Hi, there, Dear Reader. As I start this, it is late morning in Lithia, Florida, on Saturday, July 9, 2022. It is a hot summer day in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 87°F (31°C) under sunny conditions. With humidity at 77% and the wind blowing from the south at 6 MPH (10 KM/H), the heat index is 98°F (36°C). Today’s forecast calls for scattered rain showers and a high of 94°F (34°C). Tonight, we can expect partly cloudy skies. The low will be 76°F (25°C).
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that my caregiver’s boyfriend was in the hospital recently and hoping to qualify for a liver transplant. The man was a heavy drinker – I saw him drinking “the hard stuff” as early as seven in the morning more than a few times over the past two years – and had developed cirrhosis of the liver. Well, I have the sad duty to report that he died on Thursday night while in hospice care at a facility in Tampa.
While I am saddened by the news, I can’t say I was surprised when the Caregiver told me he had passed away. I knew that he was not likely to get a new liver, and I did not think that the Caregiver’s overly optimistic estimates that her boyfriend would come home soon would become a reality.
And speaking from the perspective of a man who was a caregiver to an ailing parent for five years, my ex-girlfriend has no idea just how big a task she would have had if her boyfriend had somehow been able to return home, even if it was just for a few months or even years.
Not only would she have had to devote a lot of her time to caring for the man – changing soiled adult diapers, making sure he was turned in bed every half hour or so to avoid pressure ulcers, feeding him, etc. – but she would also have had to accept the presence of certified nursing assistants to help with her boyfriend’s care. She is not the most trusting of souls, you see, so she must think it over about 1,000 times before calling someone to change a lock, or fix a stopped-up drain, or repair a balky air conditioning unit.
I’m sure she would have poured her heart and soul into her boyfriend’s care, but she was worried about having a home health aide in the house during her office hours. She fretted about our miniature schnauzer, Sandy, barking at the HHA while she worked from her remote office in the master bedroom, and, of course, she worried about things “going missing” whilst the HHA was in the house, mostly unsupervised.
I’m sad that the man died. Considering that he was the guy who replaced me as my ex-girlfriend’s beau, I think I kept my jealousy and resentment over being dumped on a tight leash. I wasn’t thrilled with the situation, mind you, and I avoided going to outings with them because – obviously – I felt like a fifth wheel the few times that I went out with the happy couple. But I honestly grew to like the guy and treated him with kindness and respect most of the time.
I, of course, can’t go to his funeral, which will be held in Miami on Monday. I am not feeling well, and anyway I hate funerals even though I have attended two so far. I would have said three, but since I did not attend my mom’s cremation ceremony in July of 2015 to avoid seeing my half-sister, I can only say I’ve really attended two complete funerals and two-thirds of my mom’s. (I went to the open-casket viewing at the funeral home on the Monday after she died, and the funeral Mass at Our Lady of the Divine Providence Catholic Church near my former home on the Wednesday after.)
I feel a bit better today even though I still have a mild but nagging headache and a runny nose. I slept till around nine in the morning – I only woke up once thanks to a coughing fit, but I took some Nyquil for that. Not only did the coughing stop, but I slept till late in the morning.
That having been said, I think I’ll take it easy for the rest of the day. Even though I slept better than I anticipated, I am still tired and not exactly at my best.
And with that, Dear Reader, I’ll take my leave of you. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.