Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Every time I went to see him, I would see a figure which resembled a broken mannequin hooked up to machines - ventilators, IV, pick line, monitors that tracked everything from heart rate to oxygen flow. The ventilator breathe for him. Every breath, a rythmic thwop-whoosh-clunk in the quiet ICU room. All around him machines hissed and beeped. It's a sight so difficult to take in.
His recovery was extremely slow perhaps because it took them over a month to figure out that his pacemaker was infected. They thought that after they took out the bacterial growth in his spine, it will clear out. Staph bacteria is a nasty bug and Ken is in a lot of pain. Meanwhile as we wait for the staph to clear, Ken contacted another bacteria in his lungs, and since he had been lying in bed for so long he got pressure sores as well even when they have been moving him in bed every two hours. He did managed to get better after his pacemaker was replaced for the second time. He become responsive. I would talk into a microphone attached to his headphone because he had difficulty hearing and he would write his response on a white board.
His attitude seemed to change after that, and it is interesting to see how he started looking at hospitals much differently to the negative way he had looked at it before. Ken dreaded treatment more than illness itself but now he depend so much on the nurses and doctors and other hospital staffers. He now appreciate their presence and he realized that help is there if he suffers an illness and they will help him get through it.
I have been going to the big city with Ken whenever he has a doctor's appointment there, but we don't linger to go to other places in the metro, so I would say I am not too familiar with the area. At first I dreaded the thought of driving there every so often because of the traffic and the unfamiliar roads. But after over two months of confinement in the hospital, I soon learned to travel from our home to the hospital and back.
Mimi, I still worry a lot to this day. I don't know if Ken will be able to regain mobility of his legs. He had started rehab now, but starting slow because he is still very weak. It just hit me that when a spinal cord injury occurs, the life that was familiar, comfortable, satisfying and rewarding is pulled away, literally in the blink of an eye, and the life I know is gone forever. The good thing is, another way of life will start, not a life of our choosing, but one me and Ken must figure out how to live.
I am certain though that I won't let my husband spend the day wondering how in the world he is going to bear living life from a wheelchair. And those things that he were once passionate about will definitely not become painful memories of his past because I will make sure he will be able to do them again.
So, does time heal all wounds? I'm hoping that it does. Time though had given me a different perspective on how I view things. I believe, it make me more sensitive to the needs of my husband.
I am going back to the hospital tomorrow to see how he is doing.