Pain, with a drug induced fog. That’s how he’s living now. It’s going to be like this for at least six weeks. I can’t explain how frightened this makes me. Pain is one thing. I can relate to the pain. I can’t relate to the drugs. Hard core narcotics. Those frighten me, but oh my god, they are necessary. Pain is what you get when you saw through your muscle, tendon, and bone, with a power tool. Stupid freak accident.
“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Newton’s First Law of Physics
That’s how power tools work. They stay in motion until something makes them stop. I don’t know what made the tool he used stop, but I’m grateful it stopped when it did. Surprisingly, there was very little blood. He missed his femoral artery by one inch. One. Stinking. Inch. That’s a blink of an eye measurement. He’s lucky.
“If the femoral artery is cut, a person can bleed to death – in a matter of seconds or a few minutes.”
The surgeon said his tendon is hanging on by a thread, as is the rest of the bone. He won’t be able to put his foot down or bend his leg for six weeks. And that’s just to let the bone heal. He still has to allow the muscle and tendon to finish healing. We all know it takes longer for soft tissue injuries to heal. I hope he remembers that as the days turn into weeks, then turn into months.
We’re on a weird schedule. Medicine, food, sleep. Ah, the medicines. Two types of pain killers, anti-blood clot injections, antibiotics, and a couple of other things.
I’m not a nurse. I only play one at home.
The schedule helps me manage his pain, helps him rest, and gives me a few moments to myself. Sleep for me is elusive. I sleep with one ear open, in case he needs something. It’s a crazy schedule — for both of us. For now, it works.
There have been many firsts these past few days.
First (and only) attempt up the stairs, on crutches, to the bedroom (because the bathroom is also upstairs). Frightening and highly stressful, but successful.
First time up and to the bathroom. He made it there and back to bed without incident.
Yesterday was a huge day of firsts. First bandage change, first shower – him in a chair, me, fully dressed, in the shower, with a dear friend holding his leg outside of the shower. First time I left the house for a bit, and first real feelings of helplessness. I am grateful for friends who understand the helplessness and offered their help. For once, I am accepting of it. For once, I admit, I cannot do this alone.
Yesterday was also a first for patience. Of which I lack. Big time. I’m learning as we go. I don’t have a choice. He needs me to be patient while he heals. I need to be patient not only for him, but for me.
A month ago I was living in San Francisco. After I moved back to the Farm, I mentioned to a good friend that the “Universe” has me right where I’m supposed to be. There’s a lesson here somewhere.