Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Adapting....

Hubby has asked me to buy him a walker.
I nearly fell off my chair.
I bought him one 2 and a half years ago, which he asked me to return.
He was not ready.
Now he is.

Two and a half years ago, he could still walk outside. While grocery shopping, he would lean on the shopping cart, while placing his oxygen cylinder in the basket where a child would normally sit.
I thought a walker would make life easier, back then, but he resisted.

Hubby wants one for in the house. He gets tired just walking from room to room. And he wants to walk a little on our back deck - to try and build up his leg muscles.

One day not long ago, I was driving home from visiting my daughter. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and there was no wind. No reason to think the power might go off. Happily zooming up the driveway, I nonchalantly pushed the button on the garage door opener.

Nothing happened. I pushed again. Still nothing. Oh S**t!! I jerked the car into Park, threw open the car door and left it that way. Pulled on the handle of the manual garage door, meanwhile praying for all I was worth. Please, please, please.......

Smashed open the inner door to our house, and heard the alarm screaming! When the power goes off, Hubby's oxygen concentrator emits a high-pitched squeal. Oh no! Please! Not yet!

Ran into the TV room where hubby takes his naps, and jumped up beside Hubby in the bed.
"WAKE UP!' I yelled.
He woke up.
I cried (well not right away, but afterwards).
I hooked him up to his portable and thanked God he was alive.

We figured out he had been asleep without his supplemental oxygen for 20 minutes. Nobody home. No back-up. And he did not hear the alarm! Something had to be done.

We had talked about getting an emergency service like "Life Line" before I went away. Hubby was not interested.
Now he is.

We are making changes in our home.
Sometimes change comes easily.
Other times, we seem to be forced in a certain direction before we allow change into our lives.

24 comments:

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Timing--and acceptance are so important. Hubby has come to that place to accept changes. I think when we are struggling to make sense of what is happening to our bodies, we tend to fight those changes--they are resented...but time and necessity change our perspective. I am so glad that you were able to avert an emergency, and he is now able to accept some safeguards. Such a difficult time for the two of you, Wendy--we are here for you.

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
Change does come. Sometimes it is slow and other times too fast. Change is the constant. I am happy you will have some safe guards for hubby.
Being able to get from here to there will be nice for him and you.
Always I am sending you both blessings.
Namaste,
Sherry

Wendy said...

Hi Jen, thank you for your kind words. And your understanding. It is not an easy road, but there is not much we can do - except adapt.

Hi Sherry, thank you for your blessings and support. The nice weather is here and that makes everything so much nicer.
Namaste

Allie said...

Wow, I can see how these would be big changes. I hope they bring you some peace of mind and some mobility to your husband.

Celia said...

Heart stopping Wendy! So glad it turned out okay. Does your power company know you have electrical dependencies at home? I am so glad to hear he is willing to get up and do what he can. Any extra conditioning in his muscles will mean his body will use his oxygen more efficiently. Keeping you in my prayers.

Grammy said...

U can buy a battery inverter and use it to run the oxygen concentrator. it inverts electric from a lawn or car battery to make things work. It was a scary thing you went through. But remember it turned out ok. Please don't worry. Things will work out. Big hug.

beckie said...

Wendy, I understand the crying,'not now,but later.' And my heart breaks for you. Hubby's walker can be a good thing as he says to elp build back some muscle in his legs. At least he is wanting to try.

Take care dear and stay strong. There is little you can do but try to make him as safe as possible and as comfortable. I know that it is frustrating and will take a lot of courage on your part. You are in my thoughts.

Mom2-2goodboys said...

Acceptance is very difficult to get to when it's your loss of independence that is on the line.
Essentially, your hubby is realizing he needs more assistance. Good for him for asking. It just means he is not giving up, It just means he is more accepting of what he truly needs. He is thinking of you too. Maybe,in accepting assistance, it will lighten the burden on you.

Rose said...

Change is always difficult as is learning to accept one's limitations. My father has used a cane ever since his stroke; it's not that he really needs it all the time, but it gives him a sense of security not having to worry about falling. The walker will probably also be good for your husband to give him a little more independence and feeling a little more secure.

The power outage must have been so scary for you, Wendy. "Lifeline" or some other type of emergency backup sounds like a good idea and a way to give you a little peace of mind. Take care, Wendy.

amelia said...

How frightening for you!! Frightening for hubby too once he knew what might have happened. We have the lifeline thingy for my mother, she really doesn't need it but if I turn my phone off because of her incessant calling at least I know she can get help if she really needs it.
The trouble is with your hubby sleeping he wouldn't even know he needed help...

peppylady said...

Independence is great in my opinion. It great that your hubby wants a walker and it real doesn't matter when or how often he uses.
But he still has a desire.

But still as a caregiver one needs to be concern about all types of needs.

Coffee is on.

peppylady said...

Independence is great in my opinion. It great that your hubby wants a walker and it real doesn't matter when or how often he uses.
But he still has a desire.

But still as a caregiver one needs to be concern about all types of needs.

Coffee is on.

mapleview said...

I understand how hubby feels. Once you accept a cane or a walker or any mobility device, it an admission that you need it. It took me a long time to be willing to use a cane and I don't even need it all the time. But it was the reality that I needed it that was tough and also the advertisement to the world that you need help. But I can see how this impacts your world too. Being the caregiver is in its own way as much as a challenge as being the one who needs care...Michelle

Cheryl said...

Dear Wendy....I often think of you when I stroll my gardens....you come into my mind and stay with me a while....

I have such respect for you......your honesty and care often leave me humbled......

It is, perhaps, time to move to the next stage.....time to put other things into place......things that are needed......

Thinking of you and hubby and sending you hugs.......

Wendy said...

Your kindness and wisdom leave me in awe. I never thought blogging would lead to such beautiful and understanding relationships. A huge thank-you to everyone!

Hi Allie - yes, change is inevitable. It's hard to keep slipping downhill.

Hi Celia, yes hydro knows about our oxygen issues. However, I don't think they really do much to help. They are supposed to phone us when the power is to be turned off for any reason, but we've never gotten a phone call. If there is a power failure, well too bad. There are so many without power in the case of a storm, I don't think they can get to everybody. Thanks for the thought.

Hi Grammy, thanks for your suggestion too. I have looked into inverters, but the oxygen concentrator takes such a huge amount of power to run, most inverters would not be able to supply that much power. Yes, I was grateful things did turn out o.k. I guess I forgot to mention in my post that I left my daughter's house early that day.....

Wendy said...

Hi Becky, thank you for your support. I am feeling calmer these days (believe it or not). What will be will be. And enjoy every day. And I did forget to mention in my post, that I had left daughter's home early that day. Imagine if I had left at my usual time - a hour later!!

Hi Mary, you are right. I see Hubby as not giving up yet, but accepting his need for support. It does ease things for me. You are so wise!

Hi Rose, the walker is to help him energy wise. It takes less energy to walk if you are supported. And he does tire easily. I hope your dad is well.

Hi Amelia - how right you are! We have hopefully amended that situation. He will now take his naps with the door open (not closed as it usually is) so he can hear his concentrator screaming. At least I hope he hears it next time (if there is a next time). There's not much more I can do for that. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Peppylady, I'll have a coffee right now thanks! Could use one. You sound like you know a lot about caregiving. Thank you for your perspective.

Hi Michelle, I never would have given any thought to caregiving before. It's only since I've become one that I understand. I guess it was difficult at first for you to use your cane. It must be hard...

Hi Cheryl, you are so sweet. I often think of you too. "I wonder what time it is where Cheryl is? Oh, it's lunchtime here, so suppertime in the U.K."

Thank you for your comments. I am truly blessed to have friends like you. Blogging has opened up another world.....

Shammickite said...

Interesting that your husband has come to the conclusion that he needs more help to be independant. It's hard to accept that he can't do things by himself any more, and I think his decision will make things a lot easier for you. And I love the way you write about this.

Florida Sue said...

Wendy I salute you. You handle it all with such grace and determination. I love your writing. You have great strength in your words and your blog is just a pleasure to read.

Wendy said...

Hi Shammickite, I like your observation - he needs help to make himself more independent. I hadn't thought about it that way.

Hi Florida Sue, thank you. Writing helps me process my feelings and sometimes puts things into perspective. And I like reading all your stories too.

♥Mimi♥ said...

My heart goes out to you. You will be held close in prayer. Although I am not caring for someone with COPD, I helped care for my mother when she was dying of cancer, so I know the stress, the craziness, the insecurity, the worry...you name it...I felt it. God bless you and those you love.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

Wendy, I found your blog through your first commenter, Jenny. I just wanted you to know that I understand much of what you're going through and send you and your DH lots of positive energy and good thoughts. My dad lived over 20 years with COPD due to Alpha-1 Anti-Trypsin deficiency. Like your DH, he fought hard to maintain his independence and quality of life. My mother's caregiving, support and love were invaluable in his being able to do that. I know your husband finds the same strength through yours.

Wendy said...

Hi Mimi - thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It is a crazy journey we are taking.

Hi Cindy, thank you for your kind words. I'm sorry about your Dad, especially contracting this horrible disease through a defective gene. Thanks for stopping by.

JeanMac said...

Hi Wendy,Just catching up on your blog. Glad Hubby agreed to the walker and sorry about the oxygen scare.

annie's eyes said...

Praying for you--it must be hard to rest sometimes. My heart goes out to you in your journey of caregiving for your dear husband. Blessings of joy amid the difficulty. Annette