It wasn’t until the middle of March that Suzanne finally came home. Her plaster was off and she had a brace that she had to wear at night. Nothing however made a difference to her wide legs. They never improved. It wasn’t very dignified. For Suzanne it also meant a permanent end to her limited movement.
Before her surgery, she could prop herself on one elbow and look around. She could also move along the floor, using her legs to push her long. Now with her hips set and her legs wide apart neither of those things were possible. She spent her time on a mattress on the floor until Marty build a day bed in the corner of the lounge.
It was like a divan bed, it has storage under it, ideal for nappies and things and there was a mattress on top. It wasn’t quite as long as a single bed but it was the same width. It was good to get her off the floor.
Having her home also meant that for the first time I got help. District nurses came in the morning 3 times a week to bath her. The bathroom still hadn’t been altered. I also got a home help for 3 mornings a week. Her name was Marion. She was great. She did the stuff that I didn’t have time or energy for, like floors, cleaning the bathroom, ironing and making beds.
Another bonus when it came to Suzanne was the hospital supplied her nappies and took away the dirty ones. She wore at least two at time. I had to experiment to find the best way to fold them so they were big it enough. Of course this didn’t include Simon’s which I had to wash, Disposables were just coming in but they were really expensive.
I concentrated on looking after everyone. I had became quite OCD about the washing. It was put on the line with Simon’s stuff on the first line, Suzanne’s on the second, Jenni’s on the third, Marty and mine on the forth and linen on the outside. That way, when I brought it in it was sorted. I didn’t get carried away, I didn’t colour code the pegs or anything. It was just about finding ways of saving time and energy.
Routine was everything. In the morning we had to get everyone up for work and school. . Simon and Suzanne always woke early, Jenni and Marty took a little longer. Marty was first of course and once he was off to work, I could concentrate on getting the girls ready. Jenni was pretty easy. I feed Suzanne in bed. If it was a bath day she stayed there until the nurses came.. They dressed her ready for CDU and then off she went. Deborah usually picked Jenni up for school. Once they were gone I could concentrate on Simon and getting the house tidy.
We always had cheese and crackers for morning tea. I always had sewing on the go as well. Suzanne needed new clothes when she came out of hospital, not only because she had grown but because I had specially make her trousers to go over her knees. I made some with velcro up the entire lengths of the outside legs. It made life so much easier.
Once the girls came home I cooked Suzanne’s tea. She had it about 4 pm. She had to share though because Simon always wanted some, Luckily I always made double. After she ate, I would have a little nana nap beside her for about half an hour.
Our dinner was around 5:30. I always knew what we were having the night before and in winter, I always made casseroles. If the oven was on I made pudding as well as baking for lunches. It was all highly organised. As one thing came out another went in.
Once homework was done the girls went to bed. Suzanne had desert about 8 so she could have her medication. Then it was bedtime for me, Marty stayed up with Simon until he was ready for sleep which was late.
Looking back I don’t know how I did it. It was so hard. But one thing was for sure. It was so good to have Suzanne home.
© Barbara Hart 2014