It's been three years since I learned how to care for my LVAD patient - changing his dressings on his port, taking blood pressure from a guy with no real pulse, going for quarterly cardio checkups at the hospital, and coping with all the tiny irritations of cords, controllers, and batteries.
I really wish I could be more joyful about it, but I still don't like nursing. Being a caregiver still is not my forte. I'm getting good at it, but I will never like doing it.
At UPMC, they call him an 'ideal patient' since he takes his meds and has his blood draws on schedule.
I can't even find the words to express my frustrations - when he sneaks snack cakes, won't take his diuretic, won't exercise, won't eat the things he should, and turns a deaf ear to my advice. I hold my tongue, clench my teeth, and quietly take pain killers for my own headaches and back pain.