Posted in His Days (about the husband), Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction

Sam The Wonder Dog ~~~ An Update on the Husband

Hello Folks!

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.

Sam, the art of a loyal buddy (c) JLPhillips 2013

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!






I enjoy reading, writing, and painting. I love animals and at present have one dog (Sam) and 2 cats (brother and sister, Notwen and Pouncer). I've lived in various places in the USA and now in Canada. I've always enjoyed watching life and people and have developed an appreciation for it all. My outlook is sometimes out of the normal.... but that's what makes things so interesting! I am always interested in the opinions of others. Everyone has their own outlook and it's always worthwhile to listen!

42 thoughts on “Sam The Wonder Dog ~~~ An Update on the Husband

  1. I’m very sorry you are going through this. My Mom had a stroke last year that basically turned her from a woman in her early 60’s to one in her late 70’s. It’s hard to deal with what a stroke can do to a healthy person, let alone someone who already has a history of mobility issues. Best wishes to you both in getting through this…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bill. A stroke will do that to a person. They are evil. It’s like your brain is against you. It’s sad to see what the husband is reduced to now. But, we keep fighting the good fight.


  2. I’m sorry to hear of the new struggles you and your husband are enduring. He has had a time of it for so long. Two strong fighters, though, thankful you have each other, and for your steadfast spirit.


  3. Its a tough gig you have to deal with Jack and sadly I think it gets tougher as time goes on but you have the right attitude and I know you will do all you can….take care…


        1. I am getting help. I had to call home care. They will come out and help bath him and see what else they can help me with. I know I can’t do it all on my own. Although I did try….but again that’s who we are……

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Good you are getting help. My dad when he was recovering from his stroke had ladies coming in to bath him, he never complained, in fact he looked forward to the attention… never know R might experience the same??


  4. Dogs are amazing animals. Good for Sam! He deserves lot of treats. 🙂
    It seems that both of us are going through some heavy shit, Jackie. We are two tough chicks, for sure. Try to keep up with your own self-care…it’s helping me a bit, be kind to ourselves because life is fucking hard. ❤


  5. The idea that you are doing all this alone is ludicrous. When the last husband went though all his stuff and was falling a lot, he had 2 daughters, a grown granddaughter and their significant others all there to help with him. I would not have been able to do what you are doing. I get his frustration and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Strokes are just mean! Sam is a wonder dog. So insightful as to understand what is needed. I know what this is costing both of you. Just not fair. Giant squishy hugs. Best I can do.


    1. I have asked for help from the government. I have a nurse that will come and help with his baths and other things. He will be getting therapy soon if they think he can handle it as it’s kind of intense. We shall see. As we know, Marlene, life isn’t fair. We’ll do what we can in the meantime. 😉 Big hugs back. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jackie, you and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers. My parents both had strokes so I know what you are going through. It’s not easy, and I feel for you. Try to take care of yourself, too. Extra treats for sweet Sam.


  7. I am happy you are going to get help, Jackie. It is a very difficult situation and nobody, however strong, can manage alone. Dylan thinks Sam is a hero ! Love and hugs 🤗


  8. I know what you mean. I was fortunate to have a caregiver for my husband as I’m in India and my money goes farther. He’d broken his hip and didn’t want surgery. He was in his 80’s. Toward the last, my husband had weakened to the point he fell twice on the way from the bathroom–with the caregiver’s and walker’s help–and the couch in the front room where he slept. We got him up with the help of a handyman. I then rented a hospital bed and we used pull-ups for him. I’ll pray for you both. Your dog is truly a hero and so are you. —- Suzanne


    1. Thank you, Suzanne. My husband does have a walker, he just doesn’t use it like he should. He’s learning he needs to. Here’s hoping to better days.


  9. So sorry about everything. I understand how hard it is for you both emotionally and physically.
    Why don’t you try some alternative medicine instead of sleeping pills? There are plenty of herbal products rich in vitamin B, Melatonin etc. which are needed for good night’s sleep, like Natural Sleep On.

    Try different teas too, esp. those proven to have sedative properties like chamomile, valerian, lavender, peppermint, balm tea-by far my favorite/good for the heart and blood pressure as well.


    1. We’ve tried other stuff other than sleeping pills. He was using Melatonin for a while but that quit working. Teas aren’t strong enough. But, thank you for the suggestions. Appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have nth to lose, right? Besides, conventional sleeping pills often come with a bunch of undesired side effects. I figure, why take a prescription drug to relax your muscles when there are quite a few natural relaxants.
        I’ve been in terrible pain so I’m not guessing; I’m talking from my experience.
        Lemon balm is by far my favorite.
        Take care.


        1. Oh, I agree. Nothing to lose by trying and I enjoy my lemon balm tea myself. It just doesn’t help him as his pain is so intense all the time. He needs something stronger. I’ve tried various things with him as he takes so many medications as it is, but so far, nothing has worked except sleeping pills.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Your husband is strong, you are stronger. I’m so sorry you are living with all this – perhaps you need to recruit some friends (male) to give you a break one day a week?
    If I lived closer, I’d help!


    1. Thank you, Noelle. I will be getting some help from home Care nurses. So I will be having some mini breaks. Also, thanks for the offer of help! I know lots of my internet friends would help if they could. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jackie, I am so sorry for both you and your husband. I know how frustrating it is to not be able to care for yourself in situations like falls it’s damn frustrating but it must be even more so on you watching your husband and trying to be there for him.


    1. He is one stubborn man and has tried to do too much for himself when he can’t. He learned the hard way to accept help. It’s been better this last week or so as I get some help during the week and we have a ‘new’ normal established now. Routines help a lot in times like this I have found. Thanks, Lois.


      1. I’m glad you are getting some help and a routine is helping. I think most men are like that. My grandfather got to where he couldn’t mow he own grass but would let my boys do it for him. One day the boys weren’t around and I offered. He insisted I couldn’t do it. I did all but one little patch behind the garage when he came up behind me and shut the mower off. I’ll never forget what he said at that moment. He said “told you you couldn’t do it all” I shook my head and simply told him I’d bring the boys the next day to finish it. 🙂


        1. That was kind of a mean thing to say to you! Men are strange creatures. The husband is getting better but I’m glad he is still trying to do things himself. Keeps him motivated. 😉


          1. I’m glad the husband is getting better, that’s great news as I know it has to take a toll on you too.

            I have thick skin. 🙂 No, seriously I understood. He had developed diabetic neuropathy and had trouble just keeping upright. It bothered him, the strong man, to be so limited and here I was the baby born with MD and wasn’t supposed to live not alone walk being able to do what he couldn’t. I understood him because I have always struggled with letting others help me when hitting my limitations. We were two peas in a pod.


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