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LOOK MA... no PINS!
I haven't blogged weekly, as I intended, to chronicle how my cowboy is doing. Honestly, I could not bring myself to give everyone a blow by blow of his progress because much of what we were experiencing was not positive in nature. Healing is slow, tedious, and frankly frustrating. We hit a bit of a wall over the last few weeks, and watching him suffer and work hard was not an easy or upbeat topic of discussion.

Though the doctors and therapists tell you it will be a long long road to healing, there is no way to register what this will mean day to day for the person struggling to heal or for those helping him. I will be be honest and frank, so as to give you a true idea of what this is like. There are lots of tears, struggles, and even laughter... because some days if we did not laugh we might just break down and cry. We have never been quitters and do not plan to start now!

If you have been following Seth's progress you will know he had an external fixator which was holding everything in place. This has now been removed. He was sooo thankful to have it taken off and I have to tell you it was no easy day when this occurred. All the weekend before he was threatening to take a wrench to it and remove them himself! We of course talked him into waiting!

I have honestly never seen him experience anything so painful in my life! It took a lot of him breathing deeply and the doc working quickly to get him through it. We will post a gory video in the near future of the pin removal... but we have to wait for our computers to be repaired for this to happen.

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Pins removed!
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Though we were warned that he would experience some residual pain and his wrist would be stiff and need therapy to regain the lost ground, nothing prepared him for the pain of it. He expected more relief. The pain meds have done nothing for the pain, and unfortunately I have only to report he is pain most of the time, waking at night, not resting, and it is over whelming at times.

The biggest difference I see is his adjustment to all of these changes. Most of my blog has been focused on his arm and the recovery. He had the surgery to correct his vision in his right eye and to date it has not been successful. He has had moments of real frustration due to the knowledge of what things he may have permanently lost. He attempted to help me thread my sewing machine and with his head tipped down, his site goes double... it does the same when he shifts his gaze upward. So far we are being told it will not impact his ability to work, as when he looks head on... right or left, his vision is ok.

We had really hoped the surgery would correct the issue. Perhaps the moment which has been hardest to witness was when he discovered he could no longer focus his eye in his gun scope. Now I know there are those people out there... I know and love many of you... who don't get the gun thing or are in opposition to guns and hunting. I ask you to be kind and understanding. My husband has hunted for food for as long as he was able, though he does not hunt for trophy. He also has a sharp shooter pin from his days as a reserve deputy. The ability to shoot was something he was good at and was proud of. He has been encouraged to learn to shoot left handed... but we do not know if his left arm, which sustained more damage than the right will regain this ability. Facing hard losses of things he loves has been a part of this healing process. He is thankful for what he has, but acknowledges the pain of this.


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Pins out ... cast on... and we have a smile!
For those of you who know this man of mine, you know him to be calm, level headed, slow to anger, not anxiety or worry prone. To date, the trauma of this accident has changed things for him, and therefor all of us who know and love him. After a month of searching we have hopefully found a neurologist who will help us investigate the residual effects of the head trauma. Right after the accident we noticed memory loss, and an inability to sometimes formulate thoughts or place correct words in correct order.

We waited... thinking his brain had probably been jostled. After some time had passed, his primary Doctor decided to we needed to investigate further. When dealing with the frustration of workman's comp, it can take time to navigate finding care. We live closer to doctors in another state than one's here. The nearest Neurologist we could find in our state was 6 hours from home. After two small trips, it has been apparent that long travel is not something Seth can handle at this time. It took many calls to find a doctor willing to accept our state's workman's comp, and we are hopeful to have an appointment within the week.

Seth has never been one to worry. The joke in our house is my worrying ways! When I get scared or nervous about the kids or safety, he never could wrap his mind around it. If riding in the car made me nervous, or seeing anything I perceived as unsafe came up, it was always a challenge for us to get on common ground. This accident has changed him. For the first time in his life he is experiencing anxiety and worry. We see signs of PTSD when he is in a vehicle, or at the hospital getting tests. Luckily, he has a wife who is well versed in what this feels like. I can say " I know you are feeling overwhelmed, but this situation is not as big as it feels, take a deep breathe."

Something as small as making a deposit at the bank can feel over whelming at this time. I won't lie, I realize I have come to lean on and expect a man who is strong in everything. He has always been a rock and a calm in any storm. The roles seemed to have reversed for the time being, and I believe it to be an interesting place for us both. Just the other day one of the kids was cutting up vegetables and he became very worried they would be hurt... he started reminding them to be careful... he broke out in a cold sweat... and then looked and me and asked "Is this what it is like for you when you worry?" I could only laugh and say "Welcome to my world" We all just hugged him. Life is changing for him and he is learning new ways of coping with it.

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Seth and Billy... working to get him better
Add his anxiety to loss of ability to function as he was used to and it is a recipe for a lot of frustration. That cowboy of mine is a math wizz, and is finding remembering numbers difficult. He has always struggled with dyslexia, so having real strength in the area of numbers made things feel balanced for him. He is the go to guy for math homework, and balancing the check book!

The loss of his ability to function, do basic carpentry will hopefully return, but the waiting game at this point is a lesson in patience and faith! They say he has at least 12 - 16 weeks of Occupational Therapy before we will know where his arms will be. He is already seeing improvement in the wrist movement and every little bit of ground gained gives us hope! On Friday, we were amazed at the improvement he gained in just a couple of days.

His right arm is experiencing an over growth of scar tissue and is now being treated. If it continues there may be other treatments to rid him of the excess and stop the unwanted scarring. His neck and shoulders are not improving as we had hoped, and we will be following up on further therapies. We are doing everything humanly possible to get him mended and back where he wants to be. Not being able to work is a new experience for him, and honestly is a daily challenge. He has to remind himself it is not something which can be helped at this time. Step by step and day by day is our main goal at this time!


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So, where is the silver lining in all of this? We laugh as much as we can, even at things such as him putting the wrong word in a sentence. For the first time in Seth's life he beat a video game... and we all laughed! We spend a lot of time together, and enjoy the little things in life, such as making California Rolls and Sushi together! We work toward the goal, together, as a family, of Pa's healing (that is what my kids call him). We pray, we love, we hope, and we face this adversity with as much optimism as we can. When one looks at all the problems in the world, all the struggles, all the wars, all the mountains to be climbed, we are thankful that ours is not so insurmountable as to cause our hearts to lost faith in this life. We watch our kids grow... we enjoy the howling of the wind around our home... this home we fill with love, laughter, optimism, and faith even though there is also a measure of pain.

Tonight, as I was finishing up this blog post, that cowboy of mine came up the stairs with a giant grin! That look and spark in his eye have not been seen very often since the accident! He had conquered my 1931 Singer sewing machine. He has been slowly trying to figure out how to get it to sew. It's been a long time babe since I've seen you happy and confident with your abilities. It gives me hope!
 


Comments

09/09/2012 6:04pm

I noticed you had not been posting about Seth, and was afraid it had been really rough. I'm so sorry for what you all are having to endure. I am praying for your family, and fully believe, as His word says, nothing is too difficult for Him, only believe. His arm is not too short too reach whatever situation we are faced with.
Tell Seth I'm sorry he may not get to hunt this year, but I am praying for him to be back out there next year. I know how important that is to a man like Seth. Don't lose hope! Sometimes we can only see the road that is directly in front of us, but God sees around every corner, and knows our beginning to our end.
I pray you all will find a place of rest in Him.

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09/09/2012 10:45pm

Thank you :) As hard as it has been... we are hanging in there and finding joy where we can :) Hugs

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Bethany Brucker
10/09/2012 5:50pm

I am not an expert on bible verses but I remember this one from a rough patch in my life. Maybe it will give you the same feeling it gave me. Proverbs 3 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Maybe God has a new plan for your cowboy that will take you down paths you never dreamed of going but with you by his side - it will all work out and one day you will read this blog and just smile in amazement at where you ended up. Prayers of strength and encouragement coming your way.

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