Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. (Just remember I'm looking through my prism which may or may not be the full story.) Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Pain Sucks and Ice Packs are Miracles

I left the Pain City Hospital after being there for 6 days in a whirlwind after waiting all day to find out if they were gonna release me. The anesthesiologist  said 'I think you deserve another day' but he got voted off the island. He probably felt bad because the line that was feeding me morphine in between my broken ribs got accidentally disconnected for several hours and he's the one who put it in. He's also the guy who made me laugh by calling my breast 'it'. (See my my last post.)

I arrived home around 7:00 PM. Home being defined as the Respice  Care Section of the continuing care complex where I live in Independent living. I'm voice typing on my Kindle and it seems to want to capitalize Words at random and I've already learned that when you have your TV on it picks up random sentences to type, like in the middle of The paragraph up above it inserted 'I love you'. I do love you all who read my blog but it's hard enough to compose something to write  while taking drugs and Yelling every so often when I get a jab of pain. Yes, I'm that kind of a pain person who lets everybody in the room know. So if you're on the Nazi Punctuation Enforcement Squad please cut me a break Explanation mark Stupid voice typing.

 And do I have stories to tell. Like shopping On amazon for my very 1st box of adult diapers ---and hopefully my last box---with an OP. It Reminded me of the time my mother made me go to the Store and buy my first pads for my first period. You'd think after all these years I wouldn't have anything to get embarrassed about but The experience of buying something I didn't want to buy, however, had me hearing my mother saying "No, I'm not going to buy them for you. This is going to be something you're gonna have to do for many years." She wouldn't even let me out of the dance recital we were on our way to and I was dancing in. "You're not sick you're just menstruating."

Naive me, I thought when you went from one part of a continuing care campus to another everything would be provided and you wouldn't have to ask your family to do anything. But that turns out not to be true. All your personal things like shampoo and fingernail files and cell phones and who knows what else I'll need over the next few weeks I'll need my nieces to retrieve. They've been super-stars and done unexpected things for me. Like one waited hours with me in ER and other took me home from the hospital and got me settled in. I tried to think of what I've done to deserve them in my life like this but I can't come up with anything other than just Laugh with them a lot when they were young, played with them back then and now be their sounding board as adults. 

Tomorrow I start working with the physical therapist and occupational therapist doing stuff that I used to teach my husband to do After his stroke. If you picked up a sarcastic tone to my typing You are not mistaken. But I will do my best and let them think I'm a fast learner and they are good teachers. 

See You when I see you. Hopefully Wednesdays and Saturdays as before but maybe With much shorter posts, maybe longer who knows. Just know that the comment section is gonna be different with me just chiming in occasionally because I really am exhausted from pain and pills. Stay tuned. I might murder one of the condescending night shift workers. At the hospital everyone who came into the room would ask what's my birthday and  what's my pain level. Here in respite care everyone who enters the room says, " I'm so sorry I didn't get here faster blah blah blah." I want to blurt out,  "Cut the crap and just admit you're short staffed. But we're in the honeymoon stage here so I'm being nice and sweet. And truly 98% of the aids are great.

26 comments:

  1. They 'sprung' your butt!!! LOL Outstanding... pain is the pits, but for whatever reason, it hurts less at home than in a danged hospital. Your nieces love you--that's why they're there for you. ;) It's like my family is here with me tonight--even one of the kids' friends came up to help--AND my other niece who lives in Texas showed up as a surprise visitor!!! OMG!! You could have heard me a mile away when I saw her! Such a wonderful gift... just love it.

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  2. Pain saps your energy, so certainly I wouldn't expect individual answers. You'll have yourself out of there as soon as is possible and hopefully will be able to tolerate the "old lady" treatment you might or might not receive. In the last month, I've had a doctor scoot his chair very close and, with compassion in his eyes, assure me that I did not have my reconstructive eyelid surgery at their facility with a doctor who is no longer with their practice. I assured him I had. Several times. When I told him about the hassle I'd had because the referring doctor's corporation kept possession of all records did it snap that I'd been one of those special patients referred to them by a large group of eye specialists after cancer was found on my eyelid. I then waved my magic wand, working in how frustrating it had been to not be able to access my records online, and that I'd been using computers since the early 70's, where the university where I was studying physics got its first Wang computer. The mention of "physics" did it and he started trying to impress me with the biophysics paper he's once written. (I was impressed, and he was kind but working within his own biases.) This week, I got a report on a bone density scan that mentioned my total hip replacement. When I brought it with me to physical therapy, the therapist kept explaining different types of hip replacements, hoping to jog my memory while I kept assuring him that, no, I had NOT had a hip replacement of any kind. I was to the point of offering to pull down my slacks and show him my lack of the appropriate scars when I thought, what does it matter? I went home and called the radiological group where the scan was done and am now awaiting a call back from the "manager" after the person to whom I was talking took a look at my scan himself and compared it to the report I received. I suspect I've got someone else's report.

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    1. Not have access to computer records is so frustrating. Isn't is.

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  3. Glad to hear you are back home Jean, albeit in respite care as opposed to your own apartment. What a journey this has been for you. Updates are appreciated, but all of us understand if your blogging is impacted by all of this. Pain! So hard to deal with. Not to mention the unwanted side effects of pain medicine.

    For myself, accepting help from others is very hard for me to do. I hate feeling vulnerable and at the mercy of others. In the hospital we expect it, and workers are paid to provide the care. But once we are home, sometimes it's hard to accept the kindness of friends and family as they step up to help meet our needs. Hang in there, and know that we are all wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Carole

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    1. I was happy to see your name pop up in my emails today! Glad you made it back to the ccc. Next stop will be your own home. We just keep learning more and more. When you said your nieces would have to retrieve personal items for you from your apt, I thought that was interesting. What in the heck do folks without family/friends do? I'm sure the ccc policy is meant to protect privacy, but still...

      It's obvious that your nieces love you and want to help you. What a great gift that is! I'm sure if the tables were turned and they needed help, you'd be there for them. Family. It can make you crazy but we'd be lost without them!

      Keeping you in my thoughts and hoping for your comfort and healing.

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    2. Kindness is hard to believe when it comes my way. It's hard to admit I haven't been the most thoughtful person I could have been in situations like mine.

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  4. Oh Jean, what a bummer. I wish I lived closer to GR -- I'd come visit and I'd bring you everything you need. It sounds absolutely miserable -- there's something about pain that just trumps all other physical things. I hope (if you're up to it) some of your pals from "the other side" can come visit you. Your nieces sound fabulous. Well done on building that relationship. Don't even think of replying to comments, OK? Just get well.

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  5. I laughed at "punctuation enforcement squad." I'll bet some of those folks work for the grammar police as a second job. Despite the on-going pain and the complications of moving on to your next 'home,' at least you're moving on. At first I couldn't figure out why you were being asked about your birthday, but I finally got it: they must have been trying to figure out if you were mentally 'all there.' Little do they know you'll be out-clevering all of them once the pain's gone!

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    1. I think it's also to make sue the right meds and treatments go to the right person.

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    2. You're correct about making sure the meds. go to the right person. My mother had to have a blood transfusion once and I remember the two nurses who were doing it would stand on either side of her bed and read the info. off to each other to verify her blood type, etc., before they hooked the bag up to the IV. Hang in there, "Mole Buddy." Everyone is pulling for you.

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    3. Whoops. That was me who commented above.

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  6. I know from secondhand experience how painful broken ribs can be. Rick broke two ribs a year and a half ago, and he was so miserable. It took a good two months before he finally felt okay. Hang in there, Jean, and we're all rooting for you. I'm so glad your nieces are on the job; thank goodness for family and good friends.

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  7. Well, you are one step closer to home so you are making progress. Thank goodness you moved to a place where you can get different levels of care. Hope the pain subsides soon and you can get back to your own apartment.
    Hang in there!

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  8. I know the rib pain, prayers to feel better soon, enjoy your blog , i am a widow for 11 years..new guy for 6 years ...never the same thou, i get it every time i read your great blog...thanks ...get well soon.

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  9. Glad to hear you're back on campus, and I hope you're in your own space sooner than they predict. Your nieces sound really lovely. So glad you have them around.

    Pain is the worst, and never apologize for reacting to it. I got a lesson in pain from my granddaughter while visiting. Whenever she does something that hurts (while playing/running around), she stops and yells "OW!" before she starts crying. I don't remember my kids doing that and it cracked me up. We should all take that to heart. Why pretend it doesn't hurt? :-)

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    1. So cute! The people here Lucky that I yelled ouch ouch ouch ouch because I really wanna yell the FFF words.

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  10. That you are blogging at all is impressive to me! Wonder Woman!

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  11. A) voice typing is a pain even when you are not in pain, and B) don't respond to this comment. Just work on healing and know your readers are here with you.

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  12. Hahaha! "Nazi Punctuation Enforcement Squad" I like this drugged up, chained up, feistier-than-even-usual version of you. 🤣 You go ahead and make those therapists feel like rockstars! You still got it, Jean.

    Deb

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  13. Glad that you're back to the CCC and that your sense of humor and love of the ridiculous are still intact. But your ribs, ouch! Blogging by voice would be beyond me since my phone doesn't understand much of what I say. Your posts have been very impressive!

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  14. When it rains it pours! Now my kindle fire is acting really strange and I can't do much on it anymore except Things that involved the internet which fortunately for me Includes my blog. Bottom line is if I ghost you, don't assume the worse. I might just be in between devices because while can shop for a new one I can't order anything without my passwords, and my passwords won't get here until I have a niece to retrieve them for me.

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  15. Yes pain truly sucks all you can do is take it slow and one day at a time

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  16. It's nice to see that you sense of humor is still just as sharp, even when you are drugged and in pain. I'm impressed with how well you've done with the voice typing. When I've taught Zoom classes and Zoom makes a "transcript" of what was said, the results are often hilarious.

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  17. Seems everyone is short staffed and spread too thin these days Jean, sorry to hear that Respite wasn't All In as to bringing what you need over from the other part of the Campus and don't have adequate Staffing. What happens if a Resident has no Family? Just wondering, since I'm sure some living there might not have anyone on the Outside who could accommodate them and that would be worrisome for someone with nobody. Your Nieces are Priceless and I'm so glad you have them, they sound like great Kids and clearly they want to be as Helpful as they can be with you and their Dad. I'm sure they're also relieved both of you are in such a great placement there where the worries for them are fewer of the level of Care and Contentment you will enjoy. Your Posts, tho' fewer, have the Dark Humor Wit about them that is making me LOL, so I'm thoroughly enjoying them... not laughing AT you my Friend, but WITH you. *Winks* Calling one of your Girls "It" had me Rolling... poor Guy, but, I don't know what else he'd Name them I guess??? *Ha ha ha*

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    1. I'm keeping list and will be writing a letter to our resident council and tell them to quit whining for more bells and whistles at independence and start advocating for some of the issues I see here. I'm keeping a list. Over all the care is good but things like not having a shower chair rated higher than 125 pounds was not only shocking but dangerous to me. They need a social worker or volunteer who could shop for childless people who end up in temporary respite. Lots of living here brought into the place being unaware you still need someone Just a simple thing like having a welcome bag of essentials like shampoo and tooth paste would be a huge help. Didn't have passwords with me to order my first of adult diapers on the 0T's Amazon and pay her cash. Had I not had cash then what?

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