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Ch.114 Pat has Two Almost Pain Free Hours and Ron Begins to Relax

Ch.114 Pat has Two Almost Pain Free Hours and Ron Begins to Relax

          November 2021

          Diane, the nurse at The Refuge, told me a few days ago that the staff there think I am a very anxious individual. I have to agree; Basically, since Pat began her quick decline from walking with a cane at home to needing two people to lift her at The Refuge, I’ve been worrying excessively, feeling helpless, and perhaps paying too much attention to Pat’s hurts and not enough to her resilience. But there’s another side to this story: Pat has almost never been pain-free during this entire six-month transition. She’s had skin breakdown from urinary burns, a wound on her heel necessitating debridement, and a continuing attack from her auto-immune skin disorder called bullous pemphigoid. This week alone Pat had to be taken twice to the local Mayo clinic building via wheelchair transport, first to see her wound doctor and then her dermatologist. Every time I visit Pat, I worry that I will find her suffering.

          Things have been getting better, though. Pat’s urinary burns have healed, thanks to the excellent care she has received from the staff at The Refuge; Pat’s heel is almost completely repaired; and the bullous pemphigoid has at least been contained due to Pat being placed on a strong prednisone regimen.

          Here’s what I’ve been longing for: just one visit with Pat in which she reports no pain, not in her bottom, not in her hands, not in her foot, not anywhere. And that almost happened last night. We talked, read together, listened to music, ate a snack. When I asked Pat how she felt she told me she felt fine and was not in any pain. I was ready to dance in the street with joy, when, ten minutes before I was going to leave, I passed her a book with an interesting picture, and, wham, it hit her hand funny, and Pat said “ouch.”  One little ouch. I suppose you could argue that one little accidental ouch was nothing like the “ows” I dread, but still, it felt to me like losing a no-hitter in the bottom of the ninth.

          Fortunately, I can see that Pat is healing both physically and emotionally. I have reason to hope she will pitch a true no-hitter soon. And that will help both of us relax.

 

Pat’s comments on Pat Has Two Almost Pain Free Hours and Ron Begins to Relax:

          I do feel I’m becoming free from pain.

          I’m not feeling any pain right now.