If I had any illusions about my condition, they were questioned once I got home. I had no trouble getting to the toilet in my hospital room but it was five feet from my bed. At home it was down a hall that felt fifty miles long to me.
I couldn't make the trip down and back without hanging onto the walls. I would shake from exhaustion for several minutes before it would subside. Then I would fall asleep from sheer exhaustion. Not really what I had envisioned when I'd longed to be home.
In the morning I would join my family in the living room spending my time mostly sleeping on the couch. I didn't get up except for those necessary trips to the bathroom. In the evenings I would drag myself back down the hall to bed. It took everything I had to accomplish that. That's pretty much how those early days went.
I weighed somewhere around 120 lbs. I was so boney that sitting or laying hurt until fernvalley reminded me that pillows like I had used in the hospital would prevent bed sores. I have gained weight but I am still using those pillows. I've worn out a couple of pillows cases and have killed at least one pillow but I totally avoided those bed sores and that feels like a big accomplishment.
At first the dressing changes were daily. Dave was the one doing all the work but I was usually falling asleep as he laboured over me. I remember wondering how sick must I be if the simple task of a dressing change exhausted me.
I didn't really want the answer to that question. I was sicker than I wanted to acknowledge but there were times I realized I was not out of the woods yet even though I was home. It was too disheartening to think about often but the reality was hard to deny when my life at home was not much different than that in the hospital.
I was too exhausted to dress and too exhausted to eat. Most nutrition was in the liquid form and sometimes I would fall asleep before the glass was empty.
The nurses regularly coming and going kept a stoic front not wanting me to be alarmed at their reaction to my condition. One would later admit his fears for my safety upon seeing my wounds for the first time but I never would have guessed his concerns.
I figured I must be well enough to be there or I wouldn't have been allowed to come home. I probably had more faith in the healthcare system than it deserved but that belief kept me insulated from a truth too overwhelming to fathom. I had to believe that I would be on my feet soon and I sure didn't want to accept how vulnerable I was but there were those out there just waiting for an opportunity to strike.
To be continued....