|This way to the Sling Museum|
The last month has been incredibly wearing, physically and emotionally. Thankfully three months ago I had the great fortune of being able to access a medication I took successfully years ago, but which was pulled from the market, leaving me with a less effective and side-effect riddled substitute. My strength has improved substantially, for which I am profoundly grateful, or I'd be a puddle rather than a noodle.
At the same time, the fall I suffered a year last July seems to have triggered more growth on the bone spurs that are pressing against my spinal cord in my neck. I can't lift or carry anything, reach above my head, or exert any force with my hands without provoking hours of paresthesia in my arms and hands. I feel as if I'm holding a live electric wire and can't let go. It's affecting my fine motor skills, buttoning buttons, lining up zippers, gripping knives in the kitchen. What a nuisance!
In mid-October we both caught the crud that was going around. It was just a few days of a sore throat and a runny nose for me, but for Tony, with his asthma, it headed straight for his chest and he developed a wheeze and cough. He was tired but never ran a fever or felt much worse than he usually does. Halloween night he was standing in the kitchen talking to me and he coughed. When he coughed he lost consciousness and went over backwards, hitting his head on the fridge door as he went.
I grabbed the phone off the counter as I ran to him, and helped him sit up, as he was regaining consciousness by the time I reached him.
"What… how …What am I doing here?" he asked, looking around in a daze.
I couldn't see any cuts on his head, though he had a walloping great red welt. I asked if he was okay. He answered yes, but he hesitated and then said his arm was broken. I dialed 911, and the nice EMTs arrived in a few minutes.
We spent the entire night in the Emergency Department at the nearby hospital, where he had excellent care. Seeing that he has fainted, fallen and broken bones three times in the last twenty-six months the ER Physician put him on the urgent referral list to see an Internal Medicine Specialist. We had an appt in three days and since then we have had either a doctor's appt or a medical test almost every other day and we are just wrung out.
I don't know what we would have done without elder son Ian. Tony needs the wheelchair - these hospitals are enormous - and I can't load the chair in the car or take it out again, and I can't push Tony, who outweighs me by 60 pounds, very far. The doctor's offices have been miles across the city and we've driven home after dark (which comes early this far north) and I do not see well after dark because of my cataracts. So !hooray! for helpful children who button father's shirt and zip mother's coat because we seem to be descending rapidly into childhood again.
Sitting in the cardiology lab this week, we saw six or seven adult child/parent pairs, so I didn't feel quite so bad that Ian had taken the day off work to take Tony for his cardiology tests. But geez, I do wish I could zip up my own coat. I did Tony's buttons in the cubicle, or tried, with grudging "help" from the impatient technician. They were done askew, and his shirt was hiked up to his shoulder blades on one side and wrapped around his sling and I couldn't do a thing about it. Thank goodness his coat covered it.
At the moment, crossing our fingers that no one calls with a new appt, we are open until the 28th. We have to organize a flu shot in there somewhere. Oh, the chest X-ray they did showed he had pneumonia, which neither of us suspected. Ten days on antibiotics and he has quit barking, but he is still black and blue all over, especially his right arm, which he broke just below the ball of his shoulder. Too close to the shoulder to cast, and with his medical complications they were reluctant to do surgery on him unless it's life or death, so he's dealing with a sling again. We now have a collection. We could open a museum!
I'll put that museum idea off until tomorrow, right now I am going to just go to bed. No buttons on the pjs.