The smaller portion is home, and happy to be here. He is a lot weaker than he expected, but home. And I am not certain which of us is happier. He is growing his beard back just as fast as he can, despite me telling him that he probably doesn't have the thirty six years needed to get it to pre-shave levels. I have, repeatedly, told him how much I love to see his chin and cheeks, but at the end of the day it is his face and his decision. Dammit.
There are so many adjustments that both of us have to make. For as long as I can remember his preference has been to have only one meal a day, and to make that one very very spicy (think Malaccan Devil's curry which has 40 chillies in it). Now we have been told it has to be 'little and often'. And the jury is still out on whether he can have spicy. The diverticulitis that we didn't know he had seems to warrant a high fibre diet. The colostomy may not cope with it as well. We are booked in to see a dietitian the week after next and for the moment are working on trial and error. And I am doing the cooking for both of us because he cannot stand long enough.
The community nurse came to touch base with him yesterday. For the next month or so he will call in once a week, and the smaller portion has access to a community nurse on a needs basis 24 hours a day. Reassuring.
Nonetheless his pride, body image and independence have been hit hard.
He has been told that he cannot drive for up to two months, because he would be a danger to himself and others. Something he is having trouble accepting. On Wednesday we went to see our local GP. She ordered a blood test (fortunately they didn't butcher him the way the hospital did). After that he went to buy some soft pants which didn't gouge into the staple lines, while I did the grocery shopping. We then caught a cab home. He was so tired he was spinning out, but assured me that if he had been driving it would have been better. Huh? How?
So until he gets the all clear to drive again he will have to rely on me. Which both hurts his pride and makes him feel guilty. Which it shouldn't, but as I know only too well, guilt is not rational. And yes I know that we could shop on line, but I am a vegetarian and prefer to select my fruit and veggies on the basis of how it looks, feels and smells rather than accepting a photo. And himself has a similar attitude towards his cuts of meat. So for the next little while I will be doing more walking and more bus travel and he is too weak yet to play either unless it is essential. We will start gentle walks next week I think. At the moment a meander around either the front or the back garden exhausts him.
He has also been told that until he sees his surgeon again next month the heaviest weight he can lift is one kilogram. Which rules out both cats. Another sadness. He cannot vacuum or sweep or stretch for fear of damaging internal stitches.
Presumably next month the surgeon will tell him/us a little more about the possibility of reversing the colostomy and give us a timeframe. I have been doing some reading (thanks JahTeh) but suspect that whatever the risk he will want to go ahead. Hopefully his next hospital visit will be less dramatic than the last.
We will get there but there is a long road ahead of us still. And both of us are so very tired.