Hope or Hopeless

I’m am ‘hoping’ that this latest two set backs that Rich has had are only that. Setbacks. This morning things hit a snag of sorts.

He discovered that he had ‘dribbled’ or leaked all the way from the bedroom to the bathroom. I was busy making coffee and hadn’t realized it. Morris who is the aged Jack Russell did, I guess he kept trying to tell me…”Check on him!” He kept pacing back and forth. He’d go to the bedroom and stare at Rich who’d gone back to bed and then come and stare at me and whine.

The worst possible case scenario happened just after Christmas when my Kenosha Gang folks showed up. They are a married couple who used to be my 4H students. They have kids the same age as a couple of my Grandchildren. When Rich had his stroke in May they started coming each month to work on the farm as free labor, help with some of the leftover work for remodeling, or do fencing. No questions asked. Their visits have been very good for Rich, he looks forward to them so much.

Everything seemed fine on the 30th. So the Kenosha Gang and I planned a Sunrise Club photoshoot to celebrate the extreme cold and the New Year. When we got back Rich hadn’t gotten up yet. This was odd since he was always up by at least 8am.

I went to check on him and woke him up. He seemed to know who I was but wouldn’t say anything to me. He kept closing and opening his eyes as if he were somewhere else. For a moment I thought I saw panic in those eyes.

Then. I smelled it. I reached in under him and found him wetting the bed. No. Yes. It was happening. I asked him if he knew what was happening and demanded he get out of bed. I grabbed some towels and my Gang knew by the look on my face that something was happening. Rich seemed aware yet unaware of what happened. When he finally got into the bathroom where I cleaned him up he seemed horrified. There were those moments in which I asked myself…Call an Ambulance? It was New Yrs Eve Day. I had kids and company, and Rich shook his head NO.

My Kenosha Gang asked me if they should leave. They obviously felt that perhaps they were an intrusion. I said no. If something really bad was going to happen, I’d like them there…for the animals? For me? I didn’t know.

Daryl and I changed the bed and he helped me rotate the mattress so I could get a fan going. The Gang went to town and purchased a pad. They have no idea how much comfort they brought to me.

So two weeks later we have another incontinence issue. This freaks Rich out. Totally. He sat at the kitchen table this morning and was prepared to ‘give up the ghost’ so to speak. He said he couldn’t deal with this.  I pointed out that we had dealt with this before when he’d gone through throat cancer and chemo. It really didn’t help. This was the now. He’d committed the worst of the worst.

He was no idiot child who wet the bed or couldn’t control his bladder. I mentioned that indeed it was worrisome. Easy for me to say..says he.

Me:  I need you to help me with the chores.

Him: No.

Me: Why?

Him: I need to lie down.

Me: But…

Him: I need to lie down.

And it dawns on me. He doesn’t want to think about his body failing him. And I wonder, is he having mini strokes? Incontinence is something that happens when the brain fails to communicate with the nerves in the bladder.

Back to me. Okay me… you have to learn to run his skid steer. You have to figure out how to do all of this on your own. He seems like he doesn’t care if he is checking out.

Yet, I don’t want that to be.

So I take the hound dawg for a walk. Mr. Morris sleeps on the couch, Rich sleeps in bed.

And I walk with Dixie to find hope in a snow storm.

 

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