Saturday, January 9, 2010

Persevering

Thursday morning Shelley slept in a bit and woke up to an accusatory stare from a small dog. Brian normally walks Fredi in the morning around 6 or 6:30. Fredi being patient enough to wait until 8:30 just goes to show what a remarkable dog she is. Our power was due to go out at 9 that morning so after a quick outing for Fredi, Shelley sat down at the computer to run off a paper copy of all the emails we'd received inquiring as to how Brian was doing. By 9:30 Shelley was out on the street waiting for the bus to put in her first appearance for the day with Brian.

Brian was doing much better. He'd had a spinal for the operation and the evening before he still couldn't feel his legs. Thursday morning the feeling was back. Shelley urged him to sit up and stand up and get himself moving a little bit and he did, but it was a big effort. Just before Shelley was about to leave some friends dropped by with cookies (!) to wish Brian well. We all stayed and chatted for another 20 minutes or so. Back at home, Shelley took Fredi for a decent walk, did some household chores and had herself an hour long nap. She was back at the hospital for her second visit of the day at around 4. Standing, waiting at the bus stop, some other friends spied her as they were driving by. They were just off to put in an appearance with Brian and kindly offered her a ride. That afternoon he'd had other visitors as well. We can't express enough how much we appreciate the emails and visits. All the attention really helps!

After Brian's evening company had departed Shelley again nagged him to get on his feet a bit. They've been giving him intravenous pain medication and had tried switching him to oral but it was too soon. We'd hoped that Brian would be home by Friday but think now it probably won't be until Saturday. This is not to say he's not doing well - he is. The Doctors had originally said Friday or Saturday, so nothing is off schedule.

That evening Shelley went to bed at around 9 pm and was asleep within about 20 minutes. She woke up the next morning at 7:30 am. Fredi was pleased! After walking the dog, checking the computer and having a bun for breakfast, she took off for the hospital around 9 am. Upon arrival at Brian's room, he was standing - unhooked from the machines - and looking pretty good. Shortly thereafter we were advised that it would be OK for Brian to go home. Concerned about Shelley travelling around with four thousand and some odd dollars in her pocket, one of the Doctors took her downstairs and spoke to a "special" cab driver who took her home, waited and brought her back. She gave the cabbie 5 bucks for his trouble and we was VERY pleased.

Shelley left Brian in his room to wait while she went off to pay the bill ($4,310) & get his prescriptions (7) filled ($87). Pretty much as soon as the administrative office saw/heard her, they phoned for an English speaking customer representative who guided Shelley through the bill paying procedure, went with her to 2 different pharmacies and came back with her to Brian's room to offer him a wheel chair if he felt he needed one. Brian demurred. He's walking around, albeit kind of stiff legged, bent over & slowly.

Brian will continue to have a catheter for 15 days from the date of the operation and a draining tube from the main wound for 5 more days. He's currently training Fredi that it is NOT OK to chew on the tubes. Brian is allowed to have a shower and encouraged to wash the bandaged area. He will go off to the hospital every few days to get the dressings changed and eventually have the tubes removed.

We only have good things to say about the care Brian received at the hospital. All the staff were very friendly. The food was comida tipica (slightly tough meat & rice) but the juice was fresh squeezed & they were big on apples. The English speaking hospital representative was so nice Shelley wanted to give her a hug and the care from all the staff really displayed that extra thought was being put into it. Brian's urologist is even coming (maybe) on Saturday (to our home!) to check his wound.

There's been some nausea & throwing up right after Brian tried to walk around. He's saying he's not hungry but Shelley's bullying yogurt & tea with sugar & soup & water into him. (To eat is to live.) Instructions from the Doctor was "lots of water". Life right now revolves around Fredi's walks (8 am, 10:30 am, 4pm & 11 pm) and Brian's medications (7 am, 9 am, 10 am, 1 pm (with food), 3 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm, 11 pm) He's sleeping a lot, especially after the pain pill. We're supposed to keep a record of blood going into the bulb from his wound. It has to be emptied (along with the catheter) every once in awhile. While Brian sleeps, Shelley watches TV & plays Scrabble on the computer (and frets).

There's struggle. There's pathos....you know....pathos. There's just attempting to get by. We reiterate love and continue. It's awful. What can one say? Throughout all...Fredi remains vigilant...always at Brian's side... always concerned.

The night was trying. Brian got very little sleep and thew up several times. Shelley felt his lack of sleep might have something to do with him sleeping away most of the day. In the morning we phoned the Doctor but by 12:30 pm still hadn't got a call back. It's very difficult for him to eat and when he does he usually throws up. Shelley continues to bully water & juice into him, nags him not to nap and we wait to hear from the Doctor.

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