Surgery day

I told the nurse that the patient whose room she had sent me to wasn’t Peggy. She said that it was Peggy, but I still had to look at the old, pale, and puffy woman in the bed for awhile to be sure (I had told Peggy just before her surgery that she looked sexy in her purple hospital gown--which she did). My advice to you is this: if you’re supposed to be in a beauty contest one night, don’t have surgery earlier that day.

While I sat by Peggy’s bed, I pictured us when we were in our twenties, holding hands while we ran for joy across the prairie in Saskatchewan (I remember that day because we were nearly struck by lightning). Now, we hold hands while we hobble into doctors’ offices. Well, we don’t exactly hobble, but we’re getting there.

The universe never promised us an easy life.

The universe never promised us a happy life.

The universe never promised us a peaceful end to life.

The universe doesn’t even know that we exist.

We live for no purpose, and then we die, and the fearsomeness of this thought is why people believe in god.

I’m scheduled for my first of four joint replacements, which means that Peggy and I will be one-armed together. The surgeon and I all but argued—over Peggy’s bed, no less—about which hospital to use for my surgery. I said I wanted to go to Sacred Heart because I could have a private room at no extra charge, and he said he could use his influence to get me a private room at McKenzie Willamette at no extra charge (I have good reason for wanting a private room). “Besides,” he said, “I can give you far better care at McKenzie Willamette.” “Then it sounds like a no-brainer to me,” I said.

Peggy is resting now. I held her hair out of her face while she threw up. How many times have I done that over the last four decades? I’ll tell you. Many.

I just took two stiff drinks. I hurt so much that it’s hard to care anymore what I take or how much I take as long as it stops the pain. I’m not supposed to take narcotics until after my surgery because if I do, they won’t work when, presumably, I need them most. Well, hell, they don’t work that well now. Nothing works that well now, but if I pile pill atop pill and use ice, I can at least sleep a little bit before I have to get up and do it all again.

You don’t think I complain too much, or that I complain without a good reason, do you? Pain is such a private phenomenon that I often wonder where I am on the scale of having a justifiable response. This might surprise you, but I think I handle pain better than most people, but it’s hard to know for sure.

I read from Camus’ The Stranger while I sat by Peggy’s bedside (the morphine made her doze, so I had a little time on my hands).

“He was wearing a soft felt hat with a round crown and a wide brim, a suit with trousers that corkscrewed down around his ankles, and a black tie with a knot that was too small for the big white collar of his shirt. His lips were trembling below a nose dotted with blackheads. Strange, floppy, thick-rimmed ears stuck out through his fine white hair, and I was struck by their blood-red color against the pallor of his face.”

When I was young, such passages were about someone with whom I had nothing in common. Now, they’re about how I will be in fifteen years. Sometimes, I wonder if I will even live another fifteen years. Come to think of it, that’s about the length of a dog’s life—if the dog lives to be fairly old.

Nurses can tell that I adore Peggy, and that touches them. I asked one of Peggy’s nurses today if she will be my nurse when I have surgery, and she gave me her home phone number so I can be sure she’s working that day. She said that if she’s not working that day, she’ll refer me to someone who is. Now, I have my surgeon, my anesthesiologist, and one of my nurses all picked out. My advice to you is this: if someone is good at what they do, stick with that person, and let them know that you respect them. You get better service that way. As you know, I was kidding about the beauty contest, but I’m being serious now. While I’m giving you advice, I’ll also suggest that you praise good workers to their supervisors. One reason for this is that they’ll feel beholden to you, and the other is that you owe it to them.

Do ever feel when you’re writing that, after every paragraph, you could go in a dozen different directions. How do you choose? I choose really fast because otherwise I get too bogged down.

Those two drinks—taken on an empty stomach—were too much. I thought they might be, but I found it hard to care. Now that I feel as if I too could barf, I do care, but it’s too late. Most wisdom comes after the fact, but since the rules about a lot of things are forever changing, after-the-fact wisdom isn’t necessarily better than no wisdom at all.

60 comments:

Strayer said...

Snow you posted it twice, is that one for each drink, or once for you, once for Peggy, just for the hell of it, or did you not notice, and who cares. Sorry to have even brought it up.

I told my brother, upon his talk of joint pain and noise, that perhaps form a joint popping drumming group or symphony, featuring snapping, creaking, cracking, popping of joints. Young people would roll their eyes. Others older might join in.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Healing thoughts and get-well wishes to Peggy, I hope she has a speedy recovery.
You Snow, I can only wish that your upcoming surgeries will offer relief from all of the suffering you have endured these past years.
You are a stronger man than I gunga
din.
Hugs,
~jo

Snowbrush said...

Hell, Strayer, I posted this more than twice because it makes no difference how much I edit something, as soon as I post it, I see things that scream out for me to change them. Besides, I wrote this hurriedly and posted it hurriedly, and that made the changes even more numerous. If I looked at it again, I would no doubt see still more things to change, but I'm really tired and I have to go sit on the pot really bad, so I'm just going to toss in the towel for now.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I send best wishes to Peggy for a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.

I'm sorry that you continue to be in physical distress; I hope the upcoming surgeries will give you some much-needed and long-delayed relief.

Elisabeth said...

How you can write so beautifully under the conditions you describe, Snow, amazes me.

This is sch a heroic post, made more so by the quality of your writing.

If only it weren't true. If only you weren't in such pain and Peggy, too.

Take care now and please keep writing. It gives us all a taste of what might come in the future, both if we're lucky to live long enough and if we're unlucky enough to suffer along the way.

The Elephant's Child said...

This might be a longish comment. Sorry.

Good thoughts for both Peggy and you. Years back a doctor told me something which made sense (rare but it happens). I was in a lot of pain and kept puking even though the pain wasn't related to my digestion at all. Said doctor said that everyone's pain threshold is different, and when you have reached your limit and the pain continues to escalate your body knows it has to do something else. And puking or passing out are favoured body options. I think I would prefer to pass out - but no, I puke.

And no, you don't complain too much at all. My thought for the day is often 'give us this day our daily whinge'.

So go for it. Whinge whenever, and as much as you feel inclined.

The Bipolar Diva said...

Snow, this post gave me hope in what seems like a hopeless situation here. How in the hell are you able to do that?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Snow .. my thoughts are with you both .. pain is terrible and emotional stress and worry are a doubling of this .. with a big hug or two .. Hilary

The Blog Fodder said...

Wishing Peggy a speedy recovery and you a successful joint replacement operation. All four of them actually.
What were you and Peggy doing in Saskatchewan and where were you? Home country for me.

Natalie said...

I am most pleased that you have some goodies picked out.
I am most pleased that Peggy has you to hold her hand.
I am most displeased that I live so far away and can't help you both. xx

Dion said...

Love and pathos performing a duet called, Snow's Life.

yoborobo said...

Snow, you aren't complaining too much. Complain away. True friends will want to listen, and those that don't, well, don't. I hope your Peggy feels better today. I hope your surgery brings relief, because I know firsthand (and secondhand, too) that pain robs us of joy. It's a horrible, diligent thief.
Finding a good nurse is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, as far as I am concerned. They are worth their weight in the stuff and then same.
Hang in there.

Mim said...

First off - hope Peggy is doing well.

My hubby and I really just have each other and yes...it's getting tough to grow old like this. Dr appointments, tests, scans, mammograms, holding your breath waiting for good or bad news. I don't navigate this forest well, I resent it, I want to chop down all the trees so that I can at least see the other side. but I do it, who else will be there for him, and him for me - we'd be lost without each other.

No one promised an easy life but some people appears to be in a swifter less obstacle laden river than we are.

Marion said...

Sending good, healing thoughts to both you and Peggy, Snow...I hope Peggy's recovery will be quick and without complications.

For the amount of pain you have been in since I've begun to read your blog and before...you have every right to whine, as much as you want. I hope that your surgeries will give you some surcease of all that pain. xoxo

Myrna R. said...

I agree with Elizabeth you write so well and even under difficult circumstances.

I hope Peggy recovers well. Wish there was something useful I could say about easing your pain. I know what you mean - we can never know exactly the type or degree of pain another has. May yours subside soon.

R. J. said...

Sorry for your troubles. I hope it brings you comfort that the best wishes for you and yours are sent by many folks and that includes me.

Snowbrush said...

I'm so very touched by everyone's support. Thank you.

Fodder, we were in Saskatchewan as part of a long loop vacation. We were teachers at the time, so we traveled for two and a half months out of the year. On that trip, we meet a Canadian couple at Flathead Lake in Montana, and they invited us to visit them in Regina. On the walk that I referred to, our hair stood on end, which we thought was wonderful. Only later did we discover how dangerous our situation had been. We didn't realize it at the time because the storm was some distance away from us, and because the day seemed too charmed for anything bad to happen.

Yes, Elephant's Child, pain thresholds differ, and when the pain gets too bad, our bodies--and our minds--search desperately for some way to deal with it. As bad as my pain is, my inability to do things with my body is just as bad. I've always been strong and active, and I thought that would continue well into my old age. After all, my father worked full days as a carpenter when he was past 70. If I had to either work like that or die, I would have to die. I can but be thankful that we have good insurance, and that I might someday get past much of this pain and even be able to resume what would be, for me, a normal life. I'm not without reason to hope.

Mim, you wrote so eloquently of growing old. Peggy and I also only have each other. I don't mean that we don't have friends, but simply that they're hardly going to care for us the way we care for one another.

Snowbrush said...

Elisabeth said: "How you can write so beautifully under the conditions you describe, Snow, amazes me."

Oh, you would too, Elisabeth, because, like with me, your writing is also your art, your meditation, and your therapy. I tell you seriously that the bottom has dropped out of my IQ, and it is only when I'm writing that I can recapture some of my intelligence because it is only then that I stay focused enough to think clearly.

I somehow posted this twice, and when I deleted the first one, I lost two comments. I thought I knew whose they were, but I was wrong, so now I don't know whose responses were lost. I feel very badly about this.

Robin said...

Ah, dear Snow and Peggy....I send you both healing thoughts and love.
It's all I can do - but I do care about you two...we've never met face-to-face - but I count you as friends who ake the world a better place to live in.

You will notice, I didn't mention the PRA--R word....

Hugs, always,

♥ Robin ♥

KC said...

Snow and Peggy, My thoughts are with you along with hope for a pain free future.
Snow, thanks for stopping by my neglected blog. I did read about Baxter and sent my condolences along with congratulations for Brewsky. A kitten must be a delight and hopefully at times helps to ease the pain.

Snowbrush said...

KC said: " A kitten must be a delight and hopefully at times helps to ease the pain."

Our dog is a blue heeler, and when people ask me if she's purebred, I sometimes say, "Well, she's supposed to be, but I still have to go to the doctor sometimes."

Stafford Ray said...

'Supposed to be a heeler, but still have to go to the doctor's sometimes?' Snowbrush!
Wisdom always comes after the event, but some, you included, can apply it to current and even project to future events and you do. Cheers!

dana said...

As you might know by now, Joe and I escaped Indiana and ran to Florida. I'm at peace now.

All those years of reading self-help books, the bible, praying, etc. And help was 800 miles away.

Now, it's truly Joe and me. At home, it was Joe and me, and having our kids nearby just made it more ironic. 800 miles away, it makes more sense and we feel happy and, like I said, "at peace".

Whenever I've been in the hospital, throwing up so hard I'd be peeing at the same time (on Joe's shoes usually) whenever a nurse came into the room I had to listen to how wonderful Joe was...

Hey, he IS, but gimme morphine!

Take Peggy home and make sure everything she needs - she is surrounded by. And make sure the house is spotless before she gets there.

HEEL! I mean, HEAL!!

bluzdude said...

All the best to you and Peggy on your surgeries. And I completely agree... you need to treat your nurses well! They have your life and comfort in their hands.

I know when I last had a heart procedure, I was so nice to everyone I made my own self sick. I had a great nurse watching out for me and I made sure to tell her how much I appreciated her care.

Next time, I'll take your advice and be sure to tell the people in charge as well.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I hope Peggy mends quickly, as do you! May your surgery bring some respite to your pain!

Bernie said...

Snow I posted here last night but don't see it. Anyway I will just restate that I hope Peggy gets well soon and that your pain will subside.....you have had a rough couple of years and need a break.
....:-)Hugs

Snowbrush said...

Stafford said: "'Supposed to be a heeler, but still have to go to the doctor's sometimes?' Snowbrush!'"

Now that Bonnie Blue is old, blind, and losing her hearing, the joke doesn't work so good for some reason

Dana said: "Joe and I escaped Indiana and ran to Florida. I'm at peace now."

I hope it lasts, dear. When we moved to Eugene, we were delighted to find that we had more friends after our first week than we did in Mississippi after many years, plus we were thrilled to get out of the country, the hot weather, the ignorance, the bigotry, and the provincialism. This honeymoon-like period lasted a long time, but it did wear off, and things I didn't like about Oregon eventually started creeping in. Now, I would seriously consider moving away from the Pacific Northwest if Peggy were open to it.
Bluzdude said: "I was so nice to everyone I made my own self sick."

It's an absolutely positively terrible drag to feel that you simply have to be nicer than nice. I can't even begin to pull it off.

Thanks, Creekhiker.

Bernie said: "I posted here last night but don't see it..."

I somehow posted this twice, and when I deleted the first one, I lost two comments. I thought I knew whose they were, but I realized I was wrong when I found those two under the second post. I'm so sorry, Bernie, and I can but hope that the other person won't think I deleted her or his comment deliberately.

Zuzana said...

Your last paragraph could be a wisdom describing life itself.
I love your posts as they tell it all exactly as it is - right there in our face the honest truth of life, with all its beauty, tragedy and pain.
And in between the lines the incredible power of love.
This was beautifully inspirational for me, as someone who is finding herself currently in a raging storm of life.
I am truly sorry for your pain and with my wishes of speedy recovery for you both.
xoxo

Putz said...

how do i feel after reading what you wrote and asking if you complain too much????<><><>,.just this<><><>when you have less pain you tells us just that<><><>if you had no pain you would say just that and write about something very important and spectacular AND true,.,.,.so when you write of course it is very poinant{SP}even of the pain and you have written on many subjects not relating to pain at all<><><>this is the noble spirit in you that i related to you on an earlier blog<>><<>you have such great character, i could trust you as peresident of these united states<><><>appreciate the effort you go too to inform all of us as to what is important to all of us<><><>love the putz

julie said...

You and Peggy..you are so lucky to have each other....as always your writing is wonderful..touches a deep cord in me, and a yearning for the kind of love you share.

Kay Dennison said...

I understand having spent most of my adult life in some sort of pain or other and I will be keeping good thoughts for both of you. I joke that what everything aches and what doesn't ache, hurts but each day it becomes, what my late daddy would call,'more truth than poetry.

Snowbrush said...

I hurt so much, and I feel so scared and discouraged that I have cried many times today. You have no idea how much your kindness means to me. I hope that I can someday repay you.

kj said...

snow, i am so sorry to know how much pain you are facing now. i know i said something harsh to you months back that i'm sure you still remember, but today i am telling you i hope peggy will recover quickly and i hope your surgeries will make things easier for both of you. sometimes it's all you can do to wake up and show up. being with peggy in the hospital after surgery i know is its own kind of pain and fear.

i've always felt that holding someone's head while they vomit is confirmation that i know how to love and care and help. that is you.

i do wish i could offer something more than words here to help you and if i can, you need only tell me and i will.

sometimes i tell my clients that i will hold the hope for them when they cannot. your friends here will so willingly do that much, that is for absolute sure.

love
kj

The Elephant's Child said...

I am so, so sorry that today is a rotten discouraging bitch of a day. You add value to my life and, I am sure, to many others as well so caring what is happening in your world is like breathing - a part of us. I hope the pain and the discouragement ease.
And I view tears as toxins - sometimes there are lot of them that simply have to be expelled.

Gaston Studio said...

Sending prayers for Peggy's quick recovery Snow, even though I know you don't want them. And more prayers that your surgeries will be successful. There, don't you feel all the love hovering over you?

Snowbrush said...

Gaston Studio said: "Sending prayers for Peggy's quick recovery Snow, even though I know you don't want them. And more prayers that your surgeries will be successful. There, don't you feel all the love hovering over you?"

No. I am just struck by the thought that you are hellbent on violating my wishes, and I would ask you why you do such a thing. If you believe that the eternal creator of the universe is more likely to heal someone because you, Jane, ask him to--which strikes me as a rather absurd notion--then ask away, but don't tell me about it. As Christ said, "Pray in secret." I don't like being so stern with you, Jane, because I've known you a long time, and I like you, but don't ignore my wishes and then suggest that I should feel loved because you did so.

Snowbrush said...

Zuzana, my far distant love whose life is one of beauty and poetry, thank you.

Putz, thank you. You see me as I would like to be seen--as I think I deserve to be seen--and that's a gift, my friend. I now love you.

Julie, thank you so much.

Kay said: " each day it becomes, what my late daddy would call,'more truth than poetry."

You know, that sounds good, but I'll have to think a while on what it means. I tend to think of poetry AS truth--subjectively, at least--so this contrast of the two intrigues me. Perhaps, it's simply a matter of hav having different definitions

KJ said: "i know i said something harsh to you months back that i'm sure you still remember..."

My dear, I don't have a clue what it was. I'm not a person for whom forgiveness comes easily UNLESS I trust someone's intent, and I do trust yours. Otherwise, I probably would remember. I am aware that I say things that alienate you for a short time, but then the same is true in the other direction, although I don't remember specifics.

Elephant's child said: "I view tears as toxins - sometimes there are lot of them that simply have to be expelled."

Interesting. I suppose I think of them as cleansing waters rather than toxins. Of course, they're also a source of major nasal congestion.

Phoenix said...

This is beautiful, if I may say so, beautifully written and beautifully expressed, which feels odd for me to say, because a lot of it is you expressing the amount of pain you're in, and it doesn't feel like that should be beautiful.

One of the last sentences you wrote in this post was that you found it hard to care. Of course you were referring to the drinking but doesn't that sentiment just sum it up so perfectly?

It is so incredibly hard to care sometimes. And yet you do, with grace, and strength, and courage, and a sense of humor.

I wish you well, Snow. Always.

Friko said...

I can't work out when you wrote this post and I've never visited you before, so you may not be looking here again. (I don't know what the two statements have to do with each other but they sounded right when I wrote them).

What I want to say is that this simple post touched me like few have recently. Everything in blogland is fast and flash and furious, lots of pretence, lots of showing off, lots of boring rubbish too.

Yet here I find a simply written post about a simple event and I am there with you, you and Peggy are here with me and my Beloved. This is what it's all about.

I'll probably change my mind tomorrow.

For now, best wishes to the two of you, may it all come out well in the wash.

The Elephant's Child said...

Just checking. How are you both? Hoping (big time) that you are better than the other day.

Snowbrush said...

Child said: "How are you both?"

Hey, thanks for asking. Peggy is doing fine except for her cast itching. I've been to bed three times tonight, but despite a narcotic, a sleeping pill, and a relaxant, I can't get to sleep. I saw the doc 14 hours ago, but still don't have a definite date for my next surgery. I'm hoping for April, but it could be May. My spirits are pretty good though. They cycle up and down, and of course they're lowest when the pain is at its worst. I'm actually doing pretty good though.

All Consuming said...

I'm glad you have each other, even if you are both in pain, you have a damn good relationship and at least you can both empathise about feeling so grim. A big hug to you both, somewhere that doesn't hurt so much xxx

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Snowbrush .. lack of sleep is so frustrating .. or not being able to get it ..

I do hope you can get in in April .. and that Peggy can find a knitting needle to do some scratching!

My thoughts .. but glad to read .. the words 'pretty good' .. all the best Hilary

rhymeswithplague said...

If Peggy had shoulder surgery, I recommend that you not have yours done until she is out of her sling. She's going to need a lot of help for a while, both personally and around the house, and if both of you have arms in slings at the same time it could pose a real problem.

Snowbrush said...

Thanks, Michelly, my shelly.

Hey, Hilary, yeah, I'm hoping for April too. Otherwise, I'll be recovering largely on own because Peggy has two trips planned. She was also out of town soon after my last two shoulder surgeries. I tell her that she's callous even for a nurse, but the truth is that these were important trips that had been planned long in advance.

Rhymes said: "If Peggy had shoulder surgery, I recommend that you not have yours done until she is out of her sling. She's going to need a lot of help for a while...and if both of you have arms in slings at the same time it could pose a real problem."

I had TWO major shoulder surgeries on the same day, and I was chopping wood with a broadaxe that afternoon, so I expect just as much from Peggy No, sweetie, it's like this, see, Peggy had surgery for D Quervain's Tenosynovitis. She can't lift anything and has her arm in a cast, but it's only for ten days, although full recovery will take six weeks.

R. J. said...

Congrats! You've won an award at
http://reetjann.blogspot.com/2011/03/ah-shucks.html

Robert the Skeptic said...

Sunday I came home from 23 days in the hospital - it was similar to being in prison and I get anxious when I think back on it.

We think of hospitals as places of repair and healing; well sort-a. The nights are the worst, never able to sleep due to noise, interruption, light. I had only two nights with no "roommate"; four of those who I shared a ward with listened to Fox News 24/7. Ear plugs helped me to survive.

Anyway, I hope Peggy can spend the minimal amount of time in the hospital as possible. For me, coming home was the closest I will ever get to heaven.

Looking to the Stars said...

Snow, postive thoughts go out to you and Peggy for fast healing. When it comes to pain I think each of us tries to get thru it the best way we know how. Hang in the there and take care :)

Vagabonde said...

I am not sure when you wrote this so I do not know if you had your surgery. If you had I hope everything went well and you don’t have pain anymore. I also hope that Peggy is doing well. I know it’s not easy to talk about pain and illness, but when our bodies get old, they are like cars, and some of their parts don’t work as well or need replacement. I am waiting for some good news from you on both of your health.

Snowbrush said...

Robert, I very much dread my own hospitalization for all the reasons you mentioned. My best hope is that Mark (my doctor) can get me a private room, and that they'll keep me so drugged that I won't notice my surroundings much.

Vagabonde, I posted this on March 18 (the date is to the side under "Blog Archive). My next surgery is in three weeks. I'm sure I would be more scared if I were facing a firing squad, but it would take something about that drastic to do it.

christinerobinsonvoices said...

hi

sadness

love

compassion

(why is there not an anonymous identity?)

Snowbrush said...

Why, Chris, long time, no see. So glad you dropped by.

dana said...

Another post please!! I keep checking back to find out how things are going!

Snowbrush said...

Dana, I started a new post today (in my head) while mowing the lawn. I'm in a great deal of pain right now --both in my shoulders and in my back--plus I'm rushing around frantically to get ready for this surgery I've got coming up, and so I haven't been online much lately. Thank you so very much for thinking of me though, lovey-dovey.

rhymeswithplague said...

I think of you all the time, but you don't have to call me lovey-dovey....

dana said...

Snow, I finally figure out what is wrong with my shoulders and clavicle. They've turned into accordions. When I wake up (a LOT) I'm laying on my side and I swear, my shoulders have collapsed into my collarbone. We just bought a new, expensive, bed for me...and I love GOING to bed. I just can't take the pain much longer. I just hate to have to revert back to sleeping on the recliner. I feel like a money wasting weenie.

Snowbrush said...

I screwed this response up so badly that I'm going to give it another go.

Rhymes said: "you don't have to call me lovey-dovey...."

Of course not, honey, you're my little pumpkin strudel, and I think of you a lot, certainly more than you know. Just yesterday, I was anticipating another religion post, and my first thought was that I hoped it wouldn't alienate you. I'm going to write what I'm going to write, but it sure would hurt me to lose your friendship.

Well, I know I screwed up my response to Dana too, but I can't find it now....

Dana said: "I feel like a money wasting weenie."

Oh, Dana, I know what you mean. I'll be moving back to Peggy's recliner after my surgery (I've spent 5 months on that thing over the last two years), and I hate it, partly because it is a recliner, and partly because my feet hang over most uncomfortably. Yet, I don't want to buy another one, although more so because we don't have space for it than because of the money. I do think a lot about getting a hospital-type bed so I could raise and lower it during the night, but I would have to get rid of the bed I built and love. Also, a hospital bed would be expensive.

Dana, have you ever had Neurontin? When I become absolutely desperate for sleep, I take a few those things, and they absolutely knock me on my butt. They're far better than the many narcotics I've tried, and they're also far better than any sleeping pills I've had, and I've had six different ones. The downside of Neurontin is that it makes you hungry, and it makes you feel like a moron the day after you take it. You even dream that you're a moron. In one dream last night, I wanted to write down my name and address for someone, and I couldn't get it right. Then it hit me--in my dream--that if I was too stupid to write my name and address, my verbal conversation probably wasn't sounding any too intelligent either. Now that I'm up, I'm struggling to write this.

dana said...

The pain eases in the recliner, since I can't move to my side. I'm a side sleeper. We got an ULTRA SOFT bed, so that I couldn't feel my joints when I'm on my side. (hip bones and shoulder) but still, I wake up collapsed between my shoulders and the pain is unbeleveable (as you know). We thought of a hospital bed, but that feels like the "last" move...much like HOSPICE, and the recliner is cheaper and it works. I just started feeling so alone and isolated at night. And, after a pain filled night, I don't want to feel stupid the next day too.

I take xanax to GET to sleep, and painpills to STAY asleep, but the pain comes right through the pills. It's now affecting both rotator cuffs and I can't lift either arm - at all. Gee. Sorry for unloading all these complaints, but it's past bedtime: I'm SO sleepy...but putting it off until I'm near exhaustion.

Snowbrush said...

Dana, I know all about the benefits of a recliner. I have found ice packs to be more effective than narcotics (the two make a good combination though). What I use have a blue liquid inside, and they are large enough (about 10x14) to drape over my shoulders. I keep four of them in the freezer, so I can swap out during the night. I would strongly suggest that you try them. The brand name of mine is TherapyGel, and they are made by Calder International (calderaintl.com phone 888-581-1200)

I don't know--or don't remember what your financial situation is in regard to medical care, but torn rotator cuffs do pass a point of no return, so if surgery is an option for you, I would love to see you take it. If the torn cuffs are the only problem, you will probably do okay. I've had both of mine repaired, you know.

As for getting a hospital bed, it doesn't have to look like a hospital bed. I think the nicer looking ones are just called adjustable beds, and if that's what you need in order to sleep, it would be step away from hospice rather than a step toward it. Dana, I feel for you. You know I do. I would have to hate someone quite a lot to see them go through what you and I do everyday of our lives. The only good thing I can think of to say is that I do have hope that I will get through all this, and may the same be true for you, dear.

Chrisy said...

Hey dear boy...a damned fine piece of writing here...thank you...I've just put a song up on my blog post...and thought of you and Peggy among others...