Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Long Road Back to Health

The drive home from the city seemed endless today.  The only thing worse than the unrelenting brown scenery of the prairies during the other 3 seasons of the year is the unrelenting snowy white of the prairies in winter.  At least today the wind had blown the snow around a bit and left a few bare patches in some of the fields and along the medians.....bare patches of brown....sigh....maybe I was simply too exhausted to appreciate any views today.

I have had a few worse Christmases than this one, but this one is right up there on the list of baddies.  We did have an excellent drive to the city on less than stellar roads and dad was very happy to see us, was at a point where the pain killers were finally starting to work and reducing the frequency and severity of his muscle spasms, we had the most fantastic dinner on Christmas Day that we have probably ever had and wonderful fun with our host, the weather was wonderful for late December and we had an uneventful drive home.  All good things.

Buuuuuut, my poor parents.....  Dad's pain and spasms are far less, he is managing to move around in his bed a bit more using his trapeze, his eye infection is gone, his shingles are starting to dry up nicely,  buuuuuuuut, yesterday morning he fell out of bed searching for a non-existent flashlight he was hallucinating had fallen onto the floor.  Somehow he managed to clear the top of his bed rail and land on one elbow, splat, onto the linoleum.  The relief is that he was found fairly quickly and "air lifted" back into bed.  He did not hit his head and by the mercy of God did not manage to break any more bones.  He even managed his first 5 minutes of physiotherapy that afternoon.  Buuuuuut by this morning his back was once again spasming badly in reaction to the fall from his bed.  By late afternoon, when we were going to go to see him and say goodbye for this visit, a virulent respiratory outbreak had infested most of the hospital, they went into lock down and we had to say our farewell by telephone.  Dad was less than impressed......of course you know who was also fighting the illness by the time we left town this morning......yup.......

And then there is my mother:  while she is coping okay to some degree, my arrival triggered a ghastly series of panic attacks once she realized she had someone there to take care of her.  All the stress came out in a rotation of aches and pains and crying and inability to sleep or eat without feeling ill for hours afterward.  The first evening I was there I had to force her to drink 3 cans of soda pop in a row to get the pain and nausea under control.  It was horrendous for her to experience and for me trying to assist her in recovering from these attacks.  By this morning she had finally settled down and was eager for us to be on our way so she could get herself  back into her comfortable daily routine.  Thankfully we were able to get her some of her groceries in bulk, to pad out the 2 months worth of frozen meals I took to her.  Despite everything her attitude was not one of "woe is me". Hopefully we can return in a few weeks.

And still dad waits for his MRI date to be moved up. The holiday season brought staff changes and his doctors were on some much needed holidays. They will return next week and start the process for a re-booking the MRI all over again. The first attempt was hijacked by the holiday season.

So now off to bed to be ready for early church service in the other town in the morning, our local service, lunch with a friend here who hopefully eats pork roast and scalloped potatoes and parsnips and carrots and salad.  Thankfully some of my mother's wonderful baking came home with us so I won't have to make dessert.

Sooooo tired. So hoping some kind of near miracle can happen for my parents.

Being 85 years old, in failing health and being at the mercy of a failing health care system, is a terrible plight.  There are so many elderly people in similar and far worse circumstances.  

Tonight I too feel like I am about 85 years old and am going to spend the next few days hibernating and pretending I am not at home, but in an old hotel that is just like my own house only with no telephones or computers or people ringing the doorbell expecting me to answer.  Watching other peoples' pain is exhausting emotionally. It is difficult knowing there is so little I can do to make it better.

If I can just get through church and lunch tomorrow.......if Mom and Dad can manage one full day without a new crisis to deal with.......if I can get a couple of good nights of sleep back here on my wonderful bed......maybe in a day or 2 my equilibrium will be restored if I take good care of myself.

So, how was your Christmas?  Tell me something fun and joyful and exciting about your own adventures of the season!

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