Ernie and Jean Howell Ernie Jean Howell

First post: May 29, 2018 Latest post: Jun 19, 2018
Hi Family,  
I am setting using Caring Bridge as a way to keep us all up to date on Ernie and Jean's medical needs, transportation needs and food needs.  After some discussion with several people, Mark and I thought it would be good to have a way for all of us to keep informed of anything that is happening and also to participate in their care.

On Saturday morning, Ernie was making coffee and the pot fell and spilled on his stocking feet.  This occurred just as Mark and I were arriving.  I helped Ernie peel the socks off and we iced the feet immediately.  After we all had lunch, Mark and Andrea brought Ernie to the ER at Dobbs Ferry Hospital.  They bandaged the burns, applied topical antibiotics and gave a prescription for percocet - a narcotic pain reliever.  Ernie has been using this when needed and Mark and I have been changing his bandages daily.  The wound is significant but Ernie feels it is mending.  The bandages need to be changed daily and more ointment needs to be applied.

Jean's left arm continues to be a problem.  It is swollen and discolored.  It can no longer be used for dialysis.  They placed a port near her neck for dialysis and she has just returned home from her Monday morning treatment.  Her leg is also quite stiff today but she seems in good spirits.

After some discussion with Ernie, we have concluded that purchasing food from Fresh Direct is not that effective as they seem to receive much more than intended and cooking has been challenging.  There is little room in the fridge for the food that arrives, so keeping things fresh continues to be a struggle for both of them.  Especially considering their senses of smell and sight are diminished.  I did discard some things that should not be consumed.

Ernie and I wondered if this suggestion could work.  We thought if each of us could take one Saturday to cook three meals for them for the week and leave them in marked containers that this could help.  It would serve a couple of purposes.  First, company - they do enjoy sitting and talking while someone is cooking.  Tasks could be given to Jean so she could help too.  Second , food safety - the food would be fresh and safe.  Third, other tasks could be done on that Saturday and they could be prepared with a list of things that needed to be done.  Last, this would enable most of us to share the work of their care while spending the day with them.

Today, Chris, Mark and I made enough food to get them probably until Friday: BBQ Chicken, Ribs and Spaghetti and Meatballs.  I labeled each dinner on the middle shelf for them.   

If we all take a Saturday, (Babe&Naree, Patricia&Russ, Michael & Andrea, Suzanne&Alex, me & Mark), it would mean once a month at most.  I would welcome your thoughts on this arrangement.  Each week's caregiver could also make a trip to the market for milk, eggs, butter etc.  This way their food won't get old.

I will set up a calendar for helping on Saturdays.  I would suggest planning meals you think will be delicious and talking with Jean to plan the menu.  She really enjoyed talking with me about what to make for dinners over Memorial Day weekend.  She had clear preferences, which I followed.

I am hoping this website will help keep us all informed about their health and give us a way to share in their care.


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