Friday, January 7, 2011

January 7, 2011

Jim and I had a consultation with Dr Wenzel. She is his spinal cord doctor. We saw the first MRI taken of his spine. The spinal cord was already compressed at C2-C7 because of bone spurs caused by arthritis.

He fell from the toilet and landed face first. It was a freak accident. If he had fallen differently, he would be up and walking as usual. Because his spinal cord was already compromised, that little fall was enough to further compress his cord and cause paralysis.

Jim asked the doctor if he would ever be 100% again. She said that it was highly unlikely. Possible but not probable.

She said that he will probably need to stay at the nursing home for 2 to 3 months. She then will reevaluate him. If she thinks that he has regained more movement, especially in his hands, then she can try to get him readmitted to TIRR. At that time they will try to get him more functional. She said that meant training him to do his own catherizing and bowel program.

This, of course, is not what we wanted to hear. He says that he can't give up hope and will keep working hard to get better.

Tonight he stayed in his chair through dinner. I put the fork in his wrist support and he was able to eat a small bowl of vegetables. The therapists say that the brain responds better to function over just exercise. So, raising the fork to his mouth may lead to better hand control.

I went back to Manor Place today. I thought I'd asked all my questions. Then the doctor said to ask about intermittent catherizing or the use of a foley. Usually nursing homes use a foley catheter. His nurse said that I really should go meet the nursing staff.

Next week I plan on spending the night at the hospital so I can learn how to do his bowel program. I don't trust the nursing home staff to do it consistently.

As I write these words I look around at my pretty family room and all our pretty things. We worked hard on putting this house together to be our home. I always thought that if I had to move again, at least I would have Jim to help me. Now, I think that the 3 of us will have to move to a senior living community. I need to weed out our "stuff" and select just the important things. I'll have to give up my studio. If Jim regains the ability to use a computer he will have to have room for an office so he can work.

It seems like an impossible job ahead of me. How can I possibly find us a new apartment home, dispose of most of our things and sell this house - all by myself?


Anonymous said...

Have heart, Joanne. Have faith. God will help you through this crisis. I pray that you will have a miracle in your life.


Anonymous said...

We keep praying for you both, Joanne.