Wednesday, October 29, 2014
My dear man is doing so very well,
waaaay better than anyone expected,
we have both been through a major life-changing event,
and, so, there will be an adjustment period.
We are keeping the lines of communication open,
acknowledging our love for each other ,
and living in gratitude and appreciation for each moment of every day.
It's not as easy as it sounds.
We are very different people and have had very different experiences.
Friday, October 24, 2014
You all know I am an incurable optimist but I am not the only one blown away by my husband's rate of recovery this past week.
He has been in the hospital 37 days as of today, after serious life-threatening complications (3 different infections, including 2 in his spinal fluid and brain and also the dreaded c-diff) following a simple outpatient surgery on his back in early September.
A little over a week ago he could barely walk with a walker and was so confused and agitated they had him on strong drugs and a bed alarm to keep him safe.
He was unable to read or even write his own name.
Today he is walking, talking, reading (although there is some lingering vision impairment) and can write a bit.
His three hours of therapy per day in acute rehab and his relative good health have moved his healing along rapidly.
His therapists and doctors feel comfortable sending him home to finish his recovery and continue therapy on an outpatient basis.
He can dress and bathe himself and has regained control of all his bodily functions as well as
regaining ten of the forty lbs that he had lost since injuring his back on July 1st.
They would discharge him on Sunday except he is scheduled to complete his looooong course of antibiotics on Monday evening so they will keep him in until then.
On Tuesday morning the IV nurse will remove the picc line from his arm and I can bring him home (switched my babysitting days next week).
He will not be able to drive for a while as he still has some physical and mental impairments but those will resolve with time.
By the new year he should be close to normal, we hope.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support and spark love throughout this horrible ordeal, my dear friends.
I have learned so much from this difficult time, the first time in my life I have ever lived alone.
I stepped up and was a great advocate for my guy when he was unable to do it himself, if I do say so myself.
I learned to run our household and manage the finances and even take care of my 90 yr old FIL and, eventually, even to take care of myself, too.
My local friends and neighbors took care of me, as well, and taught me that eating well keeps me happy and healthy and made me a better caretaker.
I haven't splurged on a massage in a few years but my old massage therapist messged me on FB and asked me to accept a massage, which made me cry and which I gladly accepted.
She gave me some tips for reducing the stress in my body, too.
So, thx, thnx, thnx, agin...will keep you posted.
He would kill me if he knew I did this but I did take a few pics to share with my son who lives away and these are sort of before and after pics:
Notice the big difference in his eyes as the meningitis and encephalitis started to heal?
He still has a lot of healing to do, for sure, though, to be the man he was.
He has been to the brink of hell and back twice.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I have been overseeing the care of my dear husband for most of the 34 days he has been hospitalized from serious complications following a routine outpatient back surgery (3 different infections, including two in his brain).
I am ecstatic that he has been in an inpatient-acute rehab unit for a week now and making good progress, physically and mentally.
I am trying to step away at this point and give him ownership of his own rehabilitation (so far, so good).
He is truly on the mend.
He is eating again, walking (with a walker), and speaking fairly clearly in complete sentences.
Sadly, he still has significant cognitive impairments that he may not fully understand.
For example, he cannot quite dress himself, read or even write his own name!
He wants to come home and I want him home
once he is at home my understanding is that he will be eligible for three hours of therapy a week.
In acute rehab he is getting three hours every day!
His first weekly plan review meeting is Thursday.
I will have to make it clear to the team before that meeting that I want him to stay as long as he is making such steady progress.
My dear man will not be happy about that!
I will try not to take it personally.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
My dear man had a great day today-
his 31st day in hospital-
now in an acute rehab unit-
bright eyed and clear thinking (relatively speaking)-
tired but eager to work on his recovery.
His mood was very stable and his walk was fairly steady (with a walker).
His speech was soft but fairly clear.
I know I should not let his state of recovery rule my mood and life but
This was an amazing day.
Plus, we met a new doctor (a hospitalist) who predicted that David would recover most of his cognitive and physical abilities in due time.
We just need to be patient.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I was warned that my dear man's recovery from the spinal bacterial infection, plus two other infections and encephalitis would be slow and long with peaks and valleys but after about a month now he seemed to be slowly improving, enough so that he could move to another hospital for 2-4 weeks of acute rehab.
David is still very flat emotionally but expressed happiness about the move.
He has not been sleeping well at all (like barely) and that is hindering his progress.
When they medicate him to get him to sleep, he is lethargic and sluggish and confused the next day.
And despite the meds, sometimes he still doesn't sleep much.
He tolerated about a half day of rehab on his first day yesterday (evals, really, they did not push him too hard) and then in mid-afternoon he just crashed....confused, exhausted, mumbling, would not/could not eat, tense and agitated.
Like he was two weeks ago!
The social worker called me and explained what seems to be happening and how they are dealing with him.
She said he has months, not weeks, of rehab ahead of him.
They will work intensively with him and then set him up with therapy at home.
And she said he may never recover fully.
It is well and truly sinking in to me and I am overwhelmed.
I am sad and lonely and feel incompetent.
My family and friends have been a great support system but I feel so alone and unable to deal with all of it.
And, as if I needed more, Hurricane Gonzalo passed almost directly over my second home on Anguilla and there is some wind and water damage to our beloved Jasmine Villa and I have no idea how I am going to pay for those repairs.
Thank goodness I have my grandbabies to hold and cuddle with...
they are my reason to get out of bed in the morning.
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