Monday, November 3, 2008


Stress can be almost unavoidable.

I was discharged Friday, and everyone was expecting that I'd be doing better than I did the last couple of days. I will likely get better soon, but my current state is stressful to those who car about me nonetheless.

I've been having very frequent bowel movements, so many that some blood was found in my stool this morning. This is a likely indication that I have an irritated colon from going so much, and developed some hemorrhoid(s). The hospice care nurse and my niece Raquelita were both reassuring when called for advice. Liesal, my home nurse from the hospice care program, will come for the first time this afternoon.

Nonetheless, the constant worrying about my health and life is stressful. The struggle with the philosophy of hospice care, and trying to reconcile the desire for a continued peaceful life with the possible call of urgency of a medical condition that could need hospitalization. Hospice care tries to keep patients at home where they are more comfortable and familiar, instead of in a hospital setting. To complicate matters, until recently I've been in absolutely great health, much better than many decades younger. So trying to figure it all out is not easy. Will I quickly get back to my old self, or does everything continue to get harder for me each day?

End care is stressful for myriad reasons. There are these questions of life and death that consume those who love you. There is also stress from the physical, financial, and emotional concerns. My daily needs take a physical toll on my immediate care takers as their own needs for nutrition, sleep and rest are often set aside to make sure that I'm cared for properly. Financial concerns can also cause stress because not only do my needs add extra costs, but the time taken to care for me interferes with their income generating activities. Emotionally, this is all hard for those who care.

My niece who loves me very much and took me in two and a half years ago is bearing the greatest amount of this stress. Unfortunately, she relieves her stress on my other little buddy, who is always here to help me with everything. He was here for me last weekend when I needed to get readmitted for Pneumonia; when most of family was able to go off to Miami for the wedding. He has followed my medical care constantly for these few years, especially during my two most recent hospitalizations, and every time that I need medical care. If there are two reasons that I'm doing so well these last couple of years, they are: 1) these two have provided me a stable home, and 2) he has directed my medical care, always being present at each doctor's visit so that my physicians' diagnoses could be properly understood and their orders properly followed. This misdirected stress is hurting the two people I depend on most in this world right now. Because of all this stress, she can get very angry, which can make things unnecessarily difficult. I don't blame her. The burden is unbearable. Yet she manages.

Financially, they are hurting. Business is not what it used to be because of the economy. The financial meltdown is interfering with business.  Yet they always somehow find a way to take care of me and my needs. I don't mean to be a burden, but they need help. 

I have family all over the world, but they have their own problems, and these two are too proud even to ask for help. My scattered family is found in countries with weakened economic opportunities, or in countries with better opportunities but in a current slump, or in school, or also dealing with businesses or investments that are not doing as well as hoped.

Please help. Taking care of me for even short periods of time, or taking care of the people that take care of me would be of the greatest sources of assistance that I could get at the moment.

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