Thursday, January 14, 2010

Caregiver/patient mixup

Let's clarify. I am currently supposed to be the caregiver and Walter is the patient. Yesterday I went off to the hospital for my therapist and then my visit with Walter and my injection and additional visit with Walter before getting a ride home late in the day. Well that was the plan. And what is the saying 'the best laid plans...'

Well it started off that I did get a ride to the hospital and went to my therapist. I also got to visit with a friend who volunteers there and grabbed us coffee before getting to Walter's room. Where everything started to change. First the doctor had changed his mind and said he could come home late in the day yesterday. So I called and arranged our transportation with my sister. Then we played scrabble (as I am the good caregiver and concerned about entertainment) and went for a walk (as I am the good caregiver and concerned about exercise). He ordered his lame lunch a plain turkey sandwich and broth and I went to the cafeteria and had a yummy salad before my injection.

I went to my injection - any big needle they stick in between the bones of your spine really hurt no matter what they tell you and how much local they use. Then there is the lovely sensation of steroids and artificial cartilage being injected as well - but we will just forget about that pain shall we as I might have to go through it again, its a memory best repressed. I had to hang out for about 15 minutes before being escorted up to Walter's room to get him ready to go home. That's when the problems started.

As the nursing assistant escorted me to the elevator, I started to feel some mild, to moderate, to severe pain in the back of my right thigh - they had injected my right SI joint. I ignored it and said I would walk it off. These things happen after injections. Well, it got worse, the nursing assistant noticed my funny faces and said she would call back down after we got to his room. The answer was bring her back down in a wheel chair to reevaluate her. Great. So she went off to find a wheelchair which she couldn't find. So I hobbled back down.

Tried to walk for the nurses, said ow, ow, ow. They called the doctor and he prescribed percocet. After half an hour, and phone calls up to Walter's room about revised logistics, I tried walking again and it still hurt. And sometimes while sitting I felt the pain as well, while sitting still. So another call to the doctor and more percocet. Then the doctor came to visit and recommended a day of taking it easy, ice and tramadol (my friend). He also said that this is not that unusual to have the pain as it is the steroid working and it was placed near the nerve.

Finally they said I could leave. In a wheel chair. More phone calls up stairs to reconnoiter with my sister and husband (who was not in a wheel chair even though he had surgery) in the lobby and I would be brought back up in a wheelchair. My sister got the car and then we were on our way home.

My sister was extremely helpful and cooked dinner while I sat on ice. She even took Walter back to the pharmacy to get his prescription filled. Then she stayed but left early. We went to bed at 8 pm. This morning we are 'discussing' who will make coffee and breakfast. The answer is today I made coffee but it will be his turn tomorrow. I will cook him breakfast and make soup this morning. But first I need my pain meds. Triple Grr. I wasn't supposed to be the one back in the patient role. Its his turn. I was kind of liking it, not being sick.

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