We’re celebrating an anniversary. It’s been exactly two months since Deane’s surgery.
Two months that have taken us from operation to ICU to constant care to rehabilitation. We’ve been through oxygen saturation difficulties to a collapsed lung to hydration and swallowing concerns. There have been five NG tubes shoved up his nose, days of unappetizing minced food and struggles over school attendance.
Then there are the knee immobilizers and the abduction wedge that he was in for six weeks – day and sleepless nights. And he still has to sleep in them.
It was the extended sleeplessness we didn’t anticipate. We knew it would be hard – vinyl pull-out chairs are not designed for comfort. But we didn’t expect to have our nights repeatedly interrupted by Deane’s discomfort at having to sleep with a foot in the air.
Now after nine weeks of this existence, we are all tired – very tired. We have gotten through this because of the people who have fed us, bought groceries and coffees and generally looked after us. They don’t ask how we are – they ask about Deane and what they can do for us.
But in the last week, a person well acquainted with the rehabilitation experience, has twice said to me with surprise in her voice, “You look tired!” I’m sure she means well, but it couldn’t sound farther from supportive. I want to scream: “What do you expect?”
I know how I feel. I know how I look. Don’t tell me the obvious. Ask me how I’m doing. I’ll at least give you a smile – even if it is through very tired eyes.