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Monday, September 20, 2010

Stronger Body Weak Spirits

Physically I am better. This weekend I felt like a human pin cushion but the end result is improved health. My blood work is great given the fact I have two open wounds hooked up to a wound vacuum. I am largely done castigating myself, content now to move forward. It is the moving forward that worries me. I am concerned first and foremost about the cost of home care. The bed I bought cost as much as a car, a very nice new car, a luxury import. Wound care is covered by insurance. The wound vacuum, I must rent and the company is interested in one thing--two weeks payment inadvance. It does not take much thought to realize the next few months are going to be frightfully expensive. All decry the health care system, acknowledge I am gettng screwed and then add the proviso there is nothing we can do. Sadly they are correct. My health insurance sucks and I have no other options. What haunts me is what happens to others that do not have a large and supportive family. Where do they go? What do they do under identtical circumstances? In short, I know I am lucky. Howver this does not change the fact I havee been in the same room for twelve days and my spirits are low.

Coping with boredom over the weekend was hard. Crappy novels and football are distracting but for only a while. Hence much of last night was spent crying. I just could not help myself. I was also smart enough to wait until it was very late so I could cry in peace. The hospital I am in is very patient oriented and I am often asked about pain and if I am depressed. I try to tell them, hell yes I am depressed, is that not a normal reaction. Such honesty results in a suggestion a psychiatrist make a visit. Great, is he or she going to make me heal any faster or solve the financial implications of my wounds? Don't get me wrong--if I suspected I were clinically depressed I would seek help. But I am down for damn good reasons and a good cry may have helped me. I am functioning but just sad and worried. I get home Thusday assuming the bed arrives as promised. I am sure my spirits will soar when I get home. I miss my black lab Kate and am tired of hospital life. I also realize when I get home that my soaring spirit will be confronted by a harsh reality--i will be bed bound for months, utterly dependent upon others. This fact more than any other bothers me the most. I simply have not been dependent upon others since I was a morbidly sick child. This is a state I have never wanted to repeat. It is my hope that with the help pf my family I can get through this unscatthed. No wonder I am worried.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear your wounds are improving. I wish that I could move you to Canada for the duration of your recovery- I am forever thankful for the fortune of being born here, where a large portion of my medical care is covered. I think you are very right, your depression is a normal and perfectly reasonable reaction to your current situation- what you need are financial solutions, not medications and therapy. I only wish that more medical institutions were able to recognize the various reasons for stress and depression in their patients, and that not all of them are medically based, or solved!

Feel better soon!

FridaWrites said...

I am glad you will be back home. Being at home is likely to take its toll as much as the hospital--company, DVDs (portable player?), music, sun all help, so I urge your family and friends to really be there for you no matter what. If it's possible to change rooms sometimes just to look at different walls, that will also help.

There is nothing wrong with being depressed if you find yourself so. It's a normal reaction to such circumstances, and lack of physical movement contributes. In the absence of antidepressants and their side effects, omega-3 helps some people and some of the nerve pain medicines also work as antidepressants and could help with wound pain. That's not advice to use these--just ideas; the nerve medicines can also have strong side effects that should be watched for. Sometimes crying is the manly thing to do. ;)

College student or not, Tom still needs you and will need you, so hang in there.

Would getting Dragon software help? I haven't ordered it yet but the new versions are supposed to be very useable, and it may help you be able to explore more of the web, watch Netflix from your computer, etc. over the coming months.

I'm sorry about this turn of events. Keep your eye on that goal of being up and about again--we're all rooting for you.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I am kind of glad you can NOT move to Canada for the duration of your recovery (or maybe not to my part).

I understand the crying. It is a natural response to loss, to pain, to no good choices, to the fatigue of it all. The best doctor I had recently was a locum who asked how I was doing. When I said depressed he told me that if I hadn't said that, he would have referred or deferred some medications because it IS a depressing situation. Emotions are not a crime, though treated sometimes as such.

How can I assist with the boredom? Do you like Steam-Punk, or Supernatural Fiction? What kind of focus can you handle with your pain? I can recommend an all region portable player for $35-$25 that works well. I can send you books for free and will (please email me at Do you need DVD's for pain? For boredom? If you can pinpoint a way, let me know and if I can, I will try to meet it.

What insurance does and does not cover baffles me - they cover a power chair with control delay for neuropathy and weak muscles but not a sling. They don't cover the device needed to heal, or the care. Know that I appreciate you writing what is really happening and please let me help as I can.

painting with fire said...

I found your blog relatively recently via WCD. Am sorry you're going through this - it sounds grim - scary and long and miserable. I'm a total stranger with no personal reference but it sure seems as if bad luck has more to do with your pressure sores than neglect or malfeasance on your part and I can't imagine that blaming yourself makes any of it easier. Of course it's easy for me to say that not being in the thick of it.

Anyway - I've wanted to comment for a while. Your writing is terrific. I went back and read your archives when I first found your blog. I hope you get home from the hospital soon and that your recovery improves enormously when you're in your own space again.

The Untoward Lady said...

In a couple days you'll be at home surrounded by people who love and care about you. You'll be bedridden and dependent on them, yes, but remember that they still love you and remember that you'll never be just a burden. No matter how much someone has to care for you, if they love you you will always be giving back.

Besides, you're William Peace and if there's one thing I can't ever imagine William Peace doing is being idle and passive no matter how little William Peace can move around. It's an adjustment but I have every confidence in your ability to remain an engaging, vibrant human being. I believe qualities such as that transcend what we can and cannot do.

Hugs and much wishes,
The Untoward Lady

MyBigMouth said...

Hi Bill,

Wishing you Healing and Light your way. I am a single mom of four, in the US. You had asked what do people do who have no support, no family, etc. Well, I am in a sticky situation or rather have been for the last seven years. More than that, but it all started seven years ago, dealing with domestic violence, ptsd, kids with ptsd, kids in need of emotional and learning support due to physically and mental handicap, one child tried to commit suicide, etc. You get the picture, each one of them had BIG issues, I had a disabled daughter, medically fragile, too. I had to learn to lean on social services. I had some support, in emergency situations from family but not day to day, week to week. It wasn't ideal and sometimes it did damage. So my biggest support was navigation through the system here. Reading lot's of books, researching on the internet. Here is a great guy who is homebound and makes great waves from his hospital bed.... you may even already know him.
Well wishing you some peace and good health. Take Care.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bill,
Apologies for coming in so late. Thanks to Claire for tipping me over here. I would very much like to leave a pithy and comical comment that would bring a smile to your face, but I'm unsure of using my humor in our thin online relationship. So I will wait until you are at home and can reply to comments before I embark on a form of therapy in which I am not trained.

Speaking of going home, the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train. (Sadly, I love cliche.)

Speaking of a tunnel, I believe crying is therapeutic, too. And private if you choose.

Speaking of my anticipated humor, I need an answer to this question: are your sores lateral or posterior?

Speaking of medical technicalities, KCI is based in my town and the main office tower is near my home. I just went to the KCI site to see if they have a foundation support for patients. Not helpful for you - their foundation only supports children. Go figure. For anyone else who wants a little tutorial in wound care products, see their site:

Information is about all I got to give. Barbara