As Charley (and Me) Wait, the Fistula Saga Continues

My husband is having problems since the vascular surgeon “built” the AV hand hope face et alFistula. The day following the initial surgery, he was in excruciating pain and went back into the OR for a tweaking. Although he initially felt some relief, it persists. At first it was just the lack of sensation. They performed a Doppler on the arm, and the blood flow appeared to be good. “Takes time,” says the surgeon of few words. A few days later he was doing fairly well. He was feeling some sensation coming back slowly; he exercised his arm constantly as the surgeon told him.

Tuesday, he felt great. He looked great. His spirits were soaring! His limbs felt great, all of them. He once again announced he was going to walk again. It was a very good day. Wednesday he went to dialysis, and came back ill. Thursday he slept most of the day.  One of the few moments he was awake and talking, he requested that our PCP transfer him to in patient rehab before he came home. He did not want to relive the two weeks over the holidays when he was too weak to lift with his arms his own leg to place on the foot of the wheelchair. He wants to come home feeling good, and strong enough for all the transfers necessary for the three times a week dialysis as an out patient. He wants some quality to his life. Not asking too much, one would think.

My husband called me last night and said the nurse had told him that he was approved for rehab and they were just waiting for authorization from the insurance company.  We had also discussed with the PCP about a skilled nursing facility if he was not accepted in the hospital. Our initial reaction was no, never.  He had to go to one prior to his spinal cord surgery and the facility was beyond awful. But as we chatted last night, he decided I should check out the one nearby just in case. It was lovely! Clean, bright and very good ratings. A possible option.

When I arrived at the hospital he was still in dialysis. Not being able to stand the suspense, I went to the social worker and asked.  Yes! They had accepted and approved him. He would be transferred today. My husband had not yet been told the news. I was so excited; finally, something was going his way. I asked both her and the nurse to let me be the one to tell him and was anxiously awaiting his return.

As with the best laid plans, all did not go as I had anticipated. He returned with once again, severe pain in the hand from the fistula surgery. It was the first time in two days he had to request pain meds. It turned into a “good news, bad news” day, such that he could not really have even a minute to enjoy this one victory.

So here we sit again. Charley and me. Every time I come home he runs Charley cropout joyfully and circles the car. He sniffs the passenger side; he can smell his “Dad”. Once again, he slowly returns to the house and looks at me with eyes so sad it breaks my heart. We wait. We’re getting a little impatient.

This house is just a house without my husband. We don’t do well on our own. All the support, all the caring from family and friends, although much appreciated, does not fill the void.

This will not be home until he returns.


5 thoughts on “As Charley (and Me) Wait, the Fistula Saga Continues

  1. Avatar of ThedogmamaThedogmama

    Dearest Pegi, my heart goes out to you and Charlie. How much more can you take without hubby home? Take solace in each other, share a bowl of water and a biscuit or two as you await his return. … All kidding aside, my thoughts and prayers for healing and patience are heading your way. Hugs to all three of you.

  2. Avatar of Gail KrollGail Kroll

    Dear dear Pegi, I am sending you much love your way. My two sisters are here this weekend visiting me and Mom. Me for my 61st solo birthday and Mom for her 87 years of being their Mom. Sometimes it is a trying time. They do their best, I know this. It is something I have brought up in my life coaching sessions with @denise. We all do our best in life. I MUST remember this during this weekend when times get tough. For Mom? This is all she asks of me so I will do so. Love you much! Gail xo

  3. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Oh, Pegi, I’m so hoping the tide turns for you, Jim and Charley this weekend. I so hope for improvement and then status quo.

    I’m so glad you’ve found a SNF that you like and that will continue to work with Jim so feels good when he returns home.

    Thanks so much for keeping us posted. We wait with you. :)

  4. Avatar of TrishTrish

    Pegi, I hope you are able to soon have a good news/good news kind of day! You and Jim (and now the dog) are in our thoughts and prayers. I too am happy Jim was open to the idea of a SNF and you found one you liked. (Happy he was accepted to the rehab center, though). Take care and sending lots of healing your way!!

  5. Avatar of PegiPegi Post author

    Guess I wasnt’ clear, we got even luckier for a change, didn’t need the nice SNF I did find. They accepted him into the intensive rehab unit right in the hospital! It’s got the same certifacation as where he was after the spinal cord surgery. They get you up and “running” all day. It’s his best bet to get home faster. Yesterday, I saw him in street clothes and was able to take him outside for some long awaited sunshine. He had some PT in bed and was seen by the Rehab doctor who did a extensive intake. Today, not so good; woke up nauseated and could not keep anything down. The Rehab doc “reprimanded” me for getting his staff upset over the stomach issue. I didn’t need that, but as long as he does a good job with Jim, I don’t care Tomorrow he’s going to start kicking butt! Thank you all for your kind comments and support. I can’t tell you how much it means to both of us.


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