99 Problems

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated everyone on the status of Rich. In some ways that’s been because there hasn’t been a lot to report, and in some ways it’s because the things to report were not solely mine to tell. Since January, Rich’s fistula has been behaving. It’s healed over on the outside with only a tiny dot of a scab. Not even a bandaid is necessary.

The section of his incision that I call the “lower wound” is still hanging out. The very bottom of his incision is still open. It’s about the size of a quarter and very deep, but hopefully will close. We just keep putting gauze on it twice a day to keep it clean. But no pool parties for Rich until at least July probably.

The horrible stomach cramps from reintroducing food have abated and most things are safe for Rich to eat. From a belly standpoint, he only has sporadic discomfort in the evenings. That part is pretty manageable.

But holy shit his shoulder. While in the army, Rich broke his right shoulder in several places and severely dislocated it. Hooray mandatory fun days of playing soccer with the Germans. It’s never been right since then and will regularly pop out of socket. That’s been the status quo for decades.

After lying in bed for six months, though, his shoulder got very angry. Also, he’s had to lie on his right side (with the bad shoulder) in order to get TPN at night. Very angry shoulder.

That has given him the range of motion of John McCain, which is to say almost none. In March, he started seeing my trigger release therapist Denise. She has done amazing things for him but it takes a lot of time for him to recover. He can only see her every 7-10 days to give his body time to heal. We were elated that after his first visit he could pat the top of his own head. But trying to swing a sword or hold a hockey stick is still excruciating.

As a man who identifies with his physical abilities, it’s hard when those are not possible. Rich has been depressed. He feels broken. It’s very frustrating. The stress he feels has been hard on everyone in the family.

Add to all this, for the last 10 days or so, Rich has had a low fever off and on. He had a Man Cold on Friday the 10th that seemed to get better over the weekend. But the fevers and the fatigue wear on him. He wants to do things in the evenings, but he feels run down so all he can manage is to lie on the couch with me. We watch a lot of movies.

I still say things are looking up, though. Rich went to Nashville today for a CT scan, blood work, consult, and infusion. His CT scan came back normal, with no signs of tumor growth or abscess. His blood work is within normal levels, even with his white blood cell count going up a smidge (7.0 to 9.2). He got a script for antibiotics to hopefully address his possible sinus infection. They’ve escalated his immunotherapy dosage again this week.

He goes back to the trigger release goddess Denise on Friday. He’s seeing the sports medicine folks on Monday afternoon for x-rays on his shoulder. We have a new prescription for Wellbutrin to see if that helps with Rich’s anxiety. That should give him the tools he needs to be himself again.

We’re still keeping busy. We have an SCA event, race/marathon, or party scheduled nearly every weekend in April and May. We’re going to San Francisco for a conference in June. We're making plans for Pennsic in August. I'm running a half marathon in Vegas in November.

Life goes on. And we're grateful that it does.