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Rodney H.

Family & Caregiver

Our world came to an end 21 July

Debbie had a stroke, more blood clots, and another 6 weeks of being in the hospital.  Now she has a feed tube, leg/nerve pain and has to use a wheel chair to get around.  I am a 24/7 total care giver with a lost future.

My world came to an end the 21 of July 2011. I had been working out in the yard that morning and I came in around 10 in the morning. I told Debbie it is time for breakfast and she went out into the kitchen. I sat down to check the computer and I started hearing funny noises from the kitchen. I went out there and found Debbie lying on the floor. She had a stroke and was paralyzed on the right side. I called 911 and off to the hospital we went. She spent 10 days in ICU and then went out on the floor. After another two weeks we moved up to the rehab floor and started rehab. We stayed there another three weeks and at the end of this time she was able to walk with a hemi-walker about 50 steps and was talking fairly well. She was having a hard time coming up with words at times. She had no movement with her right arm.

We went home and continued out patient rehab for another three weeks and she got up to where she could walk 150 feet at one time and her speech keep getting better but no movement in the right arm. I have become her sole care giver. She was sleeping in a reclining chair and using a bed side commode. She could walk into the shower so we were getting by. She need help doing everything and I would sleep on the couch so I could hear her at night when she needed to go to the bathroom. I have quickly found out that "A woman's work is never done!"

After being at home for three weeks Debbie started having trouble breathing. It got so bad she could not walk across the room and she had sharp pains in her right leg. I took her to the ER and low and behold she had massive blood clots in her right leg and in both of her lungs. The keep us in the hospital for another 5 and ? weeks. The last week and a half we were back in the hospital rehab. Debbie has gone backwards because she was bed ridden all of that time. Now she could only walk about 25 feet and her speech was worse. There still was no movement with her right arm.

We got back home and started out patient rehab again and slowly worked up to 100 feet walking and her speech got better. She still was having pain in her right leg and after being home for three weeks it got so bad that she could not walk. I took her to the blood doctor and he thought she may have some more blood clots so it was back to the hospital again. This time we stayed for six weeks while they ran test after test trying to find out what was going on. Debbie slipped into a depressed state and refused to eat. This resulted in them putting a tube into her belly. The last week we did some rehab but Debbie basically refused to do anything so they let us go.

Now we are at home and Debbie is sleeping in a hospital bed and I feed her through the tube. We are doing out patient rehab twice a week and it is not really going well. We started 3 times a week for 3 hours, OT, PT and SPEECH. Now we are down to one hour OT twice a week.

Pain and depression are ruling our lives right now. We go to a pain doctor and the stuff that he gives us causes Debbie to sleep. She is sleeping at least 18 hours a day. She has become more aware of her stroke and a lot of the time that she is awake she is crying because she is sad. It just tears me up. I am the full time care giver doing everything in the home, yard, patient care, feeding and everything else. It is a 24/7 job. Debbie goes through cycles of incontinence where she has to pee every 1 to 2 hours throughout the day and night. I am going through a lot of disposable pads. She will do this for a couple of weeks and then for some reason she stops it for a couple of weeks. It is nice to catch up on some sleep then.

I am getting a little depressed in that there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. All of my time is spent taking care of Debbie and there is no time for anything else. I can not leave Debbie alone for more than an hour so it is run to the store and get back. There is no one to "Baby" sit Debbie. Our future does not look promising. No more fishing or going on cruises.


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