It’s now four days since my last post. I am somewhat calmer, though sinking deeper emotionally. I feel alone in this. He coops himself up in the den, swathed in down jacket and blanket, door closed, heater on though it’s in the upper 60s outside and the heat’s on in the house. He eats in there alone so as not be cold. It’s so hot that when the nurse comes he sheds everything but his light shirt. When a friend drops by, he laughingly asks if I have a towel for the steam room.
The raised toilet seat with arms that I ordered came as expected on Friday. I tried to remove the regular seat, but couldn’t get the nuts to budge. This annoyed me, as I value my independence, my can-do abilities and spirit. Still, he needed the seat so I called a neighbor-friend. He came, tools neatly arranged in some girdle-like appendage for his tool bucket that featured pockets outside the rim and inside, and quick-as-you-please had the old seat off and the new one on, much to my joy and irritation. My husband left his cocoon to see the results, and our neighbor pointed out that an extra gasket would make the installation more secure. Hubby went off to the basement to see if he had one. My husband’s tools are in no way as neatly kept as our neighbor’s, and, “As Rome goes, so goes the world”, his area of the basement is none too neat either.
So when he fell, it was no surprise. My husband, of course, couldn’t rise alone, breath pushed out of him, bloody lip, lying, panting like a fish out of water. Our neighbor went to help him up.
He was achy yesterday, and today, Sunday, and complaining that the stent hurts at the point of insertion and further was an irritated red, but then, that’s precisely what he fell on. I checked with the Intervention Radiology resident on call, who said if we needed to we should go to the hospital Emergency.
Upon rethinking his pain, my husband decided it was probably from the fall, and the pinching feeling was from the skin growing around the external tubing. After all, he’d experienced the same feeling after his stomach cancer surgery when skin grew around the drainage tube. (So, he can be introspective when he has to be.) The subtext to this conclusion is that he’d rather not sit in Emergency all day for what will be nothing. He hopes.
I’ll call the doctor tomorrow, not only to speak about the tubing pain, but to find another alternative to the ongoing diarrhea. Yesterday, he had fluids, all arranged by the doctor’s wonderful physician’s assistant and managed by a visiting nurse. My husband has been to the bathroom so often since then that he said he’s sure those fluids are all out of him already. This is really discouraging, especially after the grand failure on Saturday, when his diarrhea was so rampant he soiled himself, all his clothing, including his shoes, and left a trail through the kitchen that the dogs found interesting. While I was busy shooing them away and cleaning the trail up, he was miserably trying to shed his clothes, saying that he couldn’t take much more of this. It wasn’t worth it. That was disturbing to hear.
I keep seeing better days, though I’m aware things will most likely get worse–side effects of IV chemo and all–in the nearer future, and because of some strange turn of mind, I wonder with Thanksgiving around the corner will he abdicate his steam room to join us for holiday dinner or eat in solitary confinement? Or will he raise the thermostat and roast us all so he can be comfortable in the dining room?
And what about Christmas? I put our Christmas tree in the den. Must I forego that because not only would the tree die in 2 days of tropical heat, I couldn’t go in there to enjoy it. And that’s the thing about Christmas for me. I love the peace of the holiday, the twinkling lights and the memories attached to all those ornaments.
But those things are yet distant. I keep hoping for a miracle. More weight on his frame. Less output. Gotta hope.