You never know what is going to happen one day to the next. You think you know, and generally you’re right. Our lives change all the time—babies grow up, children leave the nest, etc., and we adapt. And then WHAM!! Life as you knew it changed. It doesn’t necessarily mean a tragedy—it could be winning the lottery, your novel was accepted, or you got that dream job.
The “wham” for me and my husband happened January 21 when he fractured his right fibula. Fortunately it was not the weight-bearing bone and surgery was not required. Bob had polio seventy years ago when he was twelve and he was paralyzed waist down for a month or two. Therapy and a determined spirit enabled him to have a normal life until these last few years when his legs have gradually weakened due to post-polio syndrome and normal aging.
The fractured leg, post-polio weakness, and Alzheimer’s are a triple whammy for him. After three and a half days in the hospital, two weeks in rehab, and now eight weeks in a skilled nursing facility, he is still in rehab. We have the hope that he can return to what he was able to do before he fell. His world and life for two and a half months has certainly changed—three different rooms, different therapists, nurses, aides, food, routines and more confusion.
While Bob was in the hospital and rehab unit, I spent nearly twelve hours a day with him, leaving for lunch, an occasional errand, and my breathing treatment. At night I had about an hour and half to eat and do anything I needed to do about the house before I hit the sack at nine and got back up at six for the day to begin again. No TV except for news. No time for anything,
With the move to skilled nursing, I spend about five hours (divided) a day which gives me much more time to keep the home fires burning. I haven’t had time for writing, art, or genealogy. Recently for the first time since January I actually watched a movie. So now this is becoming my new life, and I am adapting.
I have described the physical changes in my life. There have been mental and emotional ones, also. I can’t help but think of the future and what that may mean to me/us. We’ve been married nearly fifty-nine years—that’s a long time to share with someone. The house is empty, no one to have conversations with. I was already CFO (Chief Financial Officer), but it feels different now. I feel fully responsible, not just for finances, but everything! Everyone reminds me to take care of myself. Right now all I am managing is plenty of sleep and walking 30 minutes when I can. These are my feelings. I can’t imagine what Bob is going through. He is dealing with memory loss which must be very frightening, plus he wants to come home back to his old life.
An unforeseen blessing in this life change has been the abundance of love shown by friends—prayers; many visitors for Bob and many hugs for me. I have learned to accept help and even ask for help. I feel closer to God because of my frequent prayers for strength, patience, guidance, wisdom, and the knowledge of His love.
Our lives changed January 21, 2018.