We’ve been home from the hospital for several days now, and that’s a good thing, but it’s been harder than I anticipated. Arriving home threw me into the role of primary caretaker, and,while that’s a role I relish, it has been a full time job. Gary is a great patient, but his pain level has been really high. I know that seeing someone in pain is a difficult thing for all in the medical profession, but when it’s someone you love, it is excruciating. Hopefully, we’ll be past this part soon, and his pain level will subside.
My lack of rest caught up with me yesterday. Gary has only been able to sleep in our double recliner, and I had been trying to sleep there with him, both to be able to monitor his needs, and for the comfort of his presence. But, I wasn’t sleeping well, with trying to make sure I didn’t bump him unnecessarily and trying to get comfortable myself, it was a losing battle. I didn’t realize how much the lack of sleep was affecting me until yesterday, when I saw a glass of orange juice on my kitchen counter and burst into tears. Now, I’m not one who cries in times of crises. I’ve been known to shed a tear or two when Bambi’s mother dies, but in real life, I’m pretty stoic. And, a glass of orange juice has never really offended me before. So, when the tears burst forth, I knew it was from sheer physical and mental exhaustion, rather than true distress. So, I did what I always do when I’m scraping the bottom of the emotional barrel, I lifted a prayer to my precious Father, I sent out an SOS text to my prayer girls, I kissed Gary on the forehead & made sure he had everything he needed, I lit my lavender candle in my bathroom, then I submerged myself in a long, hot bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil. I also made it a point to go to my yoga class last night. I haven’t been able to run, sheer exhaustion is not conducive to a mind clearing run, so I haven’t even tried. With the great weather that rolled in last night, though, I’m hoping to be able to sleep well enough tonight that I can run in the morning. I slept on our sofa last night, near enough to be able to awaken if Gary needed something, but much more restful with being able to stretch out and not worry about bumping him.
I am in awe of the medical personnel who have helped us so far, and, indeed, to all who have surrendered their lives to the call of nursing/paramedics/doctoring. I cleaned and changed my first fasciotomy dressing on Sunday, and I’m not ashamed to admit there was a large glass of wine waiting for me when I finished. That. Was. Tough. However, I’m happy to report that after watching the doctor change it on Monday, yesterday’s & today’s dressings were much easier for me. So far, his wounds look good. If you have a strong stomach, I’ve included a pic here for you. It includes one set of the pins on the external fixator. The other set are on his upper thigh, and he has an incision slightly longer than this one on the outer part of his calf.
And, that brings us to the doctor question. We saw our regular orthopedic surgeon (how weird is it that we have a regular bone doctor and not a regular general doctor?) on Monday. He referred us to one of his younger associates who is skilled in trauma surgery, and we were very comfortable with him. They looked at Gary’s scans, then dressed his wounds. We will return to him on Monday, and we are hoping that he will be able to schedule the surgery by mid-week next week. We are more than ready to mend these bones and begin the healing process. At this time, we have decided that Gary’s surgery will be done locally at Southern Bone and Joint.
God’s hand has been in every move we’ve made. I know that it always is, but it just becomes crystal clear in times of crisis. The people He has brought to us, from the race staff, all the way to the emergency room personnel, the pilot who brought us home, and precious friends who take the time to pray for us and bring us delicious meals (Thanks, Sandy!). I even got a text yesterday from the paramedic who worked on Gary at the race site, just checking on us to see how we are doing. How cool is that? This young man, who sees thousands of people, took time out of his day to check on us. I’m completely humbled. I think we’re more than getting by with a little help from our friends.
Today brought clarity after a somewhat more restful night. I was actually able to get a little work done, as well as go to the grocery store, and I didn’t wander around in circles trying to remember exactly what it was I was supposed to be doing, as I have every day since we’ve been home. That’s progress. The bags are unpacked, the laundry is clean, some of my work is done, and, for now, Gary’s pain is bearable. I think, for tonight, that’s enough.
I’m thankful that God is holding my rope, and that He’s given me so many people to help me tie a knot in it when I think I’m going to fall.