It would seem logical that the story would begin exactly where it began on January 18th but when there is a moment that truly captures years of love and laughter; getting through those difficult times and rejoicing in the exceedingly happy that really is better suited to start the story of a klutz with a broken hip and the recovery ever after.
Friday was an extremely long day that began very early. Around 4;00 am I knew the call to nurse assistant Pedro needed to be made. Dang, I had to go to the bathroom and I was not cleared to go by myself yet. Earlier, about midnight, I had made that same call but told Pedro since I had my legs hooked up to the blood clot sleeve and since it quickly was becoming dire straights on timeliness that maybe the bedpan might be the best option. Really, had it come to this that I would choose the bedpan? Yes...it had. The 4:00 call was made only because after removing the sleeves and pushing back covers the realization hit that the rails on the side of the bed meant to protect me had now become my prison. After being in the hospital for four days one finally succumbs to the the notion that privacy and those things we try to do practice to ensure modesty, goes right out the window and now Pedro and Patrick and David have helped me, seen me and observed me and I am at the point of not caring. Really Tuesday is when I gave up caring about these things. Usually nursing has been women's work but let me tell you, there are a lot of men practicing now. Yea, it is to grab that quick glance of an sixty one year old, overweight and flabby woman in a hospital gown. I had just settled back into bed hoping to grab a few more hours of sleep when the lab tech came in and once again drew blood out of my blown veins. Then Pedro returned to do vitals. Ah quiet, not to be long because nurse David is back with meds, shots and the most glorious news of the day, the drainage port would be taken out and the dressing replaced with a bandage.
Roy arrived at the hospital, checked out of the hotel, filled up the car and was roaring to hit the road. I still had to get in one last PT session, have prescriptions delivered and the all important walker and bathroom potty contraption still needed to be delivered. Had it really come to this? I aced my test of washing up and getting dressed for the PT person and then I was stellar at the gym session. Roy was gathering up my things and getting them stowed away. Then all the deliveries made it, the Dr assistant came by to sign the release papers, the nurse gave last minute instructions and then to my horror came the case worker with a bag of Depends, ok some off brand, and a stack of chucks. Chucks are absorbent pads that are like diaper pads for adults. She recommended that I wear a Depends on the ride home and that the assistant would put the diaper garment on me. Had it really come to this? Now not being able to sneak up on anyone silently, well that wouldn't really happen anyway, I was wheeled out to the exit where Roy picked me up and loaded the car. The ride home deserves it's own post.
We stopped at Buc-ees and what I thought would be a straight shot to the bathroom became a maze of serpentine movements to avoid people who clearly would walk right into me or passed by me so quickly knocking into me and muttering under their breath. The only person there kind to me was the bathroom attendant. When I came out of the bathroom, Roy was pacing and I could tell he was worried about me even though I warned him this is going to take more time than usual.
Arrival time in Katy 6:00 with both of us exhausted yet only one of us able to work. The long day turned into an even longer evening while we determined what is a priority and what isn't. We didn't agree on priorities and that took more energy. Finally, since I could not stand it any longer, I washed my hair at the kitchen sink and then took a shower. Oh my, that was a long process too. Applying bandages and taking pills, drying hair and applying lotion and then the realization I needed to put on a Depends for nighttime bathroom trips that might take longer for arrival than usual. I unwrapped the stupid thing not even having one clue what or how to attack this mystery object. You see I have never, ever changed a diaper. I think I had it on backwards, so I adjusted it again...no that's not right. I need to maintain only 50% of my weight off my hip and I think I might be slipping into the 75% zone. Tired and frustrated I called out to Roy to help me with this diaper. Had it really come to this? He no more knew how to get the thing attached. I assured him I was NOT going to lie on the bed and let him figure this out like you do on a baby. He of the utmost patience was loosing it a tad and he left me there in the middle of the bathroom, hanging onto a walker with pajama pants on the floor around my feet and the diaper acting more low rise than it was supposed to. He comes back in with a tape dispenser, you know the kind you use for packing boxes. He pulls up the diaper, tells me to dedicate one hand to holding it in place while still holding onto the walker and he circles me with the tape being wound around and around to hold on the diaper. I start to protest and he stops me and says, just go in the diaper tonight, we can worry about getting it off of you later. He starts pulling up my jammies and said, I have always been more about getting these off you, it is harder to try and put them on over bandages. Had it really come to this? Now taped up and sign, sealed, delivered I was his, I went to bed. So sometime in the night I did as he said, go ye. That diaper wasn't up to a second depository and we were so glad, yet I was embarrassed, to have a chuck pad under me. There in the middle of the night, with wet pajama pants, Roy goes and finds scissors and cuts the blooming diaper off of me. We take care of disposal, he finds another pair of pajama pants for me and changes out the chuck pad. I stood there in the bathroom thinking about us, me and Roy. I thought of those fun first years of getting to know one another and some of the silly and stupid things and places we delighted in accomplishing that. Then I thought of how over the years, exciting hadn't been replaced but now we were more mindful of one another and a tenderness had taken over. In our twenties and thirties did we ever think it would come to this? Adult diapers, needing assistance with just about everything, seeing blood being drained, blood taken, shots administered, pain meds and the horrible consequences of pain meds long after the operation. Roy came back to me with my fresh jammies, he helped me into them, asked if I wanted another Depends and I said let's take our chances and be wild....NO! He took all the dirty clothes, threw them in the washer and got them started so he could get them in the dryer later in the morning. No you don't think about these moments that signal the beginning of the exit years down the road, so I believe. He tucked me back into bed, got me up on my left side and patted my back to help me go back to sleep. He asked my what I was thinking about...oh just life and how things twist and turn. As he fell asleep I composed an announcement in my mind,
Congrats to Roy on the arrival of his##$$## pound almost six feet baby girl on January 22 at 3:47 am. It was the first time we had to get up, change a diaper, put on new pajamas and go back to bed and had it ever occurred that this would happen in our marriage. I don't think it ever entered our minds that it would be one of us. Had it really come to this? Yes, it had. Do I plan for it to stay on this side of the old person line, No! Those moments of embarrassment and helplessness wrapped into moments of life where we have loved one another well. has it really come to this? Yep...it has.