I hope this is the last post I write about taking care of my husband and all my tsores (yiddish for troubles). As expected, Len turned the corner from being in pain all the time and taking lots of drugs to moving about more, going up and down the stairs, and reducing his pain meds.
Like him, Gus also turned the corner so we are all doing better. I’m even back at work part-time. Being home-bound with Len has been a true learning experience, and, as a woman over 50, I feel liberated enough to say, I didn’t like it. It made me feel isolated and anxious, and considering I am a 7 (Enthusiast) on the Enneagram that was tough. By the way, if you’re not familiar with the Enneagram personality profiles, check it out! Seven’s are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. At their best, they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied. At their worst, well, let’s just say that nursing would not be good for a 7, as being patient often feels like being stuck. Needless to say, I have work to do on that one.
Just when I thought my care-taking days and nights were diminishing, life decided otherwise. For starters, my husband’s surgery to pin his hip back in place failed, and ten days later he was back in the hospital for a full-blown hip replacement. While I know this is a very common procedure, it doesn’t mean it’s easy or pain-free, not to mention what it’s been like for moi. This time, the doctor recommended home health care, and thank god for Care Partners (and drugs).
Care Partners is providing quality nurses, physical therapists and even an occupational therapist who come to our house for support and care which is not only needed but greatly appreciated. But, it’s a slow recovery, and my husband hates being dependent on anyone, even me. And he won’t let me insert a photo of him doing his physical therapy, claiming he has privacy issues.
And for those of you who asked about my sweet rescue, Gus, I’m happy to report that his anal infection is practically gone and he’s doing much better thanks to the very expensive auto-immune drug treatment he was on for thirty days. Now, he/we have a new problem. Well, it’s not entirely new as he already had a bad knee (ACL) so, you can imagine the beating his knee took while being severely constipated and forced to squat to do his business. This all happened while Len was in the hospital, and I had to actually help Gus (all 85 lbs. of him) get up and down despite the customized dog bed I had made for him and Carli. Thank you Kathleen for making such cool looking beds for both my dogs.
In between Len’s surgery, I found myself scurrying home to help Gus go out and then finally taking him to the vet – very difficult getting him into the car. The doc gave him a stronger anti-inflammatory (short term because it could damage the liver) and after 2 days he was improving. Now he is back to himself and Len is home and I’m exhausted.
And just when I was feeling sorry for myself, I turned on Dr. Oz (daytime T.V. is quite an experience), and on that particular day I saw a short piece about a young mother who has three (NOT 1 but 3!) autistic children. That certainly put it all in perspective for me.
It’s not supposed to snow a lot in Asheville, but this winter (like the rest of the country) we were covered up. During the last snow storm, my husband decided to shovel his car out of the driveway even though I told him there was a huge sheet of black ice and it was too dangerous, and in fact stupid. However, my dear husband was determined to get his car out of our driveway no matter what. Did I say I live on a mountain 2200 ft. high and our driveway is one hell of a steep slope?
I won’t bore you with all the details about our driveway and the fact that a standard 8 ft. plow is too wide to go down it. So, on that particular day, two weeks ago, my husband slipped and fell. He said he didn’t hurt himself and proceeded to walk around for almost a week with pain that eventually got so bad he had to go to the doctor. The next day, he was in surgery for a broken hip and 3 pins.