Thursday, February 28, 2008

Caregiving: Kleenex, Olay, Cold-eeze, & Bag Balm - OH MY!

Last night, the nursing station informed me Patti was displaying cold symptoms. … They expressed concerns about an outing and risks of exposure. … Flu vaccinations had apparently missed whatever strain is currently epidemic. … Multiple Sclerosis is an out of whack immune system, throw in a cold and you’re brewing germ pot luck. 

Any way … Care Facility Caregiving 101 preaches that you try to include the patient in their care planning and decision making. Patti’s conclusion, “I just want a f*cking cigarette!”

So we headed out for a brief “isolated” outing. 

While Patti happily stayed in smokey quarantine in the van, I 'quickly' ran into the store for some items. Following are some spouse caregiver shopping thoughts …  

While I understand the cost efficiency, institutional facial tissue is from a different world than Kleenex® Brand Lotion Tissues with Aloe & Vitamin E. Let’s face it when you will be blowing your nose often, THIS is your best friend.

Patti likes Olay Body Wash plus Lotion Ribbons. Personally, I am an Irish Spring kind of guy so this is all alien to me, except that institutional body wash seems to resemble Lysol for humans.

I have no strong feelings about cold lozenges. Personally I am a fan of ZICAM® for colds. Patti however, at best, can self-administer by sucking on lozenges so COLD-EEZE® seemed the ticket since it shares Zinc in its formula with ZICAM.  
Unrelated to this outing but on the topic of product discussions …
BAG BALM Yes, this salve for cow udders produced by the Dairy Association Co since 1899 can be and is used for Depends rash, and accommodates care facility budgeting.

While I do not doubt its effectiveness and 100+ years of success, there is just something about discovering your family member is being soothed with cow udder salve that motivates you to drive directly to the store to buy anything. 

However, in the interest of fair AOL Journals(ism) I have a dear friend who sees this differently -- a decorative tin of Bag Balm as an always appropriate and unforgettable ‘hostess gift’.

Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer
non-caregiver musings:


  1. hope Patti starts feeling better soon; lots of icky germs going around the country this time of year

    I loved her comment about wanting a cigarette; the man-child who still resides here is being forced to think about quitting (long story), I'm sure at times he thinks the same thought as Patti

    I didn't realize what bag balm was originally made for; I need to get out more


  2. I've been a lurker for some time now.....caregiver for my husband who has MS.
    I gotta agree with all of Patti's choices!  She has excellent taste.  
    I prefer just plain ol Desitin instead of the bag balm though, BUT I use it everyday to avoid the rash. Just my .02 cents worth.
    Thanks for the entertainment you provide!

  3. Hey Patrick.....I hope everyone stays germ free!  Some wicked germs out there!  Patti's cigarette comment had me cracking up.  Humor does a body good!

  4. Thanks for sharing!

    I've heard bad things about Zicam.

    But it really is the time of the year for colds! My dad has one now.

    Tabitha Grace Smith

  5. Amen on the kleenex, Olay and Bag Balm. I've never tried Cold-Eeze before!

    Patti just cracks me up! Was she in a better mood afterwards??  LOL


  6. ((((((((((((((((HUGSOYOU)))))I hope Patti feels better soon.I can unerstand why you would need a cigg.

  7. i haven't tried the kleenex brand but i know the puffs brand is heaven for the nose:) daughter loves the body washes i don't lol Cold EEZE is wonderful and we love Zicam:) I used alot of bag balm at the nursing home. when the son got his tattoos we bought bag balm to help it heal so its multi use:) enjoy your friday


  8. I like the enriched Kleenex but hope people are frugal with all anti-bacterial soaps and potions - they cause the prolifferation of "superbugs" which soon build an immunity to these cleaning products.  Good ole Ivory is best, so is Irish Spring I'm happy to say.  Humans seem manic in their quest for cleanliness, when being clean should mean just clean enough, I'd say.  Not antiseptic!  CATHY    

  9. ...Sometimes we have as many as 6 to 8 boxes of tissues open in this house.... the users can't be too choosey.  Everyone in this house has had some form of the " yuck" I agree with  PATTI's formula of relief seems appropriate! LOL


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