My husband is having problems since the vascular surgeon “built” the AV Fistula. 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 out 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.
- Hospital Stay or Hotel California? (caregiving.com)
- I Think the Time for Hospice May Be Soon (caregiving.com)
- An RN from Hospice Comes Today (caregiving.com)
- “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.” (caregiving.com)
- Back to IHOP With a Coupon! (caregiving.com)
- Advocating Can Be a Dirty Job or I Went Kaboom (caregiving.com)
- In Six Words, While You Wait, What’s the Doctor Doing? (caregiving.com)
- Update: End of 2013 (caregiving.com)