Shortly after returning home from Inspiration Unlimited in 2013, things began to change in our household and no one was ready. In November, 2013 began the sequence of my biggest fears. I was rushing my mom to the hospital with excruciating pains on her right side. Because it was Veterans Day, Jodi did not have her work program - so I had no other choice but to drop off my mom at the ER and go home with Jodi.
The day was so long, my brother went to the hospital but I needed to be with my sister - that is what was going to matter most to my mom. I had a feeling that she would be admitted and she was. In fact she would be having surgery in the morning. I began to see my life, how this was going to be for me and for Jodi. We were alone and though immediate family knew what was happening, no one felt the need to come by and sit with Jo so that I could go the hospital. It was very eye opening and I realized that I need to be ready. Mom came home the next day after surgery and we knew that February there would be another surgery and we were getting ready for that.
In the meantime Jodi started having medical issues. She was falling a lot and was losing her strength. Dr's could not figure out what was going on so we pressed on. Mom had her procedure in February which led to an averse reaction and a whole new set of problems arose. Jodi continued to get worse. Mom got better and Jodi got worse.
Easter Sunday 2014, we cancelled our dinner plans. We cancelled everything!!! Actually Jodi's Easter Basket is still sitting in the garage - unopened :( Jodi was unstable, not able to walk without assistance and she was not doing well so off we went to the emergency room. Trying to convey to Dr's what is wrong when she can't tell you is difficult. We had the first Dr and he was great, he heard everything we said and knew what to do but he went off shift and we got a new Dr. She undid the previous Dr's orders and changed everything. We didn't realize it till it was too late and ugh what a mess. They admitted Jodi for further tests. So here is another worst fear, we didn't ever want to be in this position and this is where we were. Tests were inconclusive and on Monday night my sweet baby sister became afraid, anytime any medical staff would approach her, she would sob. I have never seen her do that - she just sobbed. Well big sister mode kicked into high gear and I held onto her and we left the hospital that night because of the Dr who went in her own direction we knew that they weren't hearing us and we would follow up with her Dr.
We got Jo home and in the house - which was difficult because she was still a bit drugged. Because the stairs were such an issue and her foot was still turned in, we chose to set her up on the couch. A couple days later she was able to go upstairs to bed but only a couple more days because we were too afraid she was going to fall. I was impressed she sat down and scooted on her butt, she figured that all out on her own.
We went to her Dr and they did x-rays. No one can figure out why her foot is turning the reality is she needed surgery to fix it. But before that she took a turn for the worse and we are heading back to the hospital - this time in an ambulance. Eight days in the hospital followed by 8 days in rehab hospital - she came home. Unfortunately she was in worse shape then when we started this mess. Now this girl is in a wheelchair and losing strength along with muscle mass and no one knows why. We moved things around downstairs and moved her bedroom down.
She had surgery on Achilles Tendon. We had hoped that strengthening her tendon would make her foot straight and then her mobility would improve. Though she can stand for short periods of time, she can't walk. We are trying to get her moving but it is not easy. Her Dr's are OK if she stays in the wheelchair.
We went through so many of our worst fears this last year and we have survived them. Our new normal isn't anything like it was a year ago. Jodi is in a wheelchair and 100% dependent on mom and I. One of us is with her always. Unfortunately my time has diminished. I don't have the time to craft and create like I used to. I am no longer teaching and miss it. Each day things are handled in order of importance or urgency and that means that fun things are done later or never. It is what it is. God put Jodi in our lives for a reason and He knows that to the best of our being we will always take care of her. I just have to trust in Him and know that He will make this journey as easy as possible..
Though we have had each other, there have been a few friends who have offered support/ help and we appreciate all the offers, other family members have not been there to give a hand. It has been very sad for us to watch and realize this. It has shown me that when mom is gone that it will be just Jodi and I. That scares me because I know that she needs me to care for her. This past year has taught me a lot and with knowledge comes power. So this is our new normal - time to adjust!!!