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Ray's heel is healed



I am thankful that Ray’s heel is healed. I am thankful that now the heel has healed he will not lose his leg. The vascular surgeon may even come up with something to improve the situation. Ray only has 50% blood flow in his left ankle but the vascular surgeon has downgraded his condition to non-critical. We are still going to go ahead with the next set of tests and will then make a decision about whether to go further.


It may mean a bypass operation where a vein is taken from the side and replanted in the left leg. With Ray’s other conditions this would be a risky business so if there is another less invasive surgery we could try that first. My English cousin said her brother-in-law is in hospital having just had a similar operation and could be as long as four months in recovery so it is not an operation to be taken lightly.


I visited Mum today. I go to visit her mainly to see that she is clean, dressed in clean clothes, looks fed and well looked after. I know the staff takes her to the main lounges for various things despite the fact that she responds very little now. When I first visited Mum this morning she was doing the staring into space thing, then shutting her eyes, didn't turn her head towards me at all, makes me so sad. I like to share an activity with her if I can as sitting beside her bed seems to just allow her to feel comfortable and sleep more.


I read a post on Strokenet about missing you husband, I sure do, it has been so long now since I thought of Ray as my husband and not just the invalid I look after. He used to be friend, lover, companion, handyman, provider, father, dancer, so many things. Those days are long gone. Now he cannot work, hardly walks, doesn't process thought. I guess I mostly look after him because we said those old fashioned vows: “till death us do part”. One day that will happen. And of course I love him still and he needs my help.


I started taking some “me time” in my time away from Ray, I failed miserably in that this week as there were so many things to do for Ray. But next week I am determined to take some of the free time I have promised myself. It is hard for a caregiver to put themselves first and I have been doing this for so many years now it is as if this is my full-time job. I guess it is, what is lacking is the pay packet and the four weeks holiday and the rest of the benefits.


We have not had much outside contact this week although we did go to Lions dinner and out to lunch with friends. I think I mean at a personal level. Few people make the effort to come to our front door now. We do speak to our family on the phone, that is a joy, to speak to the grandchildren and catch up on the doings of their week. But it is not the same as seeing them face-to-face and knowing they are well by their shiny eyes and flashing smiles.


I really miss visiting the family but since Ray is no longer as mobile or as portable it is too hard for us to travel distances now. I did tell my daughter I would bring him down if his mobility improves but I don’t think that would be any time soon. I am even missing the flying to Cairns as traveling on the train to where they are now actually takes the same time as the flight. Yep, trains travel slower folks.


I confess to feeling sad sometimes. I know a lot of people think I am Super Sue but I am not, just a middle aged wife looking after an older invalid husband and supervising an old frail mother in a nursing home. Not a lot to rejoice in on this part of the journey. My faith holds me up when the world tends to crush me down. I am blessed with some good friends but having less and less contact with them makes that harder too, not only because Ray is frail but because, being caring people, they have some family responsibilities too.


As Tiny Tim said at the end of “A Christmas Carol”: “God bless us every one.”


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I'm glad that Ray's heel is healed, that's good news. I'm sorry that you're felling sad. But, you are allowed to feel sad. I've only been doing this two years and I'm frequently sad, frustrated, and angry. You've been doing this for so long I don't know how you keep it up. You're such a great caregiver to Ray. You're also virtual caregiver to a lot of us here on StrokeNet. You care about us, cheer us up when we're down, and listen to us when we're sad and feeling lonely.


Take care and know that I'm thinking about and praying for you and Ray.


God bless.



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I am so happy that Ray's heel has healed, I know you spent so many days worrying about it. sometimes events in life does make us sad, but I have learnt to flow with life without any expectations from today. I just pray to God to give us strength to get through day whatever it may bring. Ray is very fortunate to have you in his life & we too to have you here on board to learn from your wisdom. you & Ray will be in my thoughts & prayers.



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Sue: Good news on Ray's heel. Do your follow ups and get the info you need to make a good, informed decision on bypass surgery.


One of my good friends and I were talking last night. She took care of her husband when we were in our thirties. Judy and I started Nursing School together right out of high school. She too made the decision to leave and attend another University when Yale brought out our program. We often laugh about how our decision at 18 came back to haunt both of us. Her husband was terminal. Judy and their two sons did all they had to to make Dad's final months comfortable. But she said to me last night, Big difference, yours is the rest of your life. You know I do not like to go there. I am adjusting well just working towards short term goals.


Continue to work towards that me time. It has taken you a long time to get here and yes, some weeks just require giving some of it up. But do not fall back on old habits and work those free times in. Prayers, Debbie

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Sue, I tell my wife all the time to take off and go, I can handle myself plus my daughter and grand daughter is here should I need assistance for anything.


Any care giver needs time off plus she works at the bank 5 days a week and every other Saturday!


Her and some church ladies went to Dallas two weeks ago and had fun shopping and looking. That's why she wanted me to go see the bowlers this week in San Antonio.


Since her mom passed in October we haven't been back to New Orleans, not even for Mardi Gras last month.


My weak leg stays so cold below the knee, I was wondering if I had a circulation problem with that leg, but I guess not my wife says. It warms up later in the night.

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