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Saint_
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Post by Saint_ »

My poor sweetie has struggled with a blood clot in her leg for two years. She was airlifted to Denver seven times last year trying to fix it, but to no avail. Well, modern medicine has finally exhausted all its options and she had to make the decision yesterday to have her leg amputated.

Other than all the psychological comfort and good, old-fashioned love I can give her, I am at a loss to know what will be needed to take care of her when she returns home from the hospital. Has anyone here undergone this or knows someone who has?:(
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Post by Odie »

Saint_;1289458 wrote: My poor sweetie has struggled with a blood clot in her leg for two years. She was airlifted to Denver seven times last year trying to fix it, but to no avail. Well, modern medicine has finally exhausted all its options and she had to make the decision yesterday to have her leg amputated.

Other than all the psychological comfort and good, old-fashioned love I can give her, I am at a loss to know what will be needed to take care of her when she returns home from the hospital. Has anyone here undergone this or knows someone who has?:(


Oh Saint, I am so so sorry to hear this.:-1



I really have no ideas, just to keep her warm and safe.:-4
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Post by Saint_ »

Thanks Odie. I'm researching prosthetic feet right now. The dynamic ones look the best (Interestingly, it seems the military is the biggest buyer of these.)

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Post by along-for-the-ride »

I'm sure your love and support will mean alot to her.

I believe the most importants thing about a prosthetic device are comfort and manage-ability. Just have an honest discussion with her and her doctor. Physical therapy will no doubt be a must for her recovery and adaptation.
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Post by G#Gill »

Saint, I'm so sorry to hear this awful news. My thoughts and good wishes are sent to you and your good lady.

In the UK there are several groups that help and give advice, comfort, practical help and guidance to amputees and their families. I'm sure you will find similar groups in your country if you do a bit of googling.

Somebody I know, who lives quite a way away from us, a diabetic, damaged his foot and he never really bothered to have it checked out properly. So inevitably, in time, he had to have his leg amputated below the knee. We knew nothing about this, as we had lost contact for about a year with him. I was so angry when I found out, partly with myself for not keeping in touch, and partly with him for not informing us of his plight. Peter lived alone, and he had to fend for himself, with failing eyesight due to his diabetes, and then the added problem of getting used to a prosthetic leg. By the time we found out about all this, he was very well used to his new leg, and he had very regular visits from a district nurse, and had organised a driver to drive him to the shops and into the countryside. If he had never told us about having a prosthetic leg, we would never have realised, as he was quite accomplished and it was very non-sus!

So don't be too down, your good lady will manage to cope, with your love and help. I'm sure she will be able to get used to a prosthetic leg, but it will take time and a lot of patience from everybody.

But please do check the internet about help you can get from these amputee groups, I'm sure they will surprise you with helpful stuff that you may not have thought of, yourself. They are also there to be a shoulder to cry on, if either of you find that things are getting on top of you. They will have gone through what you are going through, and can give you support.

All the very best to you and your good lady, and my thoughts are with you. :-6
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Post by Saint_ »

along-for-the-ride;1289475 wrote: I'm sure your love and support will mean alot to her. Physical therapy will no doubt be a must for her recovery and adaptation.


Thanks AFTR. What I'm most worried about is the psychological impact. I mean, with guys, if we lose a leg, we'd probably just get a peg leg, an eyepatch, and begin talking like a pirate. But with women it's different. It's a part of the whole body-image thing, you know?

The first thing she said to me was, "Will you still love me without my leg?" (Poor dear. If 14 years of illnes hasn't scared me off yet, I certainly wouldn't start now. )
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Post by Odie »

Saint_;1289481 wrote: Thanks AFTR. What I'm most worried about is the psychological impact. I mean, with guys, if we lose a leg, we'd probably just get a peg leg, an eyepatch, and begin talking like a pirate. But with women it's different. It's a part of the whole body-image thing, you know?

The first thing she said to me was, "Will you still love me without my leg?" (Poor dear. If 14 years of illnes hasn't scared me off yet, I certainly wouldn't start now. )




Woman's emotions are much higher and once she comes home, that is when it will really hit.:(

I think she will need counseling and join a group.



Keeping her occupied would be the main thing, so she doesn't get depressed.

board games

cards

renting movies

having friends/family over

getting her out of the house.



when she is feeling stronger, then perhaps have her choose the proses-tics that make her feel the most comfortable, there is also help and guidance with this and they will come right to your home.
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Post by Kathy Ellen »

Oh Saint I am so sorry to hear this news.

Knowing that you're there to comfort, love and help her will mean the world to her.

They're doing wonders with prostetics now as you know.

Best wishes to you and family Saint. You have a long road in front of you.





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Post by AussiePam »

I'm sending my very best wishes too, Saint!!!
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Post by ZAP »

I'm so sorry to hear this. I agree that a support group is a good idea. Your sweetie is lucky to have you. Good luck to you both.
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Post by CARLA »

I strongly suggesting you get a second opinion from a Vascular specialist. There are many new procedures today that literally suck the clots out of legs with great success. Having a leg removed doesn't guarantee that she won't get a clot in the portion of the leg that is left, or her other leg. Is she on a blood thinner? Get a second opinion.
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Post by spot »

Blimey.

You know what the biggest achievement she's got to aim for, the bit that will make her recognize it's not the end of the world? Getting back to driving again. You need to find a car conversion that will help her back behind the wheel. What she needs is to discover is that she's not going to be dependent indefinitely. Unless the two of you had a deep-rooted unannounced foot fetish focused on sucking toes beneath the sheets in which case driving the car drops to second place.

The really positive side is that she's been hovering near imminent death for the last two years and now she isn't. Walking well enough that people won't even guess it's happened is more likely than not. There was an ice dancing competition in England last month which had Heather Mills out doing twirls and jumps, and she's famously monopedal. People frown at her but that's for taking Macca to the cleaners, not for losing a leg.

Let nobody say I can't be helpful and empathic in a crisis.

Carla, unless I misread the OP the operation's already happened.
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Post by Ahso! »

My best wishes to your wife and your family.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Dear Saint,

My sympathies to you. One of the wonderful things about this site is that you do get good advice. And in situations like this where you are just gobsmacked with the unknown, that really helps.

My concern just now is with you. On what I've seen you write here, you love her sooo much. It's going to be difficult. Remember to take time for yourself, because if you don't it'll be very difficult to always be there for her. I don't know you, so I don't know what form the time for yourself will take. But you probably do. Take care of yourself, because if you don't, you won't be able to take care of her as well as you want to.

My best wishes to you both.
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Post by Saint_ »

Odie;1289482 wrote:

board games

cards

renting movies

having friends/family over

getting her out of the house.


What a really outstanding idea, Odie! Thanks a bunch!:)
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Post by Odie »

Saint_;1289510 wrote: What a really outstanding idea, Odie! Thanks a bunch!:)


just sat here and imagined how I would cope.



its going to be a roller coaster ride of emotions and stages for quite some time, just hang on tight.;)
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Post by hoppy »

sorry to hear that. Show her love and care like never before.
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Post by Saint_ »

Clodhopper;1289509 wrote: Remember to take time for yourself, because if you don't it'll be very difficult to always be there for her. .


And that's more excellent advice. I taught all day, now I'm teaching Night School until 9:00 pm. (I don't go home between the two because Day School ends at 3:30 pm and Night School starts at 4:30 pm, so going home just seems to make the day longer.) After that, I'm headed down to the hospital to see her. (It's important to me to see her every single day. I know I'd need that if I was in the hospital!) I'll probably get home around midnight and by the time I cook dinner, feed the kitty, and wash the dishes, it'll be around 2:00 am.

All that and the surgery's tomorrow.... whew. I'm exhausted.:(
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Post by Saint_ »

CARLA;1289497 wrote: I strongly suggesting you get a second opinion from a Vascular specialist. There are many new procedures today that literally suck the clots out of legs with great success. Having a leg removed doesn't guarantee that she won't get a clot in the portion of the leg that is left, or her other leg. Is she on a blood thinner? Get a second opinion.


thanks Carla, but it's been a long, two year process involving three hospitals and some of the best vascular surgeons in the world. She was airlifted seven separate times last year to a major hospital in Denver and some very talented people (so many I can't keep track of them all) worked on her.

She's just got bad DNA. She has tiny, spiderwebbed veins and arteries, and a genetic clotting factor that turns her blood to jello. Of the three major arteries in her leg, two are gone, and the last was running at barely a trickle until this week. Her foot was dying and coming back to life, basically living only on capillary blood flow. Nightmarishly painful.

So modern medicine is really at the end of their rope. I guess we still can't cure everything.

She told me yesterday, "Are you going to help me make this decision?" I told her, "I'm sorry sweetie, but no one can help you make this decision. This is a decision you must make for yourself." (There's no way you tell someone you love that you think they should cut their leg off, especially your girl! They MUST make that decision for themselves so that they can deal with it later.) But I told her, "If you want my advice, though, you really haven't had a foot for almost two years. You can't walk, you are in terrible pain, your quality of life is poor. I'd advise you to get rid of that dead weight and get a new foot. Thousands of soldiers from the war have done it and they are doing just fine, living their lives anew. At least the constant pain will be gone.":o
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Post by Saint_ »

spot;1289500 wrote: Unless the two of you had a deep-rooted unannounced foot fetish focused on sucking toes beneath the sheets in which case driving the car drops to second place.


Good 'ol Spot.

Thanks, I really needed a laugh.:wah:



Carla, unless I misread the OP the operation's already happened.


No, the decision was made yesterday, but the surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.
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Post by spot »

Saint_;1289537 wrote: No, the decision was made yesterday, but the surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.Take sandwiches mate, it's going to be a long day. I expect a lot of us here will be thinking of you.
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Post by CARLA »

Fair enough seems everything has been done. I wish her well as the road ahead will be long and require all the support you can give her. I hope her recovery is fast and her rehab is exceptional as that will be very important to her physical and mental well being as you both progress through this process. :-6



[QUOTE]thanks Carla, but it's been a long, two year process involving three hospitals and some of the best vascular surgeons in the world. She was airlifted seven separate times last year to a major hospital in Denver and some very talented people (so many I can't keep track of them all) worked on her.

She's just got bad DNA. She has tiny, spiderwebbed veins and arteries, and a genetic clotting factor that turns her blood to jello. Of the three major arteries in her leg, two are gone, and the last was running at barely a trickle until this week. Her foot was dying and coming back to life, basically living only on capillary blood flow. Nightmarishly painful.

So modern medicine is really at the end of their rope. I guess we still can't cure everything.

She told me yesterday, "Are you going to help me make this decision?" I told her, "I'm sorry sweetie, but no one can help you make this decision. This is a decision you must make for yourself." (There's no way you tell someone you love that you think they should cut their leg off, especially your girl! They MUST make that decision for themselves so that they can deal with it later.) But I told her, "If you want my advice, though, you really haven't had a foot for almost two years. You can't walk, you are in terrible pain, your quality of life is poor. I'd advise you to get rid of that dead weight and get a new foot. Thousands of soldiers from the war have done it and they are doing just fine, living their lives anew. At least the constant pain will be gone.":o[/QUOTE]
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Post by Odie »

Saint_;1289537 wrote:







No, the decision was made yesterday, but the surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.


take your daily newspaper and wear comfy clothes, its gonna be a very long day my friend.

I will be thinking of her, prayers and thoughts coming her way.



:yh_pray

((((((((hugs)))))))
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Post by buttercup »

One of my clients is an amputee, she's an elderly lady now but happy to chat about the effects its had on her life and relationships, she often mentions it to me, if there is anything you'd like me to ask her let me know ;)
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Post by Peg »

You and your wife are in my thoughts today.
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Post by minks »

Beams :-6 to you Saint and Mrs Saint too. I hope all goes well today.
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Post by Imladris »

Just hugs and best wishes to you both. :-4
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Post by moonpie »

Saint, so sorry to hear about your sweetie's health problems. Don't have any professional advice to give, but all I can say is that she has obviously strong support by you and this will be a huge part of her recovery. Thoughts are with you both.
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Post by Odie »

well my friend, how did everything go today?



I imagine your still at the hospital, still thinking of you both.:-4
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Post by Clodhopper »

I imagine your still at the hospital, still thinking of you both.


Me too. Hope all went well. Hugs.
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Post by Saint_ »

Update: Spot was right. That was a long day. One of the longest in my life.

The surgery went well. Her calf muscle is getting blood from higher up the leg so it will be possible for her to get a prothesis. One snag, they were unable to do a nerve block (think longer-lasting novocaine) for her due to her blood thinners so she is in a great deal of pain today and was really toughing it out last night.

The whole family was there, with the sole exception of a particularly evil sister-in-law and one of her brothers (who could not come because that would tick off the sister-in-law and cause him no end of Hell), and she has 12 brothers and sisters as well as dozens of neices and nephews, so there was quite a support group.

As a matter of fact I finally had to throw them all out around midnight because the overstimulation was spiking her pain levels.:o

I'm re-arranging the furniture in the house tomorrow, making it more wheelchair friendly, and scrubbing down and sterilizing her bathroom to within an inch of it's life. I still have one little problem...

The bathtub. I've heard there is some kind of chair that you can get that swivels? and makes it easier to bathe? I think it attaches to the side of the tub. She's already got the shower that has a hose so that will help. Anyone know what I'm talking about or seen one of those things?:confused:

This is a picture of her (as a blonde, a redhead, and a brunette!)....what a cutie, eh?:-4

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Post by Odie »

Saint_;1289894 wrote: Update: Spot was right. That was a long day. One of the longest in my life.

The surgery went well. Her calf muscle is getting blood from higher up the leg so it will be possible for her to get a prothesis. One snag, they were unable to do a nerve block (think longer-lasting novocaine) for her due to her blood thinners so she is in a great deal of pain today and was really toughing it out last night.

The whole family was there, with the sole exception of a particularly evil sister-in-law and one of her brothers (who could not come because that would tick off the sister-in-law and cause him no end of Hell), and she has 12 brothers and sisters as well as dozens of neices and nephews, so there was quite a support group.

As a matter of fact I finally had to throw them all out around midnight because the overstimulation was spiking her pain levels.:o

I'm re-arranging the furniture in the house tomorrow, making it more wheelchair friendly, and scrubbing down and sterilizing her bathroom to within an inch of it's life. I still have one little problem...

The bathtub. I've heard there is some kind of chair that you can get that swivels? and makes it easier to bathe? I think it attaches to the side of the tub. She's already got the show that has a hose so that will help. Anyone know what I'm talking about or seen one of those things?:confused:

This is a picture of her....what a cutie, eh?:-4




I'm so relieved everything went so well and that she will be able to have a prosthesis.:-6

Sounded like quite the crowd, that was indeed great support.;)



she is beautiful and quite the cutey.:-6



thanks for sharing so much with us!
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Post by K.Snyder »

Saint_;1289458 wrote: My poor sweetie has struggled with a blood clot in her leg for two years. She was airlifted to Denver seven times last year trying to fix it, but to no avail. Well, modern medicine has finally exhausted all its options and she had to make the decision yesterday to have her leg amputated.

Other than all the psychological comfort and good, old-fashioned love I can give her, I am at a loss to know what will be needed to take care of her when she returns home from the hospital. Has anyone here undergone this or knows someone who has?:(


Ironic considering I just visited my brothers mother in law and she told me she had a blood clot in her left upper leg.

I can't imagine having to go through with amputating anything but that's a hell of alot better than:thinking: DYING!
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Post by K.Snyder »

Saint_;1289894 wrote: This is a picture of her (as a blonde, a redhead, and a brunette!)....what a cutie, eh?:-4


She's very BEAUTIFUL!

:thinking:

But then again, that doesn't say much because I think ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! :yh_kisses!!!!
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Post by fuzzywuzzy »

Saint I had a girlfriend in high school who woke up out of a coma missing her leg and three fingers. . (car accident.)



She was depressed for a really long time and eventually threw her crutches through a window. They made her arms very sore. She did have a sense of humour through out it all though . She used to tell eveyone that she was sending her body in bits to heaven just to confuse god.:wah:

She was depressed because of the disfiguement and the fact that people saw her missing leg before they 'saw' her.

She mainly became depressed not because she was missing the actual appendage but because of the constant re learning she had to do and the inconvenience of all the apparatus she had to use to get along in life.

My friend used to get frustrated with people who were overly helpful but in her depressive moods she would lash out and accuse people of not helpin gher enough .....all part of the grieving process. And yes we do grieve our missing limbs. So be aware of that emotion.

I'm sorry your mrs has had to make this choice I know someone else (much older) that is going through the process due to a clot as well.

BTW she looks so pretty as a blonde. :)
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Post by Clodhopper »

re the update: Phew. :)

Good-looking lady!
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Post by ZAP »

Your sweetie is lovely, Saint. All 3 hair colors. :-6
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Post by Saint_ »

fuzzywuzzy;1289923 wrote: And yes we do grieve our missing limbs. So be aware of that emotion.


What a very, very good point. Thanks.:(



BTW she looks so pretty as a blonde. :)


Yeah, that was my favorite too. She hasn't done that in many years, though. I think she thinks that people underestimate her as a blonde.:rolleyes:
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Post by fuzzywuzzy »

:yh_rotfl Story of my life :yh_rotfl

I am concerned that you've re arranged the furniture . Loss of a limb will ultimately mean loss of control over ones surroundings for a time . Maybe leave that bit to her? :o She'll know what needs to be done, as she adjusts.:o
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Post by minks »

Aw Saint good to hear Mz. Saint did well through surgery. Much healing time ahead. I hope she and you manage ok.

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Post by Saint_ »

fuzzywuzzy;1289941 wrote: . Maybe leave that bit to her? :o She'll know what needs to be done, as she adjusts.:o


lol. Don't worry. I am never allowed to rearrange the furniture without a specific, to the spot, blueprint from her. She already had everything planned out!

I just do the heavy lifting!:o
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Post by fuzzywuzzy »

like all good men should :yh_rotfl:yh_rotfl:yh_rotfl:yh_rotfl
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Post by Imladris »

Many many good wishes to your sweetie, yes she is beautiful whatever her hair colour.



BTW my fave blonde joke (may make her chuckle)-



What did the blonde say when she looked in the Cheerio box?



'Oh look, doughnut seeds!'
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Post by Odie »

how is everything going today?

is she still in a lot of pain?
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Post by Saint_ »

Yes, it is still very painful, but she is getting better. Yesterday they had some people come and give her physical therapy which seemed awfully soon to me, but I guess you need to get going on that right away.:o

They also changed her bandage so that the ace bandage is not wrapped around the end of her stump. That was hurting her. :-1

I thought I was doing pretty well, showing no signs of stress, but I noticed that I have had much more trouble getting up in the morning.:(
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Post by Imladris »

Take time to look after yourself too. It's hard to watch someone you love in pain, it drains you too.



Make sure you have support, you can't do it all on your own, talk to us lot here - we'll listen.



:-4
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Post by Odie »

Saint_;1290670 wrote: Yes, it is still very painful, but she is getting better. Yesterday they had some people come and give her physical therapy which seemed awfully soon to me, but I guess you need to get going on that right away.:o

They also changed her bandage so that the ace bandage is not wrapped around the end of her stump. That was hurting her. :-1

I thought I was doing pretty well, showing no signs of stress, but I noticed that I have had much more trouble getting up in the morning.:(


They have to start physio therapy soon before muscles stiffen up.

Of course you were extremely stressed, before, during and after with so many thoughts and things you had to do, and its showing now, which is completely normal as it usually takes a few days to come down from the emotional roller coaster ride.

You now need to take care of yourself, get more sleep and eat properly my friend.
Life is just to short for drama.
Clodhopper
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Post by Clodhopper »

You may be "Saint", but you are "Human" too! Don't forget that. You need sleep and food like the rest of us. Relaxation too, as soon as you can manage it. Even if you don't feel like it. Odie and Imladris talking much sense.

Best wishes to both of you. (hugs)
The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"

Lone voice: "I'm not."
moonpie
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:28 pm

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Post by moonpie »

Saint, you seriously much remember that your just being there for your wife is all that she is really wanting. She is leaving everything in the Doctor's hands, and I am sure she is getting the very best of care. In the meantime though, you will not be any good to her if you end up sick, in fact, you will make it harder for her to recover if you are showing signs of real stress. Be strong my friend, this is just the first row to hoe over, you will have many hard rows in front of you and of course for her. Take care, get the best rest while you are able to and please remember to eat as well as you can despite feeling you are on the run constantly. My thoughts are with both of you.
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Saint_
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Location: The Four Corners

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Post by Saint_ »

Speaking of hard rows to hoe... She's coming home today. I hope I have everything ready for her. there's not a dirty dish in the house, the laundry's all done, her sheets and bedding are clean, the rugs are vacuumed, everything's dusted, I've got a nice vanity for her next to her bed so that she can sit and put on her make-up, I'll try to pick up the tub seat this afternoon, I've got a grocery list ready to go, today's payday so I can get any prescriptions filled...

Have I forgotten anything?

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