Back among the living: Chapter Two

August 10, 2017 — Leave a comment

When we were released from St. Frances, I fell at least 2 times coming into the house from the garage during the next few days. I am told that I fell two or three times in the bathroom.

Now the fun begins.

I am told I was setting at our dining room table and just fell out onto the floor and was unresponsive. Linda called the big house for help, I believe because she thought I was dead.  The head nurse, Montel, responded and was at the house in less than five minutes and  took over my care – from taking vitals to asking if I knew what happened.

After about two hours it was agreed I need to be taken to a rehab facility for my safety and to give Linda and Chris some rest and relief from the constant worry about my care.

I do not remember that move or being in a room in the big house.

I do, however, remember being in a wheel chair in a hall way with no idea why or where. Soon, it became apparent I was among a large number of “end of life” patients. I knewit must be night out because they are taking them back to their rooms and finally I am the only patient left. Now, I have also have determined that I am in the “big house” and even when I see someone I recognize they never speak. I remember seeing 3 or 4 firemen coming down the hall getting into the elevator and I watch a neighbor get out of the elevator and walk right past me and never said a word.  By now I am getting very confused and managed to start moving around in the wheel chair. I really got yelled at for that! I don’t remember being taken to bed.

The next thing I remember is Linda and Chris coming into my “room” and telling me we are going to a meeting with the floor staff. I don’t how long I was on the third floor before this meeting but I remember being pissed about what I considered poor care.  I remember being told that I was where I am because of a Flu epidemic in the rehab unit and as soon as that cleared I would be moved. I do remember being testy about the way I was being treated because I was not an end of life patient and did not appreciate being treated like one!

I do remember being readied to go to a Drs. Appointment when a nurses aid came into the room and said ‘”you can’t leave here looking like that. I need to shave you.”   And she did! I have no idea what happened the rest of that day.  I don’t remember being moved to the rehab unit and have no idea of how long I was on the third floor.  But, I do know I don’t ever want to go back there.

Not sure when but during this time on the third floor I continued chemo and radiation for my cancer and my memory and interaction with others continued to decline until Linda took me to St. Frances for a chemo treatment and as usual they take blood samples and then when the results are back you see the Dr. before receiving the chemo infusions. According to Linda I was totally unresponsive to Dr.Ikhlaque’s questions and he began questioning my behavior for the past few weeks. Finally Dr. Ikhlaque looked at all the drugs I was taking and discovered that one of my prescriptions had been changed to at least 12 times the previous dosage. That drug combined with the morphine I was taking for pain was having its toll on my brain. Orders were given to stop giving me the two drugs. Linda says the next morning I was almost normal. Not, but close! An aside; the visit before this one I had asked the Dr. When will we know that the pain in my back is gone.  And he said; guess we will have to take them away. Guess what? No pain that Oxycodone didn’t help as needed. So I guess Dr. was right.

I was in rehab for 57 days and except for the few days mentioned I don’t remember anything until the last 2 weeks. I know Linda and the kids were there every day and I had a visit from my stepson Christopher, from Louisville and a visit from my stepdaughter, Lisa from Denver. Which was probably more for mom than me but it was nice and Linda needed it.  My granddaughters, Brooke and Sidney, were also there several times. Also, there were visits from church friends and a few neighbors and those visits meant a lot to me even though I may not have shown it. The one person who ranks right up there with family is your preacher. Pastor Evie Stuart, Tabernacle Christian Church. Her visits and prayers were, if I may, life savers.  The love she has for God and Jesus and her parishioners is an amazing example of what Jesus meant when he said, “Love thy neighbor as thy self.” Thank you Pastor Evie!

If I may, one thing that I missed for about 8 months was being in the Church.  The Tabernacle Christian Church was built in 1903 and remains today a prime example of early 20th century architecture. From the very first time I was in the sanctuary I felt the spirit of God and I feel that spirit every time I am there.  It was the 1st Sunday in this July that Linda and I went to church. In addition to all the handshakes and hugs the spirit of God was still there. That spirit, that feeling of God’s presence in that room was over whelming.  I have to say that I firmly believe that Jesus was and continues to be with me every step of the way. If that were not true I would not be here today.

In rehab my brain/memory was slowly recovering. I remember trying to say the Lord’s Prayer, I could not get all the words. It took almost a week for me to remember all the words. I remember a great feeling of accomplishment.

 

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