My wife in the hospital

What’s the diagnosis?

in the hospitalMy wife said that her being in the hospital was easier for me than taking care of her when she was home. I don’t think that was necessarily true.

For while I was helping her with many tasks she normally did on her own, as well as doing most of the household chores, coming to the hospital daily had its own challenges.

Friday, October 14: I went to the hospital and gave my wife my charger because hers got lost in her various moves, and it was the only way I knew how to keep in touch with her. I brought her some magazines and stayed about three hours, which was about my norm on Saturday through Monday.

She was getting a four-hour IV drip for antibiotics, plus others for hydration and other meds.

“Bring the lavender top”

Saturday, October 15: She didn’t have to wear the hospital gown, but she did need me to bring her clothes. I had no idea how she organized her apparel, and why would I? But now I know more than I thought I needed to know. Also, I brought her laptop.

When I was home alone, the house seemed unsettled, with every noise the cats made seemingly amplified. Also, I received many calls, emails, and texts checking in on my wife.

Sunday, October 16: We did Facetime for the very first time, as I used it to show her armoire so that she could pick out her apparel. At the hospital, she beat me at Boggle, which is not unusual.

Monday, October 17: She thought she would come home today but nope, not until tomorrow. I watched as the nurse showed me how to treat the wounds on her leg. The infection started on her left ankle, but the area on her lower shin “blistered,” as they called it. It was… well, if you ever saw the climatic scene in the movie Alien…

Another twofer

Tuesday, October 18: I had breakfast with my friend Karen at the Madison Cafe. More correctly, she ate, but I got something to go because I was not allowed to eat in anticipation of another test at St. Peter’s. It was a CT ANGIO CHEST WO AND/OR W CONTRAST; got that?

I went to the hospital and got the test. As the notes indicate, “Images were repeated due to motion artifact,” the motion being my need to cough once. Note that I had not only eaten anything but drank nothing as well. I’m wearing a mask. To avoid wrecking a second test, I strained to send saliva down my throat.

My wife was going to be discharged. I was supposed to get hands-on training in treating her leg wounds, but because my procedure took longer, my opportunity passed. The nurse said, “So you finally got here.” My wife thought the nurse was joking with me; maybe.

My BIL Dan took us home. Getting up the four steps to our porch on crutches was a challenge for my wife. Later on, hopping up and down our stairwell was an exhausting chore. So for the next few days, she’d make only one trip downstairs and then one return trip per day. Per the suggestion of our daughter, crawling up proved to be the optimal method.


Over the next week, she slowly improved. While her leg was elevated while she was sitting on the sofa or the bed, she made efforts to walk at least a little. Gradually, her swollen foot started shrinking so that she could wear one of my shoes on her left foot; this would probably go viral had I recorded it. A few days later, had her own shoes.

I treated her wound nearly daily, except when she went to the doctor. The task got easier once I commandeered one of her empty dresser drawers to keep the gauze and abdominal pads et al. Her leg got less red and far less… unappealing. The actual diagnosis is cellulitis, but it’s not vascular, and it may take a month before she sees a specialist who might give a clearer assessment.

As for my situation: the status quo is the way to go. More tests in six months.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “My wife in the hospital”

  1. It sounds like y’all are on the mend. Taking care of a patient – even one you love – is difficult! It sounds like you are being a good care giver.

  2. Good Lord, I need to read your posts. Please let her know she is in my prayers, and you too. Cellulitis is so very painful, not sure why, but it’s worse than a lot of things. Send me an email if you want to catch up off this page.

    Roger, I am so sorry. Amy

  3. Amy- at least the 11/4 post. And BTW, I ALWAYS find your comments helpful and on point, so thank you.

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