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Days You Don't Need


BansheeOne

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7 hours ago, DougRichards said:

Hello Stefan.  Yes I visit her nearly every day, except when she is having a procedure under anesthetic.  She is suffering from recurring infections, her kidneys and liver are in very poor shape.  The doctors have said that they will make her as comfortable as possible, but the infections mean that she is not always aware of just how unwell she is.  We pray together when we can.  Other days she is just so in the grip of delirium that I cannot stay and talk with her, she is just too demanding.  The doctors have advised that if she stops breathing resuscitation will not be attempted. 

And today I get a call (Sunday - so regular doctors are not on the ward) to talk about an albumin infusion.  Yes, she needs blood products infusions just to delay the inevitable.

I am planning her funeral already, a simple cremation and then a remembrance  at our normal Sunday service.  In the Anglican Church in Australia we regularly have baptisms to greet the newly born into the faith.  Our minister has agreed to have a short commemoration of my wife's life as part of our normal Sunday service.

My wife's name is Dagmar, yes, northern European in origin.  Her 'father' was British, part of the occupation forces in Austria at the end of WW2.  Her mother was Austrian, at a time when there were few young Austrian men left in the vicinity so she sought a suitable partner.  Her father and mother (well, the person she knew as her father) came to Australia so that he could serve with the Australian army in Korea and after.  Unfortunately the 'father' and mother were both deeply damaged people, and Dagmar's childhood was not a happy one.   She and her siblings suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse.  She was once thrown across the room (when she was five) into a wall so that she broke her collarbone.  An army medic treated her so that the authorities would not know about it.

Her 'father' (she was actually the result of an affair of her mother's to get pregnant) was sent to Maralinga, to work where the British government tested atomic weapons back in the 1950s.  So much dysfunction.

I can only be grateful that I may have lead her to Christ, as there have been times when she has been sorely oppressed. 

We do not have children but I am closer to my wife's nieces than their own mother, who suffers from schizophrenia as a result of abuse (the nieces' father passed a few years ago so I am the older responsible male they know that they can call upon) and their uncle who has a couple of acquired brain injuries (a screwdriver embed in his skull for example).  So even when my wife passes I will be close to two wonderful women (40 and 42 years old ) and their children as family.  I have already let them know that I will be available for them and their children if needed).

Yes, that is how it is. 

 

I am truly sorry Doug. I can't think of anything to say without it sounding banal, but we are all here to listen of you need to unload.

 

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Doug, you know that she will be going to rest with her Lord.  We are not told to deny the grief but to look past it to the time when He will dry all the tears of our eyes and we will be separated no more.  

My heart goes out to you, but know that there will be rejoicing in the end.

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Am back home and putting in a pajama day after all the excitement. Brother #2 collected me from the hospital yesterday and also translated the preliminary medical report, which reinforced the case for surgery - while the images I saw only indicated one piece broken out of the shoulder pan, apparently there were in fact several, which were fit back together with a plate and three screws. They also cleared out an intra-joint hematoma and a cartilage flake.

Post-surgery position of fragments is "good", which according to my brother is not the top grade, but good enough I guess. Have been referred to an surgical/orthopedic practice licensed for work accidents.  I have to wear the annoying orthesis for six weeks, though physio is to start in two already since shoulders seem to seize up quickly if not used. Release for all activities after 13 weeks except no overhead or contact sports for six months, so my punching bag will collect dust.

Doug, I'm very sorry about your wive. I gathered from your posts over the years that she has always been a troubled person, and seems she's now nearing the end of her road. I know from family that losing partners even from taxing relationships is hard. An uncle of mine had a marriage like that which I always had the impression he more endured out of a sense of duty to his vow rather than enjoying it; though I guess love must have been involved at one time, they never had kids either.

His wife had health issues and unhealthy habits, plugged the doctors in the extended family for prescriptions, etc. Yet it hit him hard when one day he came home to find her dead on the kitchen floor from a burst throat vessel; in the obit, he referred to her as his "comrade in life" who had accompanied him through decades of military postings, many abroad with NATO. I think what most got him was that he never had the chance to say goodbye. At least you have that opportunity.

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Collected the CD with x-ray and CT images from the hospital today, with much waiting at tram stations etc. And when I returned home rather wasted, the same thing was in the mail, too. Somebody obviously thought I'd forgotten about it. Oh well, so I got an extra copy to hand around. Looking at the assembly in my shoulder, I'm sure that'll last.

Reduced painkillers on Monday and quit them on Tuesday, since they weren't doing anything against the upper arm muscles and shoulder base protesting a little after transitioning into the vertical with the arm fixed each morning, and I wasn't really feeling anything else. Though after carrying a somewhat heavy shopping bag over the healthy shoulder on Tuesday, the surgery wound on the opposite side itched quite a bit. Getting the orthesis on and off when changing clothes etc. by myself while keeping the shoulder as still as possible is a little fiddly, but rather manageable with a bit of practice; overall I get by alone just fine. First post-op appointment tomorrow.

Accident questionaire from my employer's insurer arrived yesterday, from the police today. The wheels of German bureaucracy are turning slowly, but surely.

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5 hours ago, Markus Becker said:

... remember Churchill next time: No sports! 

...and as so often, he lied about that too. ;)

Churchill was quite the avid sportsman in his youth, actually.

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On 10/26/2020 at 9:47 PM, BansheeOne said:

oug, I'm very sorry about your wive. I gathered from your posts over the years that she has always been a troubled person, and seems she's now nearing the end of her road. I know from family that losing partners even from taxing relationships is hard. An uncle of mine had a marriage like that which I always had the impression he more endured out of a sense of duty to his vow rather than enjoying it; though I guess love must have been involved at one time, they never had kids either.

 

Thank you, yes, things are not easy, but there is a little joy at times.  We have a little 10 month old cat - well a kitten, or a catten, that my wife wants to spend time with.  That I can understand.  It may help here transition to living in aged care a little easier. I just have to be able to organise that visit or two with the medical people.

My joy came from seeing that little young cat sitting alongside a pigeon on our back steps.  Yes, the two of them being alongside each other, about 15cm.  The cat sniffed the pigeon, the pigeon moved easily away.  Later in the day I saw it happen again.  Either the cat thinks she is a bird or the bird thinks she is a cat. 

The point is: from the book of Isaiah:   Isaiah 11:6-9, 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

If a young cat and a pigeon can sit with each other, then there is more than hope for a future paradise, another Eden.

Meanwhile I have been working on my wife's funeral service.  Having to choose music.  The first choice is for a piece when people enter the chapel.

This is what I have chosen:  It is 'Our Father'. or 'The Lords Prayer' in Swahili.  Of course the service notes will explain that, but my wife has never been into inspirational music.
But this is a celebration.

Thank you again.

 

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1 hour ago, DougRichards said:

Thank you, yes, things are not easy, but there is a little joy at times.  We have a little 10 month old cat - well a kitten, or a catten, that my wife wants to spend time with.  That I can understand.  It may help here transition to living in aged care a little easier. I just have to be able to organise that visit or two with the medical people.

My joy came from seeing that little young cat sitting alongside a pigeon on our back steps.  Yes, the two of them being alongside each other, about 15cm.  The cat sniffed the pigeon, the pigeon moved easily away.  Later in the day I saw it happen again.  Either the cat thinks she is a bird or the bird thinks she is a cat. 

The point is: from the book of Isaiah:   Isaiah 11:6-9, 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

If a young cat and a pigeon can sit with each other, then there is more than hope for a future paradise, another Eden.

Meanwhile I have been working on my wife's funeral service.  Having to choose music.  The first choice is for a piece when people enter the chapel.

This is what I have chosen:  It is 'Our Father'. or 'The Lords Prayer' in Swahili.  Of course the service notes will explain that, but my wife has never been into inspirational music.
But this is a celebration.

Thank you again.

 

You reminded me of something I saw on youtube this morning. Sort of a valuable lesson for our times really.

Im glad she seems to be comfortable Doug, I think thats about as much as any of us can hope for towards the end.

 

 

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Boyo, what a couple clicks in the wrong place can do. 😲

Back from the post-op appointment at the surgical practice. Doctor pronounced the wound looking good; x-ray check and drawing of what will remain of the threads in a week, then I'll probably be back on the job. He advised to take the arm out of the orthesis and swing it a little sometimes so the joint capsule doesn't shrink too much even before physiotherapie starts. My brother pointed out that not every therapist is good at shoulders, and to check the recommendations I got for that. Overall I'm very satisfied at this point.

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On 10/29/2020 at 12:50 PM, BansheeOne said:

He advised to take the arm out of the orthesis and swing it a little sometimes so the joint capsule doesn't shrink too much even before physiotherapie starts.

Have given the arm some light use twice for an hour or so each day since Thursday, since I need to take the orthesis off for changing between day and night dress, washing etc. anyway; typing right now that way, since in my one-fingered hacking style I generally use my left hand to press "shift" only, so sling or no sling doesn't matter. 😁 An immediate result was that the stretching pain at the shoulder base in the morning went away. I'm not to lift the arm over 90 degrees, turn it outside or put stress on it, but it gives note beyond 60 degrees already or when you lift more than a piece of tableware, so there's no incentive to do that either.

The only lingering effect I notice is that the outside of the upper arm still feels numb. The doctor said it was probably due to some swelling and would go away, though it feels more like unused muscle. Frankly even if the feeling stayed I'd exchange that for a fully functional shoulder joint anytime; it would simply become the designated area for future injections. 😁

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X-ray check on Thursday. The doctor was momentarily confused as the images made it look like the screws had been placed in the joint itself, which you apparently try to avoid, but allowed that it was probably due to the depicted pane. Turns out he hadn't looked at the images from the hospital I had brought at the first appointment, and when he tried to access them in their system they didn't work. Luckily I had put a selection on Dropbox for family perusal and was able to show him intra-op pics on my cellphone, which confirmed that assumption.

First day back at work yesterday. I had aimed at seven rather than the usual eight hours (not including the common overtime), but even though my office workstation is more ergonomic than my desk at home, it turned out to be quite a slouch towards the end with the orthesis taken off most of the time. Luckily this was immediately followed by the weekend, and I think I'll go for six per day next week. Our head of print, whose second sentence after some perfunctionary well-wishing has been "when will you be back?" or "I urgently need this today" throughout this will just have to deal. 😁

Went to the much-recommended physiotherapist on the street of our office for an appointment, but she is so busy she only could give me an initial appointment for the 25th. Took it anyway after asking whether she could refer me to a colleague, but she said it was the same with everybody she knew. She put me on a stand-by list in case any earlier slot opens up though. Much quicker work with the lawyer also recommended by a colleague to handle any claims; am to show up there on Monday. Still haven't heard from the car driver's insurance three weeks later, so off to the legal system it goes.

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Sure enough, while I saw the lawyer on Monday afternoon, the physio practice called, and I have now had the first two appointments already. The therapist in the first session was very satisfied with range of movement, so I seem to have done things generally right. Except for the muscle pain following treatment I feel better already, though that's probably mostly psychological. The lady today said by way of encouragement that the really mean stuff is yet to come. 😁

Lawyer said my written statement to police was much too detailed (there's a surprise 😋 ). Seems you should never state you assumed others to abide by the rules, as it could be construed as sharing some of the fault by being complacent or even provoking accidents. Well I guess lawyers need to earn their money somehow. 😁 

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On 11/11/2020 at 1:03 PM, BansheeOne said:

Sure enough, while I saw the lawyer on Monday afternoon, the physio practice called, and I have now had the first two appointments already. The therapist in the first session was very satisfied with range of movement, so I seem to have done things generally right. Except for the muscle pain following treatment I feel better already, though that's probably mostly psychological. The lady today said by way of encouragement that the really mean stuff is yet to come. 😁

Lawyer said my written statement to police was much too detailed (there's a surprise 😋 ).

911 dispatchers hate me because I know how to provide a detailed report and I know they are recording the call anyway.  

Seems you should never state you assumed others to abide by the rules, as it could be construed as sharing some of the fault by being complacent or even provoking accidents. Well I guess lawyers need to earn their money somehow. 😁 

Gasp, not being suspicious.  Totes your fault, brah. 

Cobra Kai, my friend, no mercy, not even to yourself especially. 🤟

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My wife is getting more comfortable in care. I took our young cat on a visit yesterday, which helped her relax. Soon, after C19 testing, she will be able to mix with others, and the palliative care team is visiting next week (for both of us). I will take the young cat in once a week, and the other older cat in once every four weeks or so.
 
The staff are great, the cost won't be easy but will be manageable. I am hoping for some government assistance (not total of course, just a little to make things a bit easier). Not complete socialism, just enough so not to be crippling in a civilised sort of way.
 
My major problem is to deal with the idea of me having just have a little (honourable) joy in my life whilst anticipating my wife's death. I will do what I can for her, but do I need to torment myself each day over this and not smile sometimes?
 
Am I living in a situation with Schrodinger's cat?
 
The young cat:

 

bubbles 1.jpg

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25 minutes ago, DougRichards said:

My major problem is to deal with the idea of me having just have a little (honourable) joy in my life whilst anticipating my wife's death. I will do what I can for her, but do I need to torment myself each day over this and not smile sometimes?

You have no obligation to be unhappy at all times. That you feel uneasy about it is normal, but I don't think that there is a convincing reason for it.

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Im glad she is comfortable Doug.

If you can, try and find a small dog at some point in the indeterminate future. Its helped me with my fathers death. That and getting the little bugger out for a walk I find has done wonders for my mental health, to mention my waistline. If you get a small one, not only does it not want to go for a long distance yomp, the cats can boss it into line and perhaps wont feel as threatened.

On 11/11/2020 at 7:03 PM, BansheeOne said:

Sure enough, while I saw the lawyer on Monday afternoon, the physio practice called, and I have now had the first two appointments already. The therapist in the first session was very satisfied with range of movement, so I seem to have done things generally right. Except for the muscle pain following treatment I feel better already, though that's probably mostly psychological. The lady today said by way of encouragement that the really mean stuff is yet to come. 😁

Lawyer said my written statement to police was much too detailed (there's a surprise 😋 ). Seems you should never state you assumed others to abide by the rules, as it could be construed as sharing some of the fault by being complacent or even provoking accidents. Well I guess lawyers need to earn their money somehow. 😁 

Glad you are feeling better too.

Re Lawyers, my uncle was many years ago in front of a court over the nature of an accident. He was asked by a smart alec lawyer asking a loaded question whether was was paying unusual due care and attention to driving that day.

Not at all said my uncle.

The Lawyer smelt blood. 'Do you mean, you were NOT paying care and  attention that day?

Not at all said my uncle. He always drove paying due care and attention, he didnt need to make an unusual effort. Even the judge laughed. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Banshee, it is clearly infectious. :D

I have dislocated shoulder today. Luckily no breaks and doctor has set it back, so now I "only" have to rest for about 3 weeks and then go to physical therapy. :(

Edited by bojan
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