You’re probably wondering about the title of this post, eh? I know it’s kind of strange but all will become clear soon.
As many of you know, my husband had a stroke about three weeks ago. After battling cancer and a bad back, now this. He’s had a rough five or six years. He’s one tough man. Although I think he’s met his match this time.
The stroke left his right arm and hand almost useless. Which for him is very frustrating as it’s, of course, his prominent hand. At the best of times, this is a man with very little patience. Now, oh boy, he’s frustrated as hell.
We learned when he was in the hospital that this is actually his third stroke. He has had two prior ones we didn’t know about. This last one also occurred in the exact same some spot of the brain as the last one. I don’t know how that works on the brain with strokes but it was my understanding this one on top of the other is not that common.
Leave it to him to be different.
It’s also usual to have a stroke and then have the opposite side of your body affected. Again, the husband has to be different. The strokes all happened to his right side of the brain and affected the RIGHT side of his body. Most unusual.
I’ve noticed some changes in his personality since the stroke. I would guess this is normal. They are a bit subtle but there nonetheless. After his stroke, the doctors changed his pain meds. He was taking oxycodone. Now he’s on Hydromorphone which is derivative of morphine. It actually seems to work better for him.
When I brought him home last Friday I thought I could handle it. I figured it wasn’t going to be much different from what it normally is. I had to do pretty much everything then, I figured how much can it change? Oh, how naive I was!
I have to dress him, help him eat (usually just cut up big pieces for him) and other, personal things. I won’t go into detail. Just let’s say his personal space is no more. Sigh.
It’s damn hard. On me, mostly. Especially when he falls, which he has done three times last week. The most recent one was this morning. At 3 am, I finally broke down and called 911 as I knew there was no way I could get him up off the floor by myself. He fell outside the bathroom which is a narrow hallway. He is too weak to help much. His legs don’t want to work right and without his one hand and arm, well forget it. He wasn’t getting up.
The other times he was in the living room and I could maneuver his walker to him so between the walker and me we got him up. That was not going to work this morning.
This is where Sam, the wonder dog comes in. Now, Sam is just a little guy. Weighing in at about nine pounds, ten at the most. He sleeps with me in my bedroom, always has. My bedroom is on one end of the house. I keep my door closed as I can’t sleep if I hear the tv. Which for the husband has to be on 24/7. I also have to sleep in a cold room with a fan going.
The husband has a bed in the living room. Which is right next to my bedroom. Unfortunately, I still cannot hear him if he falls. Sam lets me know when the husband falls. Which is strange because the husband has fallen before he had the stroke and Sam never let me know. But now, he wakes me up. I think he realizes it’s more important now then it was before. As before the husband could usually get back up himself and him falling happened rarely.
Even when he fell in the hallway this morning, Sam woke me up. He is my little hero. I walked out to the living room and noticed that the husband’s bed was empty. Sam took off to the hallway so I knew to follow and that’s where I found the husband. Poor man, he’s kind of banged up on this one. He has a cut over one eye and bruises.
He managed to take his walker to the bathroom but for some reason decided to try to get back to bed without it. Didn’t work well. Down he went. He doesn’t remember how long he was on the floor, just knew it had been a while.
There is, however, a tiny little ray of hope in all this. I believe I have found the main reason he has been falling. It only happens in the middle of the night. And only when he takes two sleeping pills. So……I did a little experiment this past week. For a couple of nights, I only gave him one sleeping pill. (Much to his disgust). Those nights he DIDN’T fall. He managed to get up, go the bathroom and get back to bed in one piece. Last night he insisted I give him two sleeping pills. He fell.
No more two sleeping pills a night. I even talked to the home nurse yesterday and she agreed with me, that it was possibly the sleeping pills that are making him fall. As far as I’m concerned, last night proved my theory.
My gut told me this was the case, I always listen to my gut.
So this has been our life lately.
As for me, personally. I’m tired. I’m more than tired. I’m exhausted. But, I will go on and do what I must because no one else is going to do it for me. The husband is a good man, whose had a bad run of luck on his health. I will be there for him.
That’s the least I can do.
As for Sam, he got an extra treat today. Good boy, Sam!