You’ve probably all heard the common complaint: “All I did was reach into a bathroom cabinet when I felt a sudden pain slash through my back.” Or, “I was just getting up out of my chair when a jolt of pain hit me.”
In my husband’s case, it was a hard sneeze that brought on the surge of pain in his lower back. He went through numerous drug trials to no avail; the pain only worsened. Before long we had to contact 911 and have him admitted to the hospital.
In case you’re wondering why I’ve been absent from this blog for the past couple months, it seemed only right to touch base with you, my faithful readers, and explain. The hospital trip referred to above was only the beginning of a multi-month-long ordeal. During that time, my spouse was kept flat on his back and allowed only a couple of short strolls accompanied by a new friend—a walker. It was all he could do to stand at a sink and wash his hands or find a comfy spot in the hospital bed. As a result, that meant a long visit to one of our local therapy “resorts” for assistance.
That also meant more running for yours truly. I’m one of those people who must be there. (I think it was implied in the “for better or for worse” portion of our nearly 60-year-old marriage contract.) But being Johnny—or Mary—on The Spot paid off. It actually allowed me to see for myself the types of therapy my spouse was receiving and the progress he was making. In addition, I could stay on top of his medications, as he also has a heart condition and a pacemaker.
By the end of his “tour of duty,” he had gained a hard-shell back brace constructed of rigid plastic to help keep his backbone compressed. As cumbersome as the brace was, it did help him walk better. But then we learned that patients with pacemakers were not to wear such devices, so we switched to another type of brace that’s been more helpful.
Now that my spouse is back home and making a little progress, I can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s been a long haul, but that’s what we do for someone we care about. For better or for worse . . .