How will I do this for the next 2 (or more) months?
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
On Monday, February 13, 2012, my husband (who is paralyzed from the chest down) woke up and when he tried to get up, was in EXTREME back pain. I called 911 and he was taken to the hospital for what we thought was a kidney stone. He's never had a kidney stone, but the pain he described to me made us think he now had one. The ER doctors sent him for x-rays of his kidneys. There was no stone, but they just happened to notice his left hip was dislocated! He was admitted into the hospital, sent for more x-rays (of his hip/pelvic area this time) and tentatively scheduled for surgery to set or pin his hip for the next morning. As it turned out the surgery was not necessary as his hip went back into place on its own. The severe pain was still present though and he was put onto an iv painkiller that was on-demand. The more of the painkiller that went into him though - the sicker he became (severe headache and nausea). Turned out he is allergic to the stuff, so he on Wednesday was put back on the painkiller's he'd been taking at home. A neurosurgeon came to check out his back pain and diagnosed him with a pinched nerve and ordered steroid pills for him. On Wednesday (03/15) he was fitted with a hip brace. Because the brace requires access to both sides of him, we had to move him out of his bedroom (the bed's against the wall & there's no room to move it). Luckily a friend and his son came Friday night to change the family room couches with Greg's bed and trapeze so he could come home on Saturday. Greg can sleep with a hip abduction pillow rather than the hip brace, which is better for his skin - it won't break down (bedsores) - like it would if he wore the brace 24/7. Because of the hip Greg is unable to take care of himself - I have to put the brace on him, help him transfer into his wheelchair just so he can be out of bed for a while, but the brace is VERY limiting. He has to lean the back of the chair back to accommodate the brace keeping his hip at 80 degrees, which completely throws off his balance.
All this said, I work and in order to take care of Greg's needs before work means I must get up at 4:45 AM. I get ready for work first, then empty his catheter bag, check his backside and clean him up if needed, get his tooth brush & then put it away, wash him up, give him breakfast and the day's pill container. Then I'm off for work by 7:30. At noon (my lunch hour) I dash back home (20 minutes - 1 way), remove the dirty breakfast dishes, empty the catheter bag, check his backside & clean if necessary, give him his lunch, drink and fresh water, put his hip brace on him, help him transfer into his wheelchair, make sure he has what he needs, then get back to work by 1 pm. He stays up for the afternoon to help build up his stamina. After work I help him back into bed, empty the catheter bag, remove the hip brace, put the hip abduction pillow on, check his backside, etc. Dinner comes next - we have been so very blessed by friends, Greg's sister, and church family - we have been surrounded by loving people who bring us meals 3 days a week. Oh my!!! Such love - each meal that is brought is meant for one meal, but are easily 3 meals!!! I know we are being prayed for - when this first started I was just beside myself with worry, and I prayed and asked God who was He going to send to support us - I am awed by His response! I know the next couple of months will be hard, but with His grace I'll be able to help Greg and we'll get through this.
Your prayers are coveted!