Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, December 5, 2011

Its the third day out

Spat is recovering beautifully from his back surgery.  He can get up and down and for the most part I do not even hear him so that means I have been able to get some rest.  He has been sleeping better, and since the nurses talked until they finally got it through our heads, he does not wait to take pain meds.  He takes them every 4 hours, regardless.  We had pretty much figured that out, but it was still nice to talk to the nurses about the meds and addiction issues, reliance issues and how the meds work. 

Colleen is holding on, but very little good news to report there, I am so sorry to say.  They are trying to prepare Spat that his wife may not be coming home, or she may be different.  He knows that.  But he is holding on to as much hope as he can muster.  We don't really talk about it.  I can tell when people are talking to him on the phone about it because this big dark heavy curtain drops done around him, changing the lay of his features, the posture of his back.  It weighs so very heavy on him. He understands the need to be honestly aware of the situation.  But he can not be there, and he has to believe that when he is able to go there that she will be there waiting for him.  They love each other so. 

I am always in awe of the love that comes between strong couples when they are faced with this hard issue.  One of you may not be around much longer.  The other one will still be here.  One is being taken some where that they honestly do not know where or how or when or what.  The other must stay in this world where everything is familiar but so different.  I see it in Pete and Jan.  I saw it in myself and Larry, I see it now in Spat's face.  A face held fast by pain he does not want to show and can not share, both physical and emotional.

But he gets up several times a day and walks his laps around the living room and down the hall.  He sits up as much as possible and switches chairs every 45 minutes to an hour.  Partially for comfort, partially because it is helping his back to heal by sitting and moving.  He is sitting in front of the computer right now handling some paperwork that needs to be done.  He had a lot of pain last night and this morning his right side is really giving him a lot of pain.  I told him that I had already told Linda I thought it would happen to today.  The third day out.  This is the not the third day since his surgery, but it is the third day he is home and I have noticed whether a fall or similar injury, surgery or some type of trauma to the body that it seems to be in shock of the first couple of days.  In the hospital they are giving you meds through IVs and around the third day it all seems to wear off and hit you.
Today is his day.

I think he felt a little less disappointed by knowing that this is something that is normal, but it is still so very frustrating for him not to be able to walk to the car, get in it, drive to the hospital see his wife, giver her a kiss and whisper how much he loves her in her ear. 

But today is not the day he will get to do this.  Today the pain is like a layer of clothing covering him completely.  His eyes , the set of his mouth, it all speaks to the pain.  I think his body has been in shock after such a major invasion.  While it is in shock it seems to pump more chemicals trying to numb the trauma, or the chemicals that are being pumped because of the trauma numb the body.  I don't know.  But I do know within 3 - 5 days after a traumatic event the body seems to all of a sudden wake up and is stiff and/or sore and/or feeling major pain.  That is where he is today.

For me, my life is getting ready to leave this sequestered compound and go back out into the real world.  I am looking forward to holding my kids, but I am enjoying the peace and quiet.  I will go home and take care of a few things and then pack up and come back down on Wednesday for 3 - 4 more days just to make sure that he is doing fine on his own.  He really is.  I am here as much for him emotionally while Colleen is in the hospital.  For that reason I am worried about leaving him today.  I don't want him to have to face any really hard news and then be here alone.  I don't know that I will be any help.  All I know is that I feel a strong pull to be here for him.  We are only thinking positive thoughts about Colleen's recovery, but just as I needed to know the statistical years I could expect, I have to take into account what all Colleen's body is trying to deal with right now.  Maybe we will have a sign soon that she is strong enough to fight this fight she must win to come back to us.  Each day brings more questions about her strength and ability to keep up all the work she must do to come back.  She is full of spunk and vinegar this tiny red headed Irish woman.  A mere slip of a girl with a personality bigger then the ocean, bigger then mountain ranges or continents.  A laugh that you can not help laughing with.  A chuckle that betrays all the bars and cigerettes and alchohol this tiny woman has enjoyed.  A chuckle that bubbles up with wickedness.  Wonderful fun and lively wickedness, done only in fun that would not hurt a soul.  The life of the party kind of chuckle.
I have cooked.  Did minimal cleaning.  I have brought the dog in and out and fed her.  I have helped Spat up and down some, mostly he does that himself.  I try to bring his meds to him so that he takes them on time.  I cheer him on as he does his slow purposeful laps around the living room, down the hall, into the kitchen.  I watch how he tries to hold his back straight, how he drags his feet because the pain of lifting them is just a little too much.  The Captain says it sounds like he has a flat tire.  hee hee, it really does.

Now, I am listening to him respond to questions about her.  He stammers, he struggles to sound positive.  He falters as he tries to find something to say, then he makes up something and changes the subject.  I know the timing wasn't the best for having back surgery, but maybe this is exactly the right time.  Maybe while she is healing in the hospital and being guarded over by her 5 sisters and their families, and her loving father, this is the time for Spat to let them stand watch while he is here healing.  And when she comes home his back will be much stronger to carry the weight of helping her to recover and find herself again.  Yes, I think this was a difficult decision but a good one.  But it is so hard for him not to be there with her.

I almost feel as if I am on a very strange vacation.  I cook a few meals, I knit, I read, I sit quietly and rest.  There is sorrow all around this world here.  Captain's daughter is waiting to give birth to her second child, a little boy.  But there are complications and the baby isn't coming, and they are giving her meds, but are trying to hold off on doing a c-section. 

This is a tight community of friends.  Friends who have been in each other's lives forever.  Many went to elementary school together and have stayed close ever since.  This is the community that surrounded me and took care of me when Larry was sick.  This is the community that now is stretched with every couple dealing with some type of health issue.  In Spat and Colleen's situation, both.  But they are stretching their arms farther and wider and holding everyone up as best as they can.  I am so grateful to be two of those arms.  I have known these people for 25 years, a new comer in this circle, but accepted none the less.  The reason I was brought into this circle was Larry and he is gone but I am still part of this group. 

I find myself remembering so many little funny things about him and us when I am here.  I guess that is natural.  And as the pain radiates around everyone in this group, rising like a heat mirage on an asphalt road in the middle of August, I find myself comforted instead of stressed.  I am probably pushing a lot of the pain down just like Spat is.  It is the way together we are dealing with this.  But as I push down this new heartache for my dear precious ones, the good thing is that lovely sweet memories of Larry bubble up. 

The nurse should be here in about an hour so I want to get the kitchen cleaned up after breakfast.  I have tried to talk Spat into taking a shower.  I think sitting under the hot water will help the pain.  But we need to wait for Captain to come back to be here.   I will not be able to lift him if he should need assistance.  The captain can.  Also he is not supposed to remove or put on anything below his waist if it means bending, twisting or lifting.  They call that BLT.  And the nurse type people get the biggest kick out of saying that, "No BLT for you!"  They say with a smile.  So he will get a shower today, and I will go home.

Maybe.  He is talking on the phone to Colleen's Dad and it is a long and serious call.  "How do we proceed from here?"  "What is the recommendation."  Spat is breathing in the way he does when he is really upset.  He is holding his face like he does as he fights to hold back emotion and to deal with this situation logically and for the best benefit of his wife.

I think after more then 3 weeks in this situation they want to move her out of ICU.  I don't know for sure.  I only hear the few cursory words Spat says.  I will update later.  Right now I need to go to give him my full attention, even if it means I am washing dishes so he does not have to meet my eyes.  We are getting old.  It is his third day out of the hospital and it is one of those days that is hard.  It was supposed to be sunny, but the clouds have come, and so have the tears.

1 comment:

  1. As I was reading this, I kept thinking about how midwives always say that on the third day, the milk comes in and so do the tears.
    Sort of.
    Love you, baby.