Then in February, he got pneumonia (someone we know calls it "old-monia")--his second time for a septic infection--and we also found out he has C.O.P.D., not just sleep apnea that he had been diagnosed with a year before that. Evidently, his years of smoking are catching up with him at last.
But I'm happy to report that Dean has made a remarkable, if slow, recovery from both these life-changing conditions. He's not 100% cured of them, of course--they are chronic, to be sure. But for a man with TBI-induced dementia, he's come a long way, even though he's still a steady candidate for long-term care.
There's no way I could have had the positive outcomes his nurses have had, especially with MY pulmonary limitations. And I'm not ashamed to thank Medicaid for making his healthcare possible. Even with its flaws, without it, he never would have made it this far.
I still consider myself Dean's caregiver. But now I'm allowed to focus on making him happy, not healthy (leaving that mandate to the medical professionals). Part of my calling then was to help organize a picnic for Dean's TBI support group this month. Upon my suggestion, the location of our gathering was just a few blocks from Waverly Care Center, where Dean stays now. So, amazingly, we were able to transport him there.
The weather was perfect and everyone seemed to enjoy the festivities. For me, his smiles made it all worthwhile!