Back Again - Need Encouragement

Julie_MI_Z5July 9, 2006

Greetings to my long lost friends!

I disappeared for a while, I'm guessing about the time hockey and basketball and track seasons overlapped, followed by gardening season. LOL

Now I'm here just BEGGING for encouragement. We were coming home from vacation on Fathers Day and got a call from our DS-19 (who we let skip the family trip) saying he "hurt his leg". The hurt leg turned out to be a broken leg, followed shortly thereafter by surgery for bone grafts and plates and screws, followed by 5 more days in the hospital, followed now by 8 weeks non-weight bearing and 3-6 months for recovery. So... my life has been upside down lately, I'm NOT meant to be a home nurse, he's a terrible patient, and I'm stressed to the max. The house, of course, shows it. (The house, by the way, is now cluttered with medical equipment that we can only HOPE the insurance company will help pay for--DS will be living with us instead of at school for the rest of the summer and I can't walk through the living room.)

VERY basic routines are about all that's left. Finally got back to work part of last week but now I'm more exhausted and never getting a full night's sleep. I can't tell you the last time I felt this overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. It was 2 weeks until I got my suitcase unpacked. I'm definitely losing my mind.

Now then.... any hints on organzing my home?? Or my life? My sanity? LOL


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Hugs, Julie. It must be like having an newborn in the house with the constant needs stuff. That's terrible that he got hurt so bad! If I remember correctly, you pretty much do most of the household jobs.

Sanity first, I think. Time for a family meeting and divide up the work load. The lack of sleep is a killer and the DH is going to have to take some shifts here. How about DS son's friends? Would any of them be willing to come over and camp on the couch for a night or two and let you get some sleep? Now is the time to call all of those people who say "Give me a call if I can help." and give them some jobs. Going to the store, etc.

Other DS should be able to keep up with the laundry. Have him do a load a day. I don't remember if he's old enough to drive yet? If so, then hand him a list and send him off to the store. Stock up on paper plate and plastic cups to cut down on the dishes.

I know at 19 they tend to act like babies, but if everything is set up for him, can't he take some pain meds, etc. without any help? Being a terrible patient is his choice and I'll bet he wasn't snippy with the nurses at the hospital. He can try a little harder to appreciate what you are doing.

I'm sure you've done the obvious by canceling any volunteer stuff. If you haven't set up a small notebook to keep track of medications, therapies, treatments, etc. it would be a good idea to have all of that information in a central location which you can easily transport to the dr. with you.

Have your DH do some calling to the insurance co. and see if they will pay for any home health care. If so, take advantage of it! It's not just for old people.

Let people help you!!!


    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 7:37PM
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Thanks for listening to me whine! I feel better this morning. You have pointed out some things that ARE going OK. Laundry and dishes are easy to do since that's just ingrained in my basic routine... I swear I do both in my sleep. All volunteer stuff cancelled and my calendar is up to date. I have a medical folder with his name on it ready to go at a moment's notice. I can tell you every pill he's taken and when (no he couldn't do his own pain pills because he wouldn't wait the specified time and he wouldn't write them down). He is now pain free and finally off narcotics, which I swear made him grumpy.

Yesterday was a better day and I did get rid of some of the clutter build-up. Eliminated a lot of paper, gathered up medical supplies together. Finally got the plants planted that have been sitting on the porch for 3 weeks. I have a pile of bills and a list of phone calles to take to work to deal with at lunch.

OH! You lost that bet... The orthopedic resident and the physical therapist both told me it was normal for someone his age, who was very physically active, to feel anger and frustration after an accident (this was after he got upset and threw us all out of his room). We left DS alone at the hospital one night for 5 hours (it was, after all, the middle of the night!) and he had a dreadful nurse. He was all riled up by the time I got there at 7:30am and had had her boss in there trying to get the nurse fired. LOL Fortunately the day nurse was one he really liked and she calmed him down.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 6:25AM
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Oh how horrible! I had a nasty broken ankle 2 years ago (1 plate, 13 pins, but no bone graft!) and recovery was horrible - I know that I was a nasty grouch to my DH for several weeks at least.

My DH had to go back to work pretty quickly, so I was on my own and had no one to wait on me. Honestly I don't see why your son needs constant care now that he's off the narcotic pain killers. DH set me up with a cooler each morning - snacks, drinks, lunch. I had a wheelchair, crutches if I felt up to using them, and a computer chair that I rolled myself around in (it could get me through the bathroom doorway while a wheelchair won't fit). I lived on the couch for at least the first 6 weeks, leaving the house only to go to physical therapy. I had a bag I put around my neck when I was moving around the house, kept a phone in it in case I fell and it helped me carrying things while using crutches (a book, a canned drink, stuff like that).

Hopefully he can get some of his friends to visit him, it was hard being cooped up even at 20, I can't imagine how penned in a 19yo would feel. One other thing that helped is DH got the computer set up on the coffee table so I could use it while propped up on the couch - definitely helped me feel connected to the world!

Good luck!


    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 3:50PM
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poor kid, and poor you!

It sounds as though the worst is over, however--You'll find you bounce back better than you think. Just as you've realized you're more organized than you thought.

Just be sure to get enough sleep. EVERYTHING is easier when you're well rested, even living w/ a mess.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 4:33PM
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Jena--It's the ankle vs. leg that makes a difference. You could probably bend your knee, he couldn't until this week. He was quite unstable on crutches for almost 3 weeks, walking with the good leg's foot on tip-toe and the bad one in a hip to ankle brace with an unbent knee and 8-10" of stitches. He got the OK to adjust the dials on the sides of the brace to bend the knee some, and he's getting back enough movement with the leg machine that he can move his leg on his own (before we had to be there to lift and hold the leg for him to get in and out of a wheelchair). The electrode zapping machine the doctor sent to the house is supposed to be working his muscles. Too soon to talk about physical therapy.

Talley Sue--You're right, I'm NOT getting enough sleep. Maybe this week.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 8:43PM
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Good news... I'm still not getting enough sleep but I'm definitely more relaxed this week. I've got a very long to-do list, but I find comfort in lists: so much easier to prioritize when I can see the big picture and not worry about forgetting something.

AND I'm on vacation all next week and staying home to catch up and get the boys where they need to go. DH will be out of town so I'll have a week in a clean house (he really is a slob).

AND I had totally forgotten I'm having a garden party here next Tuesday night. LOL Fortunately I've got other people doing all the food so I pretty much just have to show up. LOL Oh, and maybe I should tidy up the garden!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 9:17PM
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Good grief you don't need encouragement--they should nominate you for sainthood at the garden party.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 1:41AM
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Sainthood? A straight jacket most likely. Okay, here I was feeling bad for you and you're having a party!! Have fun. Nothing like not having to do the cooking.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 4:13AM
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In my defense, the garden party date is set a year ahead of time. LOL I remembered it when someone told me how much they were looking forward to coming this year. Oops. Sure enough, there it was on my calendar.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 5:53AM
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