Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Trials & Tribulations

Its been awhile since I've had any worthwhile block of time in the studio.  It seems as though life is throwing curve balls my way.

The summer was busy as usual with visits from the grand-kids and time spent at the beach. (Anyone with little ones around know how all consuming they can be, but so much fun.) By September , I was back in the studio beginning a few new projects and participating in a couple of local group shows; all was well.

My husband surprised me with a trip to Jade Mountain St. Lucia in October so we could relax before the holidays. We had a lovely time and once we got back home, I was ready to get back to work.

However, our arrival home at 2:00 AM on a Sunday morning wasn't so sweet. A strong odor hit us as we opened the door and we found that our fully stocked refrigerator/freezer had "died" while we were away. Lots of spoiled food!

Fifteen years ago when we remodeled the kitchen, we opted to install a built in refrigerator. It looked great and ran well. But, come to find out, it’s not easy to replace. It took almost 2 months to get a new fridge; nothing like living without one for a couple of months! Fingers crossed that the panels from the old one fit the new.

Anyway, things were falling back in place when this tree caused the next catastrophe.

After an early November wind storm had wrecked havoc on a few trees on our property, my husband grabbed his chain saw and headed out to clean up. Halfway through a cut on this dead tree, it split vertically, struck him and threw him against a nearby stone wall. When I hadn't heard the chain saw running for a few minutes, I called out to him and found him bloodied and lying against the wall.

My heart dropped when I found him!

I called 911 and he was rushed to the local hospital and then transferred to the Bone & Joint Center in Hartford. After running numerous tests, we were relieved to hear there were no head or back injuries or broken ribs. The worst injury was a nasty tibial plateau fracture and badly stretched ligaments in his left shoulder.

His facial lacerations were stitched up and he was taken to surgery where they applied an external brace to his leg.This needed to be in place for 10 days or so until the swelling went down enough to operate and repair the bone.

Because hospitals now discharge you in as few days as possible, he needed to be sent to a rehab home to recuperate. Let me tell you, you don't want to spend time in one of those facilities - especially for 10 days! Depressing environment and not always the best care. Because he was in such pain, I ended up spending 7 to 8 hours there each day to make sure his needs were met and the wounds on his leg, (where they drilled pins into his bones to support the brace) were cleaned properly. All but one or two of the care givers had ever seen a brace like this before so no one was sure what to do. Thankfully, they had shown me what to do before we left the hospital.

Once the swelling was in check, it was back to Hartford and into surgery again where permanent pins and plates were inserted into the tibia; we were told the fibula would take care of itself. The shoulder would be on a wait and see what develops kind of thing.

A few days later it was back to a rehab home (we switched to a different one) and had a slightly better experience. However, I brought him home after a few days because I could take much better care of him there. It was just a matter of figuring out new daily routines and how to handle a wheelchair and walker.

This mishap occurred the very beginning of November.

I celebrated my birthday by being grateful that I still had my guy around. Thanksgiving was low key and we missed our annual get together with the grand-kids. It looks like Christmas will be a quiet celebration as well.

Right now I'm his "legs" and have been doing what needs to be done: lots of care giving duties, normal household chores, outdoor chores, going out to cut down a Christmas tree and getting it set up, decorating for the holiday, shopping, etc. Boy am I tired! Definitely no time in the studio.

The good thing is we're at the point where every day gets a little better. He's able to get around more with the walker and the focus is on physical therapy and getting the knee and ankle loosened up so that after Christmas, when he gets the go ahead to start applying weight to his leg, things should improve. Thank God for the chair lift we installed! Without that, it would be a real struggle getting him up and down the stairs.

Needless to say I'm not sorry to see the end of 2017 and sincerely hope next year will be better. I'm going to look at this time as a period of hibernation. I'll count my blessings, enjoy the season and look forward to a fresh new year... and some much needed studio time.

I wish everyone peace, love and a fabulous holiday.