The end of week one of Ray's hospital stay saw very little progress made. He had eight xrays and scans of various kinds to get a diagnosis. The hip joint on the left side, where he already has the hip pinned is cracked across. I guess that means an operation but so far no-one has said they will do it. The orthopaedic specialists will consult tomorrow and I hope one brave one will agree to do the operation.
If Ray cannot have the operation we look at the worse case scenario: Ray spending the rest of his life laying in a bed in a nursing home. Of course if by a miracle he can eventually stand without pain and even take a few small steps I will bring him home. I will not put him in a nursing home unless it is impossible for me to manage him here.
We have got to the stage where friends are rallying round. Some phone calls and a few hospital visitors from Thursday onward started to show us that we are not alone in all of this. The messages from cyberfriends here are much appreciated. Each day I go in to see Ray and say X,Y and Z called and send their best wishes, A,B and C left emails, friends from Strokenet say "hi".
Of course a lot of people want to know if there is anything they can do and with the exception of prayers and good wishes there isn't, but it does help to know that others are thinking of us in this time of struggle. Further down the track I will need people to sit with Ray, maybe pick up groceries or prescriptions or other needs so then I will ask for them to do something specific. In the meantime I tell them visits are much appreciated.
I went out to lunch at our son's place yesterday. I told my daughter-in-law I could only stay an hour or so but three hours went by before I went back to the hospital. Today I went in to visit after going to church and then my sister and her husband came and we came back here for a late lunch. It all helps, both to have someone to discuss things with and also to have the distraction. My sister tells silly jokes with facial expressions and actions and today she managed to make Ray laugh. That alone was worth the visit.
I guess there is a situation now that sounds more serious than some of the ups and downs we have had in the past and people do realise that this is a crisis where their support is needed. I hope the prayers etc continue as I am sure this is the beginning of what will be a trying period for us.
For those of you who were fortunate enough to recover from stroke with a minimum hospital stay and a convalescence at home it must be discouraging to hear of the ups and downs some other survivors and their caregivers have experienced. But that is life. No two strokes the same, everyone recovers at their own pace. And the surviving the experience is what counts.
This period of time we'll get through - with a little help from our friends.