Chapter Twenty-Three: Welcome Aboard, Ann
Ann did indeed come, and seemed like a good fit. I could not promise what her exact role would be, as Yvette’s status was still in limbo. She agreed to help in any way that she could and when Yvette returned the next week we all agreed that Ann would take over a few of her hours. Yvette, due to failing health, did have to leave us in February 2017 and luckily Ann was able to fill most of her slot.
Ann quickly learned the ins and outs of Huntington’s Disease, and Allison took an immediate liking to her. She was not yet wounded by the intricacies of HD, which was a good thing. On her very first full day, Ann called me over to Allison’s bedside. She was holding Allison’s feeding tube, which had become detached, in her hand. She asked me if this was bad. I immediately told her yes.
Dr. Costello had often told me that I would be capable of replacing the tube if need be. I had ordered a spare tube hoping that it would never be necessary. As calmly as possible, I set about to insert a new tube. I found the correct syringe, distilled water, and necessary gauze. A few minutes later, I had installed a new tube, which actually worked.
Ann was younger and more robust than Yvette. This made transferring Allison much less problematic. As a result, Allison could start taking rides in the Miata again. She was overjoyed!
She was also able to spend more time outside and especially enjoyed feeding her mini horse and pot bellied pig.
There would be no concerts this summer, as Allison was getting weaker. She spent the bulk of her day watching DVDs and playing Virtual Families. I’ll never forget the day that Allison started crying inconsolably while playing her game. It seemed that one of her characters in the game had passed away. At that point I felt like crying too, because I realized that these little computer characters had become the family that Allison would never have.
In July, Dr. Costello recommended Allison for hospice care. An intake nurse came to the house and said that Allison would be perfect for their program. He said that somebody would be back to us in the next day or two to get things started. He then asked why I didn’t have the larger of the two VNAs in our area. I then told him the story of the invasion in 2013. He asked me who the nurse was who instrumented it. When I told him, his face dropped. I asked him if he know her. He said “yes, that is my wife.” Needless to say, hospice care never started.
In August we celebrated Allison’s 35th birthday to close out the summer. I’m sure that in the back of my mind, I was wondering if there would be any more.