Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Update on spinal stenosis surgery

Because Lilly was asking, I thought I'd post an update on hubby's surgery in February.

You know, I think the surgery really did help the pain he was having in his lower back.  It has taken forever for him to heal.  There are huge long scars running down the front and back center of his body.  But they are healing nicely, now that it's been 9 months.  The wound that is still healing is the one on his ankle where they took the vein out for his open heart surgery in March 2010!

When they fuse the vertebrae, there is limited or no movement in those areas.  So other joints have to work harder to compensate for what doesn't move.  We were told this.  It was all explained quite clearly by the surgeon and I was present at all of those meetings and remember the conversations.  Hubby doesn't remember them.

His lower back was fused, so of course, 4 months after the surgeries, his upper back started hurting.  As did both of his hips.  But now, one of his hips is so painful that he's back to not moving.  Which means he is putting on weight.  He's probably around 280 pounds at this point.  So this weight does not help with the joints hurting either, but because he hurts, he won't move....and he just eats and put on more weight.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely not.  But then he is "special" in that all of his internal organs shut down and he needed multiple dialysis treatments to get his kidneys to function again.

Does he think it was worth it?  He said that considering what he went through and his current level of pain - probably not. But we both agreed that when you are in the moment and desperate for pain relief, you do what you think is best not really thinking that there's going to be more/different pain down the line.  I hope we have both learned that lesson at this point.

If I were to compare him to a year ago, I'd say he's worse off.  He doesn't have the back pain, but he has worse hip and upper back pain (2 locations instead of 1).   He is no more mobile than he was a year ago, but this extra year of not moving has put more weight on his body.  His A1c is higher than it's ever been.  His determination to avoid doctors is greater.  And because he's still not mobile, his depression has increased.

Would he do it again?  At this point he is saying "no".  I asked him if he wanted to start the process of getting his hips replaced and he said no - and it was rather adamant!  LOL!!!   But I have to wonder as time goes on, will he change his mind?

Of course - neither of us are going to make a decision right now.  But the less he does or is able to do, the more it all falls on me and I'm afraid it's going to wear me out over time. There's only so much one can do - especially when they become a full time caregiver for another.

But now worries - I've slept good the last 2 nights and today I'm off to work in the garage - taking advantage of a warmer day weatherwise!!!


It's a hard-knock life.....

Remember the song from Annie?  Think it's my theme today!  I'm looking for the sun to come out and trying to find the will to sing!

When he went in for open heart surgery last year, he gave me all the passwords to his accounts, so I can go in and look at his health insurance.  It's a pretty cool system.  The doctor's leave messages and the line is in bold until you open it. When opened, the bold goes away, so I can see when he reads notes from his doctors.  I never open them first.  But after those last labs, he got messages from his endo and his cardiologist.  He's read them - that's good.  He did not respond to them - that's bad.  The endo asked him to email in his glucose levels and again, I can see the notes he sends back to his doctors.

I also know that I cannot nag him to do anything.  He has made the choice to move forward ignoring his A1c as evidenced by the 2 pound bag of Reeses pieces that he has eaten this week, the pumpkin pie he bought at the store and has dived into, and the apple crisp he gobbled down last night.  He just has no intention whatsoever of getting his glucose under control.

Both emails - the doctors said they have been trying to reach him by phone with no response.  And I know there are many calls that come in where he doesn't answer his cell phone - but he makes me think it's someone at work that he just doesn't want to talk with at that moment.  HA!  It's a doctor that he doesn't want to talk with!!!

He bounces from being extremely quiet (depression) to being horribly angry (low sugar) to just sleeping non-stop.  My life just keeps moving forward.  This morning I was up sweeping and shampooing carpets.  Next I need to go do some work in the garage.  He's already upset that I'm making "noise" (he's in bed with noise-buster headsets on, his CPap running, and an eye mask on.  Not sure how he can hear anything!  LOL!!!  But I know, it's just his sugars out of whack.

And if they go low, imagine how high they must go to have an average of 243?  WOW!!!

Just another day in the life of a diabetic spouse (when the hubby is non-compliant)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is he thinking?

Today at lunch, he said that he is going to call his parents this evening and see if they will consider moving here.  What the heck???

They are 78 years old.  With more physical problems that I can begin to list.  His dad is a diabetic.  His mom is blind in one eye....and I KNOW they need help.  But he is not even able to take care of himself.....why does he want them to move here???

I know he feels guilty about not seeing them.  It's a 15 hour drive to their house.  Far away enough that this is a different climate and altitude from what they are used to.

They absolutely hate me beyond words....for a multitude of reasons.....the main one being that I won't move to where they live!

This may be a ploy to keep from selling this house and moving 3 hours from here to help take care of my mom.  If I tell him he can't move his parents here, then he can refuse to move closer to my mom.  So, I suggested that we buy a duplex close to my mom and move his parents into the other half.  Well....that would never work as it's too far from his grandkids.

The grandkids that he sees twice a year!

He is absolutely not thinking this one through.  I'm praying that his parents tell him they won't move.  If they agree, it will be the end of this marriage for sure.   I have visions of "Everybody Loves Raymond" if they agree to move!  LOLOL!!!

I suppose it could be a good thing.  If they agree to move here, then I will just up and move to where my mom lives using the same's time I take care of her.  She's 3 years older than his parents and deserves our help much more than they do.  If he won't move all of us to her town....I see no reason to stay put.

But I'm sure he didn't hear any of that in our conversation today!  So all I can do is pray they tell him "no".

I even asked him what would happen if he took a turn for the worse and couldn't help them.  He said it would be no worse for them than where they are now.  Really?  They have lived in their home for over 40 years and he wants to uproot them, move them all this distance, and thinks it will be no worse for them???

Proof he's not really thinking about anyone except himself at this point.

DW - exhausted