It’s been two weeks since Oscar’s surgery and I alternate between feeling like he’s having a record-breaking recovery and worrying that he won’t be strong enough to fly home next Saturday as planned. Of course the truth lies in between.
We’re up in Connecticut now, at GrandMary and Grandpa’s Lake House, having received the okay from Dr. C to drive the 2.5 hours from New Jersey on Friday. Oscar is still rather uncomfortable, and is having trouble sleeping especially. “Everything hurts. I feel terrible,” he sobbed this afternoon as I gave him a quick sponge bath before nap. His words are still occasionally slurred and his voice often soft, but his eyes are no longer wide with fear and his jaw has relaxed. He is starting to smile and talk more, very slowly turning back into Oscar.
We get him out walking at least twice daily. GrandMary often takes him a half mile down the road to a little sandy beach where they sit a bit on a wooden bench before starting the uphill trek home. The first time they only made it halfway back before they needed transport, yesterday they made it all the way. Last night Grandpa, Abe, and I lured him out again after dinner to hear the band playing down at the clubhouse. He was tired, but pushed through, resting a bit in an Adirondack chair on the sand before we started back home. He was too tired to tackle the hill so Jennifer rescued him.
When he’s not walking, or sleeping, or eating, or having bandages changed, or being forced to take a seated shower, or do breathing exercises, we’ve fit in some games with Susan, Jennifer, Grandpa and Abe. He lasts longer in sitting positions when we’re playing Milles Bornes or Boggle, and he’s starting to taunt his opponents and find some good words.
But his favorite activity is lying on GrandMary’s living room couch. His long legs fold awkwardly and hang over the edges, but the cushions are soft and he’d stay there for hours reading A’s news, researching players, or playing games on the iPad if we didn’t force him to move. Last night, in bed, at 1am, or was it 3am, he pushed himself up to sitting, went to the bathroom, and then told me he was going to “take a loop”—walk through the living room, around the kitchen island, and back. He said it was to loosen up, but, I realized, as I followed behind frantically turning on lights, it was just about checking the time on the oven clock, to count the hours till he could move from the bed we’re sharing back to the couch. Neither of us is sleeping well—he’s shifting positions in search of comfort and I’m still warding off edge-of-sleep thoughts of him falling or drowning.
It’s gorgeous here though, on the edge of a lake surrounded by tall, rustling trees…so soothing after all the sterility and stress of the hospital. We have lots of family helping us, and I’ve gotten some much-needed breaks—to swim, to walk, to kayak. I’m hoping that Oscar will feel increasingly better and be up for some of his favorite activities too—walking the dogs, mini-golf, and perhaps a visit to Adventure Wildlife.