Tuesday, April 3, 2018

From the Davis Household...#Ageing, #Walmart, and #Ambien

This post has nothing to do with writing, except to say I've only written a scene or two this past week.  If I sound down, it's because I'm tired and ill-prepared for the changes I'm seeing in Calvin.

I turn 70 next month. Wait. Let me figure that again. Seventy can't be right. Shoot, it is. Hold on while I grab a tissue. I feel a sniffle coming on. Calvin turns 87 in October. There are sixteen plus years between us.

He had another echo-cardiogram to see if the medicines the Cardiologist has him on have improved his heart function. No change, unfortunately. His heart is still working at 20% capacity. He's moving slower and using a walker.

Last Wednesday, we went out for lunch and stopped at Walmart on the way home. Calvin parked in one of the handicapped spaces while I hurried in for raspberries, blueberries, and melons. When I came out, he turned on the car. I could hear the engine rev harder and asked him to check the position of his foot. Was it partially on the accelerator? His hearing is bad so he couldn't hear the engine roar.

He told me I was wrong and shoved the gear into Reverse. We flew backward toward the front of the store. Thank God no one was behind us! I kept screaming, "Stop!" He yelled, "Why won't the brake work?" Well, his foot had slipped. We crashed into and flattened one of the four-foot high posts in front of the store.

Calvin got out of the car and fell. I heard a remark about a drunk driver. I crawled out to explain what had happened. An ambulance and the police were called. The EMT's checked him out and said he was fine. The policeman spoke with me and said he wasn't charging Calvin with anything. "Accidents like this happen," he said. "Your husband has a clean driving record."

Our Camry was towed away and we got home by way of taxi.

That's when I noticed my head and shoulder hurt. I'd been so worried over Calvin I didn't think to take inventory of my own body. But, I'm fine now--almost.

Two days later, Calvin had his regular three-month appointment with our primary care giver. He sees six different doctors. He told our regular doctor about the accident. I told him about Calvin's falling and my difficulty in getting him back on his feet; it's as if his legs won't work. And he gets confused. "What room am I in?" ... "How do I roll over. I don't know how."

Our doctor made arrangements for home health care three days a week, physical therapy, and a wheel chair. Calvin told him he hasn't been able to sleep since the accident, so he gave him six Ambien sleeping pills.

Calvin on Ambien: "My feet fell out of bed."
Me: Gets up and places his feet back in bed under the covers.
Cal: "How did that dog get in our room?"
Me: "Honey, we don't have a dog."
Cal: Raises up on elbow. "Get out of my house. Oh, hell, it's a bull. You grew up on a farm, You deal with him." Lays down and goes back to sleep. SUDDENLY! His hand slaps my forehead. "Duck! The birds are coming!"
Me: Mumbles to hubs to calm down.
Cal: "Dorothy, get me some yogurt."
Me: I refuse to answer to his ex-wife's name. I've been his wife for nearly 14 years.
Cal: "You've got the blankets on the bed wrong."
Me: "Tell Dorothy to change them."
Cal: Would you like to go back to Paris? I want to see Paris one more time before they put me in a box."

It was confusion and tossing and jerking on blankets all night long. I'm hiding his remaining 3 Ambians. I need some sleep. He can't dress himself anymore. He only half eats. And he wants me where he can see me. He wasn't like this before the sleeping pills.


Leah St. James said...

Oh, Vonnie, I'm so sorry. That has to be so difficult on so many levels. I'm glad the car seemed to take the worst of the beating from the accident (what a frightening experience), and I'm glad that you have the home health-care worker coming. I hope you can take some of that time to spend on caring for yourself.

Vonnie Davis said...

After another horrendous night, I called 911. His sugar reading was 3 times too high. He growled at me all night and at one time asked me who I was. So, if I don't reply I'm at the hospital with him. Later, ladies.

Jannine Gallant said...

I'm so sorry, Vonnie. Hoping really hard they can get Calvin's meds regulated to see an improvement. Feel free to vent to us anytime you need to.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I'm so sorry, Vonnie. The life changes as we age (and it seems to be different for everyone) are so hard on not only the person aging, but on the ones closest to them. Thinking of you and Calvin today.

Margo Hoornstra said...

My heart goes out to you, Vonnie. And to Calvin. So sorry you have to go through this. As bad as things seem, you definitely have your head on straight and are doing, saying, and acting just as Calvin needs you to. As Jannine said. We're here...anytime.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Vonnie, I'm glad you're sharing what's happening with us. You've been telling us about Calvin for years, and we really do want to keep up on his health issues. As always, you give us the MASH moments, when you show us the humor in times of tragedy...almost Abbot and Costello...Calvin would want us to laugh, right? Anyway, be sure to care for yourself as you care-give. And use the Ambian scene in a book...for sure :-)

Angela Adams said...

Vonnie, so glad you have each other to lean on. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and Calvin.

Liz Flaherty said...

I hope the sugar was responsible for at least some of the problem. You and Calvin are in my prayers. If laughter is the best medicine, you and he will find a way.

Alison Henderson said...

Vonnie, it breaks my heart to hear what you and Calvin are going through. I keep a close eye on OG (probably too close) for any worrisome signs of trouble and see little things here and there, but mostly he's holding his own. The ageing process is a crapshoot, and treats some of us so unfairly. Sadly, we don't get to choose. Hugs to you both.

Alicia Dean said...

Oh no, I'm late reading this. I'm so, so sorry. What an awful thing to deal with. Thank God no one was hurt in the accident. Calvin is lucky to have you. Praying for you both.

Diane Burton said...

I'm even later than Alicia in reading this. I, too, am glad you're sharing your journey with us, Vonnie. Aging is the pits, but (as my father-in-law always said) it beat the alternative. I saw what my mom went through caring for my dad as he fought and lost his battle against COPD, caused by a lifetime of smoking. I watched my mom's mind deteriorate thanks to Alzheimer's. Do I worry that's what's ahead for Hubs and I? Of course. But I can't let it consume me. I'm praying for you and Calvin. Be sure to take care of yourself. Hugs.