I suppose the worry will never go away. A fever, a rash, a lump, a bloody nose - none of it will ever feel incidental. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever really sleep again. We spend most of our nights tossing, turning and reaching out every few hours, just to make sure the other is there.
Falling is our latest worry.
It happened the other night.
Not a huge one, not down a flight of stairs, or off of the roof or anything. Just one second he was standing up, the next second he wasn't.
He's been given three different braces by three different specialists - blessedly covered by insurance. This is not including the funky socks and ace bandages - those are a whole different issue.
One of these braces is a full leg outfit. Have you ever dipped your finger into warm candle wax and waited for it to cool? It's something like that - but the whole leg is encased in plastic, and a few aluminum hinges. The one time he put it on, he ambled around like the newly oiled Tin Man from Oz, before we both declared it dangerous - much more likely to cause a fall than prevent one.
Cost for brace: $4,000.
Time worn: about 45 minutes
Brace number two was jaunty fleece number with cobalt blue fabric, velcro wraps with aluminum strips running down both sides. It's the type people use when they've had recent knee surgery, or are just biding their time before they can get an MRI. It was comfortable enough - when it was on. The design of a human leg is that it's larger on top and gets narrower toward the ankle, so even if we wrapped it tight as a tourniquet, it was constantly sliding down, which again, led to more instability.
Cost for brace: $200
Time worn: about 2 hours
Brace number three is a $3,000 black mechanical set up, with locking gears and lots of straps. It seems to be the best so far, and allows Rico to walk with a cane instead of a walker, so for now, we'll take it. Because one less worry for him, is priceless.