her eat what she wants when she wants and don't worry too much about her lack of appetite because that's how the disease is. Screw that, they weren't the ones watching her waste away and starve to death. That's when we started pureeing our food. She's been getting much more protein and veggies, and she seemed like she was finally putting on a little weight. And we've been making her milkshakes and smoothies with fresh fruit, Ensure, ice cream and protein powder to supplement her normal meals even more. It seemed to be working.
Today however, I don't know if it was the juice she drank, or the milk, or even the pureed food, but it seemed like she aspirated some of it and she seemed to be having trouble breathing. It sounded very labored. And then she started to shake and she was very unsteady on her feet, so I got concerned. I'm with her for most of the day, I know what's "normal" for her and that didn't seem to be it.
When my grandmother was discharged, we were referred to hospice because of the limited options the hospital could do for her so I ended up calling them up. They advised getting an appointment with her doctor so that's what we're going to do. And they told us we could take her into the ER again if she seemed to be very uncomfortable and if she couldn't breathe... :\ In the end, after a couple of hours, and after we fed her a milkshake, she seemed to be a lot better. She's more alert, her breathing doesn't seem to be as bad so maybe it isn't something too serious. Either way, we're going to try and get her in to see her doctor and we'll see how she is tomorrow. And part of what might have alleviated some of her pain is the fact that she finally pooped today. She's been constipated for about a week now so we think that might have been making her feel uncomfortable but she couldn't communicate it to us at all. She has severe aphasia so when she does speak, it's all gibberish but nowadays, she doesn't speak as much as she used to...
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day, for my finger and especially for my grandmother... Somehow, I never imagined having to deal with this sort of stuff as an adult when I was a kid and now, I'm faced with the reality that I might have to go through it all over again with my own parents, and then myself when I get old... It's definitely a scary prospect.
I took off the band-aid again... Thankfully, this time it had stopped bleeding. The only downside is the fact that without all the blood obscuring the wound, it looks horrific. I mean, wow, I really sliced off all the layers of skin off! It's seriously a chunk of flesh missing from my finger... Looking at it made me a bit queasy so I tried avoiding it as much as I could. In the end, I washed the wound out (didn't hurt as much this time since I think my finger was a bit numb, and then I finally got a chance to use the triple antibiotic ointment...