I was in the middle of three very stressful days trying to get orders out by their deadlines when I got a text message from Ketut, one of Bob's caregivers. "Susan, Bob didn't sleep last night. There's something wrong with his stomach. Every time he tries to get up he moans in pain and grabs his middle. He can't get up without help."
I did not need to hear this news! I was at my whit's end managing my five employees, helping to get carving orders out, dealing with a high maintenance customer, answering business emails, and organizing Bob's food for the weekend. And on top of all that we were having Internet problems.
"Ketut, please take Bob to the clinic now! We need to find out what's happening. Keep me posted." I sprang into into high speed, trying to organize everything so I could get to the clinic if needed. All the while I was thinking appendicitis or bad food or large hospital bills.
Ketut agrees to get him there quickly and then tells me, "Bob fell in the shower two days ago and landed on his butt. He didn't seem to be hurt at the time. Maybe this is connected."
Now I was really confused.
The doctor gave Bob a pain injection just so he could examine him. He then sent him off for x-rays which showed no broken bones. His stomach was normal so food poisoning was ruled out. It was surmised that he'd pulled a muscle or bruised a rib or some such thing. As I have personally experienced with falls, everything seems Ok until two days later when places start hurting.
A back brace was wrapped round Bob and muscle relaxants given and he seemed to be much more conformable. By the afternoon he was doing quite well, ate a big lunch and then two apples, although he still needed assistance to stand up on his own.
I thumbed through the caregivers log book and found the entry where he fell in the shower. Bob's circulation in his feet isn't very good so we have a Balinese masseuse coming once or twice a week to give him massages. Bob loves this. I read in the entry that just before he fell he'd had one.
As hard as I try to protect him, to think ahead to things that could happen, I just didn't see this coming. We're guessing that his feet were still oily and when he got into the shower, he slipped.
Now a new rule is in place: after every massage, wash Bob's feet in warm soapy water and pat them dry. Only then can he take a shower or walk around.
Tomorrow I'll buy grab bars for the shower and get a plastic bench he can sit on. It's so difficult to foresee what can arise and endanger my husband.
I need a crystal ball!