Thursday, September 24, 2009

Injured in the Line of Duty, but Recovering at Home

My friend, Marilyn C, had agreed to help with my care as I recuperated at home from my recent surgery. Since I was discharged from the hospital just three days after my knee replacement, I knew I would need help. (Don't make the mistake of thinking that a knee replacement is like an arthroscopic surgery. They are worlds apart!) Even people at the hospital said to me, "You live alone, and you're going home without help?" I assured them that would not be the case. Marilyn planned to check in on me several times a day, and my Sunday school class would bring in meals for me three times a week.

For the first 36 hours I was home, things went exactly as expected. But that all ended on Wednesday morning. Marilyn had just fixed breakfast for us and was cleaning up the kitchen. She opened up the dishwasher, and forgot she had done that. She tried to cross the kitchen and ran into the dishwasher door. I heard the sound of her hitting the floor from my bed. When I called out to ask if she were okay, the sound of her voice told me quickly that she was not. When I shuffled out to the kitchen with my walker, I found her lying on the floor on her right side. I asked if she could get up.

"No, I can't move," came the reply.

I immediately thought of a broken hip since she was on her right side. A call for emergency workers brought them in a hurry. Scans in the hospital revealed that the hip was not broken, but her pelvis was--in three places! All because she was trying to help me! As you can imagine, I felt terrible.

In retrospect, I think I recovered much more quickly than if she had been here. While others came from time to time to check on me, especially our mutual friend, Thelma, I was forced to do more than I would have done if someone had been here most of the time. When the therapist came, I had to go to the door and let her in. When laundry stacked up, if no one called to ask if I needed help, I had to do it myself. When it was meal time, if there was no one here, I had to pull things out of the fridge for a meal. It forced me to push myself more than I probably would have if Marilyn had been with me.

Meanwhile, Marilyn was in the hospital for about five days and then transferred to a nursing facility for rehab, from which she was discharged a week ago today. I still haven't seen her since that Wednesday morning when she was injured in the line of duty. I continue to feel sorry about her accident here, but am thankful she is recovering at home. One of these days, I'll get over to see her I trust. And in the even more distant future, we'll both be up walking around without difficulty, I pray.
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Mother/Grandma Sharon said...

Warning: If Marilyn's dishwasher door is open - STAY OUT OF HER KITCHEN!

Susan said...

Read "Five People You Meet in Heaven." The first chapter (I think) has such an awesome description of the man right after he dies ... he realizes he is moving freely with no pain, leaping, jumping, etc. - it's not necessarily a Christian book, but I just loved the feeling he evoked of what it will be like someday to be unencumbered by our bodies. Get well wishes to you and your friend!