Sunday, July 01, 2007

Things I'm Learning

If, as Buddhism teaches, we choose our lives for the lessons we need to learn this has been a very instructive week. I've learned that I am cranky and bad-tempered when I am frightened and tired beyond tired. I don't deal well with the frustration of not being able to do what needs to be done all by myself, and I still think this is paradise.

Tony is home from the hospital after eight days. He had wonderful care, with one exception. It was impossible to impress on the nursing staff and physiotherapists that his muscles are not strong enough to do the acrobatics necessary to handle oneself one-legged on a walking frame or crutches. They couldn't seem to understand that he has very few working muscles in what essentially look like normal limbs. I do intend to talk to the surgeon, and if possible the Internist about this issue. Both were excellent, but they should have instructed the nurses more carefully about Tony's level of disability.

While we were there to defend him they left him alone, but when we were gone they insisted he get up and use the frame to go to the bathroom, which was a 12 - 15 foot walk one way. They also made him sit up in a chair with his leg hanging down, even though it was so swollen it looked as if the skin was going to separate.

Thursday night they thought he'd had a heart attack as he had intense pain in his chest, back and arms, but it was simply that he had strained his muscles using that blasted walking frame. He is now practically immobile, as with his disorder overused muscles grow more and more rigid over a period of several days, then become extremely weak. It may take months for him to recover his normal level of "strength", once he's back on his feet.

He can now only get up onto the commode which sits by his bed with the aid of two helpers (Zak and myself). It is a monumental effort which leaves him in pain, soaked with sweat and exhausted. It also makes his leg and foot swell and grow dark with congested blood. Needless to say he's only doing this when necessary, otherwise we have him using a urinal. By all rights he should be in a Rehab facility where they could deal safely with his muscle weakness, but I doubt that will happen. I'm not sure I'd trust him to someone else at this point anyway.

We have to take him to Penticton on July third to be assessed by the surgeon, and I am not looking forward to the trip already for his sake. But outside the weather is glorious. This is a holiday (Canada Day) and it's hot, sunny and beautiful. Tony is home. He can look out the window at our lovely trees and hillside, watch the clouds flow across the sky. We talk when he is awake and he hums as if nothing on earth were wrong. He has had many lessons in patience, and it seems they have served him well. He's better at patience than I am. It should have been my leg, but then he'd have a very hard time taking care of me.

It's just another day in Paradise. "Enjoy what there is to enjoy, endure what there is to be endured and through it all do not let your spirit be defeated." Nichiren Daishonin

1 comment:

SMM said...

I hope the package I sent gets there soon.

Sounds like it could be a treat at this time.

Happy 140th!