Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sometimes Things Are Too Much

Yesterday Rick and I had an appointment with his social worker. We see her on a monthly basis. The goal is to help with Rick's PTSD. He usually leads the conversation with what is bothering him the most.
Yesterday it was his knees and how much pain he is in. The fact that he is in pain and vulnerable does not help with PTSD. In fact, it heightens it and makes the hypervigilence more pronounced.
Rick's knees have been getting worse for the last two years. He started with a cane,and that no longer helped. He is now on Canadian crutches,which help take some of the weight off his knees,but even that is no longer working like it used to. He also takes morphine,which is also not helping like it did. He saw his primary care physician yesterday in passing,and asked if he could up his dose. Rick's pain on a scale of 1-10 is a 10 on good days. His tolerance for pain is high,so his 10 would be our 20. We have a consult on the 25th down in Boston,and we are going to demand some answers.
As I was sitting there, listening to him tell the social worker about his knees,I felt worse and worse. He told her about how his knees get so swollen that they get to be 19" around,how much pain he is in,and how he just grits his teeth and deals with it. The kicker was when he was talking about Zach.Zach started hunting last year,and he really enjoys it. Rick has always enjoyed hunting,though he lost some of that enjoyment due to the PTSD,but he always did it,anyway. When his knees started getting bad, he would still go,but couldn't stay out in the woods for long,nor walk far. Rick has been taking Zach out back into the woods to go squirrel hunting,and in doing so,has really walked more than he should and is causing alot more pain because if it. But he is determined to do it for Zach,no matter what pain it causes. Rick kept rubbing his knees as he spoke,because they hurt just sitting there.
I started to cry.
It hurts me so much to see him like this,to know the pain level he is enduring. To know that his quality of life has suffered significantly. I try not to let it show,but I couldn't help it then. " He shouldn't be dealing with this, he's only 47," I sniffled. " I can't stand seeing him like this,it's not right." Rick reached over and took my hand. " It's OK," he said. "Don't cry,things will get better."
We are praying that they do indeed perform some form of surgery,and that they can least cut the pain level to where he can actually walk comfortably,and not need pain medication. We can't wait for the 25th to roll around.

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