well, already the Ryan House is beginning to talk to us about placement. can you believe it? i knew the time would pass so quickly, and from day one i have known to soak it up.
once Dad stabilized from his bleeding incident on saturday night, i've seen the signs that his decline, while notable to us family members, is still not fast enough to warrent his ongoing stay here (the average length of stay is just 4-5 days). i spoke at length with a very kind nurse tonight (wow, how can EVERY SINGLE ONE of them be gentle, and kind, and knowledgeable, and.....companies could learn a ton about hiring strategies from these guys!!). She followed my lead in my line of questioning on dad's behalf, most of which tonight focused on placement plans. she helped me realize that the role of inpatient hospice is really to be problem-solvers; they don't just give people a certain number of days to die and then if they don't, they're out (which is all the further i've understood up to this point). rather, their job is to take in patients whose situation creates a need for more information or support. once the unmet needs are resolved, and the family is prepared for what's next, they are discharged. oftentimes during this process, the patient dies.
the clarification helps. her explanation highlights an additional facet of the role of their work beyond the understood dying part...another reflection of their care and competence to navigate the complex reality of the dying process. but whew it sure creates more challenge for us. dad has to sustain another transfer (i'm counting at least 7 since may 15th), and mom and i have to do more placement planning. at this point we have only spent the "logistics" portion of our energy this week preparing for the details of his death (mortuary, casket, autopsy, burial site). To plan the logistics of further life? well, on one hand it does feel precious to have more time with him, on the other hand it feels like more pressure to try to get it right. there are so many variables, it is most demanding to sort out all the necessary pieces of information. and as you can probably tell from my posts, the Ryan House feels so safe, so simple, so just what we all need. it's scary to be thrown back out there without their specific, perfectly-trained, family-centered, here's-how-to-create-comfort support.
which is why daniel's post on his own blog today was so perfect for me tonight. (you can get to it by my Family Bloggers! sidebar link, "cadet daniel's briefings"). i'm tired, struggling with the "me-ness" of what i want for dad (more time in a nurturing, comfort-focused setting). and here comes the youngster, prompting his online followers away from themselves and toward the truths tucked inside the Lord's Prayer. ok! wow. try getting outsmarted by your kid brother. feels good (but don't tell him that).
ok, so i guess i'd have to vouch for his blog. kinda a lot going on in the heart of that cruisin' lab rat. glad he's deciding to open it up so we can peek in. i like what i see. bet you will too.
laura comes tomorrow!
goodnight and more love than you know,