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Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Rough Two Weeks

I have to tell you that the last two weeks have been really rough for me and my family.  As many of you know, my husband has a condition called spino-cerebellar ataxia..  This is a progressive disease, and when it does make a progression, Dale has an attack which looks and acts a great deal like a stroke.  When he has one of these attacks, I usually have to take him to the hospital.  About two weeks ago, Dale had another attack and I had to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital.  This one was worse than usual.  It wasn't long until we realized that Dale's left leg was paralyzed.

Our little hospital here in Bardstown doesn't have a neurology department, and they weren't equipped to treat his condition.  The emergency room doctor contacted Dale's neurologist, and he was transported to a hospital in Louisville.  After many tests, they confirmed that his disease was indeed progressing.  According to the doctor's, the paralysis in his leg was unrelated to his condition.  After another MRI, we were told that all the years of sitting in his wheelchair had severely pinched a nerve, and had caused the disks in his lower back to bulge and press upon his spinal cord.  They hoped that intense physical therapy would relieve the problem, and he was transferred to Frazier Rehab Hospital.

Dale has worked so hard at his therapy, and I couldn't be prouder of him.  They have actually been able to get him up on a walker and taking steps for the first time in many years.  The problem is that his leg is still paralyzed.  The doctor's and therapist's have said that they have basically done all that they can do and they will be sending him home on Wednesday of next week.  Once Dale gets home, he will be getting in-home physical and occupational therapy.  When I pick him up on Wednesday, we immediately leave the hospital and go to see a neurosurgeon.  They are hoping that surgery might restore the feeling and movement to his leg.

I'm excited that my husband is coming home from the hospital.  I'm not that good at being single!  Both of my boys have been away this weekend, and it was very nice the first night, but tonight, I'm feeling a little lonely and would love to have someone to talk to.  It's very quiet in my house at the moment!  So, I think we will have to have a celebration Wednesday night!  Now, as happy as I am that Dale is coming home, I'm also a little worried about it, too.  Dale is going to need more assistance than he has in the past, and I don't always know that I'm up to the job.  For example, his physical therapist told me that in order to get him up the steps to our house, I will need to support his body, while at the same time physically lifting his left leg up each step.  I honestly don't know if I am physically strong enough to this.  I can't depend on my sons being home each and every time Dale has to come into or leave the house.

I feel guilty about even worrying about things like this.  Right now, Dale needs me and I want to be there for him.  I want to do everything I can to take care of him, and I know that I will do what has to be done.  But what happens if I discover that I can't do all the things that need to be done?  What if I can't get him up the steps?  What do I do then?  I have to think about these things, and so far, I haven't come up with any options.  I suppose that this is one of those bridges that we will cross when we get to it.

In the meantime, please keep us in your prayers.  This has been a long and difficult road for us, and it is still stretching out before us for the foreseeable future.