Thursday, November 09, 2006

A reminder

When I started this blog, I said the title was sometimes an affirmation and sometimes a reminder. Today it is a reminder. This has been a very stressful eight days, but I do see a brighter future. Terry's hip surgery was a success, and the doctor was pleased with his results. However, he did say the damage in the hip was extremely extensive, and that made more trauma to the surgery site because he had to alter the direction in which he went at the joint. He didn't anticipate any problem with rehab and released him from the hospital after 5 days, sending him for a week of rehab. And here's where the story gets interesting. In a effort to get him to a rehab close to home, the hospital social worker arranged for him to go to Elizabethtown to a facility there. After spending most of five days and nights in the hospital with Terry, I left him in an ambulance and headed to the facility so that I could show the ambulance where to take him. The ambulance followed Mapquest instead of me, so I got there ahead of them and was able to go in and scope out the "rehab" facility. I found that while they do offer rehab, they are mainly a nursing home, and they mainly have dementia patients. There were only 4 private rooms, and they were all occupied. The rest of the rooms had 3 patients each, and he was to be in a middle bed between and incontinent dementia patient and a man with Alzheimer's. It was a very depressing situation. The halls were filled with pitiful people in wheelchairs, and people were always moaning. There was little room for me to sit and stay by him. I had to punch a code to get out the door. I cried all the way home that night.

Things picked up a litttle on Tuesday, and we were assured the rehab would be fast tracked so he could get home by Friday. On Wednesday, a private room miraculously became available. And then-- we found out that Terry had had a recurrence of the anemia that had started in the hospital. Now he had to take an ambulance to the hospital for a transfusion. The process took almost 9 hours, and then we waited over an hour for transport back to the rehab. We got back at almost 1 A.M. Today we found out that the transfusion only brought the count up one point. His rehab had been sidetracked by this, and now they wanted him to stay another week! We protested so much that they offered a compromise--he should stay until Monday so they could make arrangements for home health care and for medical equipment, but would release him if he insisted. He reluctantly, and on his own, decided to stay. I am glad he did because I think he needs a little more practice before coming home and getting back to life. I want to have everything ready and in place for a successful transition. I will be his sole caregiver when he gets home, and I don't feel too confident yet, even if he does.

Meanwhile, he has no company but me because he doesn't want his family to come to the depressing nursing home. When he is not in physical therapy, he sleeps much of the time to keep from dwelling on his situation. I guess it's a trade-off. Would he be better off at home and happy, but unable to get up and do things? Or is he better off following medical advice of a doctor he doesn't know all that well? And why does he keep getting anemia? I guess we just have to remember to keep our eyes on the prize, as they say. It's bound to get better. Meanwhile, a reminder to myself--life is good, right?


psbeachnut said...

Life is good, although, sometimes it is a challenge to remember that. I guess that rates right up there with Count it all joy - sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is almost too difficult. But, it is out of our hands and things will improve. When you look back, this will just be a blip on the radar screen. Hang in there! Love, Me :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I think you know how I feel ;-)

Peggy is right, though--in 10 years this will seem like nothing. A story to tell.