Since Duane has returned home, he has improved enough to take back some of his responsibilities including managing his at-home pt, taking care of our immediate financial responsibilities, informing family and friends of his progress, and managing his personal hygiene. Since he is still very physically handicapped and still taking pain medicine on a regular basis, my jobs are varied and many.
As his pt coach, I set up his inside work area, keep count of the time of each exercise and the number of reps, and help decide which ones are most important and must be done. I also hand him the props he uses in some of his exercises, and assist him with bending and stretching his legs and in standing up when he needs it. I accompany him on his outside walks.
As his nurse, I manage his medications, helping keep his am and pm meds separate, and remembering which pain medicine is which and when he took it last. I also help with his ice water packs when he asks, keep his glass filled with ice water, and make sure he is comfortable when he is resting.
As his personal assistant, I remind him of his appointments, and make sure he gets to them in time. At home I fetch and carry such things as the computer and anything he needs to work on computer, make sure his electronics are charged and at hand, and make sure he can reach things he needs.
As his nutritionist, I keep him well-fed with delicious nutritious food.
I was prepared for all of these duties when I picked him up at the hospital, but I also realized that we would both need some “me” time and prepared for that too.
While Duane is occupied with napping, tv, or electronics, I try leave him alone in the room. I go outside and walk, or go to the park library and work on the current jigsaw puzzle. Inside I go to the back, close the door and read or write in my journal.
We are both looking forward to the time when Duane is able to sit comfortably with his knees at a 90 degree angle. Then he can spend more time in the back at the computer table, and watch cable channels on tv, and I can sit on the comfy couch.
By the way, yesterday I said that today was his surgical follow-up. My mistake, that appointment is tomorrow.
Louise and Duane