Posted Nov 30, 2012
Latest reply: Nov 30, 2012
Ms Stress's Progress
Posted Nov 15, 2012
About 8 weeks since her accident and she's progressing well. She's driving quite a lot and asks me to accompany her not all that often. She has more mobility of the upper body, though not without attendant discomfort.
The drain hole (punctured lung) is causing problems and she's more concerned and seems surprised, about neck stiffness but I'm not surprised as it must have been quite a thump she got (journal 2011 Oct 11).
T, the driver, was in court the other day - a production line affair, mumble here, mumble there, judge looks down, pauses, "Fine, 9 months ban, Next". No problem with the fine, that's fine... we think 9 months a bit long though, considering it was a known bad junction - third serious accident in 12 months and road works to improve it within weeks of this incident. Still, T's main concern was the compensation. Some for the other driver, some for Ms Stress and Ms Stress's "is far too little for what I did to her".
They (T & hubby) are insisting they take us (both) away for a break when both are mostly mended - and we don't know what to say to that, other than "Not necessary". Perhaps I'll insist on "You bed us or you feed us - not both"
Latest reply: Nov 15, 2012
Posted Nov 9, 2012
Ms Stress is now driving and has been out a couple of times on her own, though on chosen routes at chosen times as she still can't turn head, shoulders, waist very easily ( the ribs of course - and the drain hole for that punctured lung is slow and still causing problems). Still, she's very much better and is doing most things around the house, although slowly and carefully with some.
We've had a pretty poor spring season so far. Not, thank goodness, like some places around the world though parts have had some serious stuff thrown at them. It has been well, British-style weather, just plain miserabubble. Cold, overcast, rain (rather more than usual) and all-round discouraging.
This morning was bright and clear and what caught my attention was the sun coming through the trees soon after dawn - it was well to the south of east, with not so far to go now before turning back in December (21st) as it's movement is starting to slow down. That will be our Summer Solstice, your Winter one. Just at the moment, early evening (5pm), the sun is still warm and there's no wind though what airflow there is means it's getting cool in the shade. One of those lovley days that cheer you up.
Latest reply: Nov 9, 2012
Being a Carer part II
Posted Oct 13, 2012
Ms Stress is coping well. Well, that is, as viewed from the outside - stoic, persevering with mobility. Underneath though, if you know the signs, things are not quite so straightforward.
She's getting around the house and doing bits here and there. She walks doglet most days - maybe 1/2 km to the park then sits while doglet has her stretch, scratch and scamper. She (Ms Stress) wants to drive but is wary and I've forbidden it (oh yes) until she can move left arm and leg, twist & turn without overmuch pain.
Anyway, to T (the friend she was with at the time and who was driving):
As I mentioned, she was sent home after about 24 hours (hospitals need the beds) and my initial assumption was that she wasn't so badly injured as Ms Stress but that was too easy - a misguided assessment. Though not having external injuries, she is very badly bruised internally and has several haematomas (blood blisters) which cause discomfort and will take time (months?) to disperse.
Naturally enough, she is full, full, full of guilt - thought at first that she'd killed Ms Stress and could say nothing to me without fulsome apologies. I think and hope that I helped take some of the sting out of that aspect but it won't fade much for some time yet, if ever.
One of our concerns was getting her back to driving. We've been telling her to do so as soon as she can - before her court case (November) where she expects a few months' ban. But she has driven. Today, for quite a few tens of km.
The junction where the accident happened is notorious. Flat country, wide vistas to the mountains, two good roads crossing. Road signs? Yes. Crystal clear? Not really. There's a line of trees that can unsight you - and presumably did, as T crossed one lane, turning to join the other and was hit at an angle, partly from behind, by a courier van driving at 'highway speed' (80 -100 kph).
Yes that junction is notorious. This was the third serious accident in 12 months (no saying how many lesser ones there have been) and there had been much encouragement for the council to 'Do Something About It'. That something has since been done and it's notoriety should now fade (just an island at each side which will serve to emphasise that there's a junction). Most people wanted a roundabout but this is simpler, cheaper and will suffice.
The newspaper reports said that 'two elderly ladies' were taken to emergency. Oh dear - perhaps that hints at what they both thought of newspaper reporters!
The police got there of course and called the fire brigade (to cut Ms Stress out). T was taken to hospital by ambulance. Luckily the sponsored helicopter wasn't very far into its flight to Kaikoura and took Ms Stress, thus saving at least some blood loss.
While Ms Stress was in hospital, I became most impressed by doglet's capabilities. She and I had several serious man to dog talks which gave me reassurance enough to not fall apart. The cat however, kept her own counsel.
Latest reply: Oct 13, 2012
Being a Carer
Posted Oct 10, 2012
Journal 2012 Oct 11
Reading benjaminepmoore's series “I couldn't care less”, brought to mind – again – my feelings of awe and respect for those who spend much of their lives caring for others. It also brought to mind – again - recognition that I am just not that sort of man.
No. Not that sort. Until, nearly three weeks ago...
Ms Stress, my wife, was out with a friend, T, for a bit of shopping, a coffee or two and of course a bit of a yatter. Come five o'clock and I'm thinking “Oh well, they do chattalot”. At six, I'm beginning to wonder. Six thirty, I'm thinking “Best phone the police”, when an incoming 'phone call “This is T's son...”.
Driving to the hospital in Christchurch (some 40km, 25m), desperately trying not to rush, getting lucky by easily finding a parking space, keeping calm and carrying on to be directed to the cardiothoracic ward and there she was. Doctor delving into her head, his tweezers seemingly halfway into the cut... sewing her up, four sutures and the fifth not holding so the superglue will have to do.
That was Friday evening. Drip tubes, drains, what have you on the stand which she pulled around with her like Mr Magoo from, I think it was the Sunday. I took her home on the Tuesday evening. Four broken ribs and 'some bruising'.
So I'm a carer now, with three week's experience.
I've surprised myself. I'm not as bad at it as expected... but then again, with luck, it's for only a few months and a (so far) quickly reducing workload, as she is determined not to sulk.
The experience has reinforced that awe and respect.
Latest reply: Oct 10, 2012