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Subject: My Helper needs Help rss

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Michael Hopcroft
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I have a Personal Care Assistant the State of Oregon plays. he comes in twice a week to check in and help with the apartment, preparing the laundry for the upcoming week, and various other important tasks. for several months he had been getting more fatigued more easily, and he finally revealed he was sick and would eventually need a new liver. I didn't take that statement as seriously as I probably should have.

Well, yesterday I got a call from him that he would have to be at the OHSU hospital in an hour. They had found a liver and needed to do the surgery right away. Presumably it took place last night and went into the morning.

Fortunately the surgery apparently went well. His sister call and confirmed that he did have a new liver. He's going to be in Intensive Care for about a week while they try to prevent his body from rejecting the new organ. When he called he said he would be back to work in a month, but that sounds really optimistic.

So here I sit in an apartment that needs to be cleaned and all I can think about is whether he will recover sufficiently to come back.
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Billy McBoatface
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Your problems are more interesting than mine.

I would just check with the State. They're paying him, they need to know what the schedule is; presumably, if he's too sick to help you out, they can get somebody new? I dunno. In any event clean laundry is overrated. Easy for me to say since I can't smell you from here.

Edit: You know, this might be the perfect question to ask the magic blue wishing sofa.
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fightcitymayor
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One thing I never knew about organ transplants is that the vast majority of transplant patients must take medicines that suppress their immune response for the rest of their lives, so their bodies don't reject the new organ. And being on those medicines puts people at a higher risk for infection and cancer.

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Michael Hopcroft
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wmshub wrote:
Your problems are more interesting than mine.

I would just check with the State. They're paying him, they need to know what the schedule is; presumably, if he's too sick to help you out, they can get somebody new? I dunno. In any event clean laundry is overrated. Easy for me to say since I can't smell you from here.



Be grateful. Seriously, I try very hard to keep up on this stuff; every weekend like clockwork I go to the building laundry room and drop four bucks into the machines that hopefully take dirty clothes in and give you clean clothes out. But what Mike does in this process is organize the results, usually the next day, and prepare the things I will need for work the following week.

The process has started -- the case manager who handles things like this has contacted the guy in Salem who manages the program. No word yet, and since we're dealing with a beleaguered state bureaucracy it may be a while. And I want Mike to come back when he is able -- it's important to me and, more importantly, significant to him to be productive.
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Michael Hopcroft
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fightcitymayor wrote:
One thing I never knew about organ transplants is that the vast majority of transplant patients must take medicines that suppress their immune response for the rest of their lives, so their bodies don't reject the new organ. And being on those medicines puts people at a higher risk for infection and cancer.



Mike will definitely need immune suppressors for the rest of his life. I am anxious for what that will mean for him when he's out of the hospital. Cleaning up after me is not hard physical labor -- especially if the needed tasks can be adjusted to be less physically taxing -- but things like the common cold or a norovirus are serious challenges. I wouldn't want him to come in if I was sick -- which is, ironically, the time I would need assistance the most.

Hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to visit him in the hospital -- he can't have visitors in the ICU, but can once he transfers to a less intensive room.
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Jeff
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This is the first thing that came to mind, for some reason...

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Michael Hopcroft
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I'm working on my next step, but I'm trying to avoid putting all this in "me" terms. Obviously it's not my liver in the mix.

But it's awkward as far as that is concerned, because I have no control over whether he will be able to resume service on my case. It actually seems rather unlikely, and in some cases untenable. If I were to catch a cold or norovirus and require assistance, I couldn't in good conscience ask someone to come over whose immune system is being deliberately suppressed. It would be way too risky for him.

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Michael Hopcroft
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I got some bad news: I finally had a few words with Mike on the phone today (from the hospital) and he told me that not only does he have a new liver but they found cancer. So now he has to fight that too.

Dang.
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