Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This Will Not Be Easy

Trey Smith

After her tumultuous week at the hospital, Della is back home in South Bend. It is good that she is here, but our life is going to be far different for the foreseeable future.

For one thing, except when she's in the shower, she will be hooked up to various machines that will provide her with pure oxygen. We have a large machine that manufactures oxygen in our dining room. Connected to it is a 50 tube that will allow Della to move about the downstairs. When we go out in public, she has oxygen canisters that we will wheel around on a golf-like caddie. There is another contraption that she will use -- one that connects to the big oxygen creation machine -- while sleeping. For the time being, whatever she does and wherever she goes, an oxygen tank or machine will go with her.

When Della was in White Salmon, one of the things I lamented was the fact that I had no personal transportation of my own. Since she had our one vehicle, I had to rely on the generosity of friends or paratransit to go anywhere. I don't have that problem anymore -- the car is here. But if Della needs to go someplace (like to the doctor), she is in no condition to drive. So, in a matter of a few days, I have been transformed from a guy with no wheels to a at her beckoned call chauffeur!

And then, of course, Della will have a multiplicity of appointments in the coming weeks. She needs to see several different specialists located in different locales PLUS she needs to make applications for services from a variety of state and federal agencies.

Don't get me wrong. I am overjoyed that Della is home and I will make it my number one priority to be her number one support person. It's just that my daily routine has been turned upside down in the blink of an eye. Up until mid-January, I was a married fellow whose routine included my wife. Then, for nearly 3 months, I was a married fellow whose routine was that of a single man. From this point forward, my routine will be that of a married fellow with a very sick wife.

Like everything else, I WILL muddle through, but I'm sure there will be a few hiccups along the way.

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