Sometimes when asked if I want to go back to …whenever... I say “No, I’m fine with where we are now”. But today I just want to go back to a few weeks ago. Anywhere back to where I was standing on that last plateau thinking things had finally settled down and we could maybe do some planning again….
Ray and I went down to visit our family on the south coast, he was well for four days but had a “possible” stroke last Monday (30th May). Our doctor said that was the likely cause of the instability that caused him to have four falls in three days at our daughter’s house. The last fall resulted in his quick trip to the hospital on the night of the 1st June. There the staff did some tests and some xrays and told me he had fractured his humerus at the head and they could do nothing for him and sent us home at 1.30am.
We went to our local doctor today and he asked me to take Ray to the Radiology Centre nearby to get them to do the xrays of his shoulder again as the hospital did not give them to me. The result was the same, large crack across the head of the humerus, just below the shoulder blade. The radiologist commented on the wide spread of bruising and commented he was lucky that that was all that was broken. I think so too as originally we were told the femur was probably broken too as he had a lot of pain in that area. Now he has a large black bruise above his left hip but his leg seems okay.
Ray sat in the doctor’s rooms and fell asleep, he looked terribly tired and at this stage somewhat confused, as if life does not make sense to him any more. I know he has lost a lot of his cognitive powers again, whether or not they come back we will have to wait and see. The most annoying one is that Ray can no longer understand how to stand up. He can stand eventually but I have to explain over and over how to do it, stretch his hand away from his shoulder, steady him, prompt him and do all but physically pick him up. How he could have forgotten this is a mystery, if he will remember again is unpredictable.
Ray is now even more high care. For all of you who have been dealing with a husband that has to be shadowed everywhere he goes - how do you do it? Ray cannot stand alone, walk alone, sit down by himself. I now have to be right there helping him. I have to tell him where I am going and what I am doing so he knows where I am in the house. I haven’t had to do this up till now and already it is driving me crazy!
I had a ring around today trying to get more care. The Australian system is that you have a provider and an amount of hours you can have, you can in some cases use a second agency at a higher rate to give you more care hours, it look like I will have to do that now. I need someone to help me with showering each day as I cannot hold Ray up and wash him efficiently too. Our provider seems reluctant to help me with extra hours.
Ray seems not to be able to stand still, his left leg constantly jumps and he moves his right foot sideways as well. This is another constant worry as it affects his stability. Tomorrow Trevor will come over and help me shower and dress Ray but I can’t ask him to come over every day.He has just been asked to do a second interview for a fitter's job, it would be wonderful if he gets it.
On Wednesday I have an assessor coming who will decide if I can get more care. What a pity the hospital couldn’t have at least helped with some of this. If he had been hospitalized locally I could have asked for a social worker or discharge planner to help, but only if he had been put into a regular ward first. What a useless system for emergency care situations.
Tomorrow I also need to start cancelling our regular activities. I have already cancelled Ray’s Scallywag group activities two Friday afternoons per month - he needs to be able to walk up steps to continue there. I have postponed Daycare for a few weeks until I know if he can get to the bathroom by himself. He needs to at least do that. Tomorrow I will discuss us not continuing to go to Craft for a few weeks, missing a couple of months of Lions meetings etc. It is not something I want to do, it is something I have to do.
I don’t want everyone who reads this worrying about us, or feel sorry for us. I am sure it will all work out in the end. Like most of you I just need to blog it to sort it out, make sure life is in perspective and I am not just sitting here obsessing over it. I am always a forward planner, just now though there doesn’t seem anywhere to go.