So the saga for my brother-in-law continues. Of course it does, I’m a caregiver.
He had surgery yesterday. Finally, after 12 weeks in rehab of staying in bed with a shop vac on his behind to suck the wound into a better place. I don’t know, that’s what they tell me. It’s actually called a wound vac…but it’s a mini shop vac that stays on the wound 24 hours a day to help the healing process.
My Mom, a nurse from the ’40’s says all they really had to do was keep that wound clean and dry and open to the elements. That’s what Rosie the Riveter nurses used to do and it worked fine. Of course, because his wound is on his bottom he would have had to be lying on his stomach for 12 weeks, with his derriere on display for the world to see. So I’ll take the shop vac method. Plus, if he takes home the vac, maybe it can double as a Dustbuster.
Surgery is a resounding success. The only downside is he cannot be in a sitting position for 4 to 6 weeks. I know. Maybe solitary confinement and water-boarding would be more pleasant. But what are you going to do? The problem with these damn bed sores is that they don’t heal if you don’t stay off of them. And ironically, as bed sores, you can’t stay off of them easily if you are, well, in bed, which is where they insist he stay.
So, now the protocol is that he must be lying on his side or flat on his back at all times.
My brother-in-law is an engineer. He’s actually a rocket scientist as he worked in that industry.
His first question is:
“How do I eat?”
This drives me crazy.
Not only is it not rocket science and he is a rocket scientist, he can’t figure out how he’s going to eat.
By the way, his engineering brain wants to kill me every time I have to do something with his wheelchair or tray table and I can’t figure out the best engineering way to handle it. I’m actually on his side, when he yells at me. I am NOT an engineer. I have no spatial skills whatsoever. I can’t play pool because I don’t get it. Physics eludes me. So when he is trying to explain to me how to turn the tray table around the OTHER WAY so that the feet don’t bump into his cath bag, and I just keep shoving…well he wins the frustration game that day.
Back and forth we go the caregiver and the caregivee with our remarkable skill sets and loss of patience for each other’s nincompoopery (I’m absolutely positive that’s a word in the caregiving lexicon).
So when he can’t figure out that he will have to lie on his side and chew and swallow the best he can, and have as many milkshakes as nature will allow to keep his calories up, and that we won’t starve him. He will have help like he’s always had these last years, well I want to …………..say a prayer of thanks that I can help. (Not really but I wanted to look better than the jerk I am in this moment).
“You Just have to Laugh…..”
©2015 Cathy Sikorski