Tuesday, July 3, 2012

You Never Know What's Coming Next!

We made it to Utah the second weekend in June.  It was a tough few months packing, selling, giving away, de-junking, packing, selling and giving away more.  Then we cleaned.  Well, I actually paid a woman to help with that.  I was running out of time and energy.

Made the 1500 mile drive in 2.5 days.  Got into the new apartment on Saturday. Spent time with the grand children and daughter on Sunday.  Got our PODS delivered: one on Thursday, the next on Friday.  Had some great help from Church members we'd never met before.  Had everything unloaded and crammed into an apartment 1/2 the size of the home we left behind by Friday afternoon.

Saturday, one week later:

Went to daughter's house to watch the kiddos while she made up some lost time at work.  The kids and I cleaned up their rooms and rest of the house for an hour or so while Grandpa waited on PODS driver to pick up the 2nd (now empty) POD.  He brought our gardening tools from home to help with their vegetable garden and we all started working on outside chores.

Little Britches decided he needed food (it's a VERY serious matter to get and keep that child fed!) while Grandpa was raking and other outside clean-up activity continued with the older siblings while LB and I went it to get lunch started.

Blue Eyes came in a few minutes later.  "Grandma, you need to come.  Grandpa fell down."

I wasn't sure I heard him right.  "Grandpa fell?  Where?"  That is one thing that I have never known Grandpa to do.  In over 40 years. So, you can imagine my alarm.  I quickly set down what I was working on and went to the front door and outside.  Grandpa was in pain, I could tell.  And filthy, from falling into the dirt/grass in the yard.  The part that really concerned me was that his left hand was cradling his right arm.  As soon as I could get him inside and sitting down I asked what had happened.

Called daughter--who'd probably only been at work for an hour or two--to let her know we had to get her father to the ER, which luckily is only about 1.5 miles away.  All the kids came inside and we had prayer for Grandpa.  Even the little ones recognized that a broken bone seemed obvious, though we couldn't verify it at the moment.  When a friend, whom daughter called, got to the house to watch the kids I left for the ER with Grandpa.

When getting him into the truck to transport him, shoulder dislocation was obvious, but owing to the amount of pain I could tell he was in, I knew the break was NOT good.  He was sweating profusely but wasn't due to the hot outside temperature.  He was most likely in shock and when they had him in triage, his temp was checked twice--it was so low.  How he did not pass out with the pain, I don't know!

X-rays, of course, were ordered.  When they came back with him and the x-rays it was obvious that there were fractures.  The ER physician was talking of realigning his shoulder bone into the socket, and  my husband said, "If you don't knock me out before you try to do it, I don't think I'll be able to stand it."  The doc wanted to re-position the ball back into the socket to relieve the pain.  We're REALLY glad he waited on the orthopedic doctor to come assess things.  They gave my husband his third dose or morphine before taking him down to do a CT scan.  The drugs were doing little to alleviate the pain but a great deal of making him nauseous.  Zofran didn't help at all.  The orthopedic surgeon said the ball of the humerus was fractured into about 4 pieces.  It would require surgery to fix either with reconstruction or replacement.  Then he painted a rather grim picture of a right arm that might function little to none afterwards.  What reassuring words.  He said he could/might need to do the surgery but would rather wait until the next day so that his partner--who had done a lot more shoulder repair surgery than himself--could get back to town and do it either that night or next morning.

That surgeon talked with us a few minutes the next afternoon just prior to surgery.  Said he wanted to repair the bone--if possible--because chances were better for more thorough recovery of his shoulder usage.  After surgery, when I spoke with the surgeon, he said, "Well, the funniest thing happened when I opened him up . . . one of the pieces of the bone fell out!"  So, shoulder repair was out of the question. Shoulder replacement was requisite.  He brought pictures of the x-rays after surgery.  Apparently one of the two rotator cuff muscles was completely torn away and some ligaments were torn as well, but Dr. said that he was very pleased with the alignment of repaired rotator with new shoulder piece.  Said it was exactly where it needed to be.

I'm still amazed at how my husband has tolerated the pain since day one.  The bruising, swelling, discomfort with all the trauma of the fall, fracture and surgery--I am amazed.

Saw the surgeon last Friday and he was still very please with the alignment of everything.  Towards the end of the visit he said, "So in about a year, you should be pretty much back to normal."

And so, we count our blessings and are grateful for a really good surgeon--whom we can visit just across the street from where we live rather than traveling 80 to 90 miles (one way) to see our doctors as we had to back in Louisiana!

Life is always interesting, eh?

And after we got back home from the hospital on Wednesday last week, I was amazed at how I somehow managed (with a little help from people I'd just met or never met before) to get a multitude of boxes either emptied, sorted out, moved, whatever, so that the living/dinging/kitchen areas of the apartment actually look more like "home".

Well, it's way past my bedtime and I might or might not have made cohesive sense here.  Forgive me if not.  :-)