Friday, July 31, 2009

done for now

No more home care nurse. Dad made the call to Inova Home Health Services; the home care nurse won't be coming back. There's no reason for her to be here anymore: she had come primarily to redo the dressing that covered Mom's PICC line, but Mom no longer has a PICC line. She was also supposed to do blood draws for blood work, but that can be done right at the hospital, and Dad has arranged for Mom to slip over to the proper clinic every Tuesday. This cuts out the middle man, too: one of the things I haven't blogged about has been our frustration with Inova HHS's inefficiency at getting the blood work data to the proper offices. Now, the hospital will have the data directly, since Mom's blood work will be done on the premises.

It's strange not to worry about the PICC line. In place of all that, we now have to keep track of Mom's Temodar (chemotherapy in pill form), her Bactrim (to guard against pneumonia), and her Decadron (steroid to reduce any swelling of brain tissue). Dad keeps detailed notes on all this, and gives Mom her medicine in a timely manner.

This is what care means. It's the everyday rituals, the mundane gestures, the constant, moment-to-moment attention. Care isn't just emotion-- all the useless weeping and wailing that come from not understanding and accepting a situation. To steal a thought from Dr. M. Scott Peck, care is action. It's what we do, not merely what we say or think. Talk is cheap, and emotions come and go. Steady action, steady presence-- these are the marks of true care.


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