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Monday, November 9, 2015

Out of the fire and into the flame

other wise known as another complainy mess of a post.

We had only been back from Jude's St. Louis surgery for about a 2 weeks, enough time to work the kinks out. You know like sleeping and eating and toileting issues... the stuff that doesn't matter but matters a whole lot to the everyday running of a home... when Papa was diagnosed with shingles.


And among other places, it's in his eye folks.

Double ouch!
And I now have so much sympathy for folks that are afflicted with awful virus! I didn't know a whole lot about shingles until this week except I knew it was something I didn't want to get. And it had something to do with chicken pox or something. I certainly didn't know enough about it to actually make the time to get out there and get a shingles shot. And ya that's gonna happen real soon now! But I'll let you in on a sad little secret... I'm not the most compassionate, bed-side manner kind of gal. I can dole out your meds and keep your ice packs filled with the best of them. I can hound the doctor's office and pharmacy to get prescriptions filled in less than an hour. I can get a handicapped placard, find a schedule therapists and run you all over the nation for care. I will hold back your hair when you toss your cookies, change the sheet and provide a steady BRAT diet of bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. But when it comes to stroking your brow long term and assuring you that that you're over the hump and helping you feel that things only get better from here on out... my skills are seriously lacking. I got stuff to do to tell you I tell! I got laundry to wash, car pool to drive, groceries to procure and meals to prepare. And life kinda starts to come apart at the seams if I don't do all that stuff. And embarrassingly I don't have the patience to sit at a bedside.
It's bad.
I'm bad.
If there was a class in compassion 101, I know that should take be the first one to sign up! But for now, I'm much better at doing all the minutia that needs to be done to help you feel better rather than be a counselor and tear wiper. Unless of course we can wipe tears and do the counseling in an efficient 5 minutes of less. Usually no chance of that. I'd rather solve your problem through action rather than validate your feelings. I'm just not a girl in this respect.

Back to poor Papa. With shingles in his eye. And a wicked headache for about a week now. And a whole litany of symptoms that not much can be done about. Poor guy. And not a nursemaid in sight.

We found our new normal with Jude and are counting down the days till our next trip to St. Louis. Literally. 10... 9... 8... The lifting of this sweet child to and from his wheel chair, in and out of the car, on and off the toilet, out of his bed and to the breakfast table... my back is calling it quits. But now our attention is mostly to help Papa recover and feel better. Which mostly means keeping the house quiet enough for him to sleep as much as he can. Which is the only time it doesn't hurt. And keeping the remote control handy. And delivering meals bedside. And keeping his water cup full...

And I can do that.

I'll quite gladly do that.

I know he'd do the same and more for me. And really it is a privilege to care for someone as wonderful as this man. And again, in a weird way that makes this another ordinary miracle.


  1. Ouch! Poor guy! I had them as a teenager. They are painful!

  2. So painful. I have had the shot, as has my hubby. They won't usually give the shot until a person is 60 years old. I understand that your hubby should also get a shot since you can get them a 2nd time. Just sayin'

  3. Oh my goodness. You guys have had a time! I've never even heard of shingles in the eye; it sounds dreadful. I want to know how you're keeping your house quiet! I hope everyone is on the mend soon!

    PS - I'm a TERRIBLE nursemaid too. I mean truly awful.

  4. Yes, have him get the shot also. My doctor says in his experience, people who have a recurrence of the shingles have less pain and less nerve damage if they have had the shot. Also, we tend to take the lowest dose of the pain medication as we can get by on. This is not the best procedure for shingles. Limiting the pain is the primary focus because less nerve damage will be caused in the long run. And as someone who had singles in the eyes and on my face, I still suffer from horrible headaches in the nerve centers that were damaged. So not the time to put on a brave face and suck it up.


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