I've been the prime caregiver. I've been doing this now and helping since he got sick in 1970 when he got the emphysema. So he was unable to work or do anything special.
My routine is, I don't know, just about all day and part of the - most of the night. Yeah, four o'clock in the morning and many times during the night. When he can't get enough air, we'll sit on the edge of the bed and see that he gets this and that. Get that concentrator going in. Pulling all those tubes. I have them in the bathroom closet so we don't have that noise all night. Pull it through here and get his table rows of medication out so I have it there ready. If they're out of something I just go digging around at night to find it if it runs out, you know.
I've got his stuff all over. Chest of drawers are full and he's got all those tubes that have to be replaced every so often. Get water on that concentrator and see that he gets something to eat. Help him get his clothes on in the morning. He can't get his shoes and stockings off because his ankles swell up, you know. I can't even say all I'm doing.
I have good daughters who will help me. I have one that lives in town that has her own office and is her own boss, so she usually calls everyday, asks if I need something. So she'll take me wherever - even if she is busy at the computer. She wouldn't have to, you know? But she does. Because she has plenty to do herself - she does her yard and her flowers and of course her husband's gone - I don't know, many hours a day.
Lloyd, what does honor mean to you?
Lloyd: Well, honor is what the kids have been doing for us. If it hadn't been for the kids we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't have been here.
Fern: Yes, if it hadn't have been for the kids we wouldn't have been here. It's so great to help us - all of them. We had two more daughters that help us too. I said he would have been in a nursing home and I probably would have been in an apartment because I wouldn't be able to take care of all this anyway. You know a half-acre here to do and all this stuff. I would have gone in an apartment.
Fern's caregiving ended when Lloyd died in February 2002.
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