Sue,from Living The Good Life,had inquired how Rick is doing,and I realized that I haven't given any updates for a while. So,for those of you who are wondering how The Man of the Place is doing,here is the scoop.
Rick's knees are doing great. His muscles still get stiff,so sometimes he has to stretch two or three times a day.He does his stretching,exercises,and elliptical bike each day,and he feels great after.Some days his muscles are sore,and other days he feels nothing at all.This is nothing compared to the pain he was in before. He does have days where he feels more comfortable with a cane,but for the most part,he doesn't use it.He does have to pay attention to his walk,though,because he is used to limping when he walked,so he has to get out of that habit.
He is now down to 30 mg of morphine a day,which,considering he was taking 120 mg per day,is wonderful. Next week he will be only taking 15 mg,then the following week,he will be off it completely. While this is good news,it's also bringing his PTSD issues to the forefront again.(We were aware that this would happen) The morphine helped deaden it. Now he is more hyper vigilant,and yesterday was a bad day. We went to his TBI Dr,Dr Whitlock at the Manchester VA. Rick told him he still has long term and short term memory issues,he forgets who people are if he hasn't seen them for a while,his speech still drags sometimes,etc.He also mentioned his PTSD is more pronounced. We decided to stop for breakfast on the way home,and when we were in the restaurant,Rick told me he felt shaky and real anxious,and he didn't know why,but he would be OK. When we got in the truck,it was too much for him and he broke down. "I thought I was past all this,"he said. " It's like it was when I first got back. There's too much coming at me and I can't handle it.I'm on sensory overload." I felt terrible. There was nothing I could do to help him.He sat there crying and all I could say was,"It's OK...it will get better...you are going to start a new PTSD program next week,so that will help....it will be OK..." Rick has a real problem with hyper vigilance-he is on guard all the time,and has to observe everything and everyone.Now that he is more clearheaded without the morphine,the hyper vigilance is more pronounced. He was wiped out by time we got back and took a nap. Today,though,he is in much better spirits,and he and Brother B are off running some errands before they begin splitting wood. PTSD is a roller coaster.Some days, he gives no indication that he has any issues. There are days,though they rarely happen,where everything builds up and he breaks down. It's like any of us-sometimes you just have to vent and get it out of your system...even The Man of the Place.