Pop has been complaining of low back pain forever. I always thought it was because he spent so much time sitting in his armchair. He has long resisted my suggestions to have the problem examined more closely, and to add lumbar support to his chair.
So it was a pleasant surprise when an x-ray machine was wheeled into his room on Wednesday. The Piedmont Place medical staff ordered it. Pop hardly had to move as four pictures were taken while he remained in bed. And lickety-split, the pictures were interpreted, report written and sent back to PP.
Pop has osteoarthritis in the lumbar region of his spine. This disease gradually worsens with time, and no cure exists. He has been prescribed Vicoden for the pain, and is being exercised by a therapist daily since yesterday. This is both treatment for the arthritis, and because his muscles are quite weak after two-plus weeks in bed. He says one such session nearly ended with his collapse, but nothing as dramatic actually occurred. He is still spending most of his days and nights in bed (though he is now dressed), and is still eating relatively well despite his own reports to the contrary. He says that all he really wants is chicken soup, but eats whatever they bring to him.
Quarantine has been lifted and the cabinet containing gowns and gloves has been removed from the room. Pop will venture to eat in the dining room tomorrow.
We’ve developed a little game. As I leave the room, we sort of high-five, but keep our hands engaged. Pop pushes against me as I stand on only one foot. Then, unannounced, he releases his arm strength in the hope that I will fall on him which I never do. But he enjoys it, and so do I.
Pop will be 82 tomorrow, not 83 as I incorrectly said in Parental update – 022410 2nd edition. He has always hated recognition for birthdays for reasons that don’t make sense. Nevertheless, he was touched today when Lisa presented him with a homemade card. Grouch though he may be, I’m sure he will be similarly warmed by the sentiments still to come from Elizabeth, Michael & Joy and others.
For her part, Mom seems strong, confident and at peace. Her hour-long daily walks help her physically while spreading sunshine to all she meets along the way. The nurses and staff at Piedmont Place really love her.