Re: [gardeners] Re: Sunday in the Rehab Center (
Mon, 30 Jun 2003 01:38:20 -0400

Ranchmama, your message about Jim is most welcome, and thank you!

I've dropped 20 pounds from total lack of sleep and food. Jim couldn't
to be left alone in his almost paralized condition, and I could not deny
look of terror in his eyes, so I stayed glued to his side for weeks, and
do it again if needed. It took both an Aide and myself to keep him tied
in the nightime because he was hallucinating wildly from the opioids they
gave him for pain -- morphine, Percodan, Oxycodone (yes, Margaret!), 
Lortab, then down to codeine. Even the sleeping pill Ambian, set him
wild - the sugeon then ordered Benedryl, the antihystamine, for sleeping,
but the Rehab Center physician said 'Nonsense! Not if he has no rash!"
and struck it off. I have been fighting the staff with tooth and nail
single minute. 

I've managed to come home to a real bed and some sleep for a week now.
Jimmie has round-the-clock aides with which he has become familiar, so
I feel able to leave. 

The doctors didn't know that there was a broken bone in the neck for
5 weeks - they had taken Cat scans, which did not show it up. It was
my son-in-law, Gino's (radiologist) insistance that got me to arrange 
for an MRI which showed the problem clearly. The surgeon operated
instantly, but too much extra damage had been done by the regular
doctor's recommendation that he have physio-therapy. It almost
cost him his life, believe it or not! 

The current state of inability to walk and also the uselessness of the 
left arm are all due to the compression of the nerves in the neck. In
fact, he almost could not swallow any food before the operation,
because the impact just about closed off his esophagus. The operation
relieved that pressure, happily. He now has a many-level fusion
in his neck, and his future recovery will depend upon the nerves'
abilities to decompress. 

The doctors and the family are all sitting on the edge of the couch,
waiting and watching. 

Penny, NY


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