Friday, February 26, 2010

Time

Would I make it stand still if I could? Would I turn back the clock if I could? Would it do any good if I could? All questions I've been thinking about. The cardiologist said that he would be where he is, but not this soon, had he chosen a healthier path of living at a much earlier age. But then, he would have given up the one thing he loves the most - eating. Eating what he wants, when he wants. So I don't know. Do you give up something you enjoy to have a longer healthier life, or do you just charge through what you have of life knowing that you are loving every moment of every day?

I don't think my husband would have been a very happy man living his life with restrictions and I understand that now. I understand the choice he made to not be compliant. But how sad. That at such a relatively young age, he is facing death.

OK, how pessimistic was that? Of course we both hope and pray that the outcome of the bypasses will be only positive. But this has made us stop and look at what will happen should he have a stroke, become paralyzed, become incompacitated, or die. Something the every diabetic family probably needs to think about - ahead of the event.

Yesterday, he got a handicap parking sticker. Something he has needed for over a year. We laughed and joked that this made it official. But I think laughter is a way to avoid the fear. Or perhaps it allows us to remain in our "fog". We know we are still in shock. We figure the stages of grief can wait for now. Yet I see both of us floating in and out of them. We have our moments of denial, anger, reconciliation and progress. We have moments where we sit and talk about what to do, what we can do. We focus on healthy foods (he has already dropped 10 pounds). We talk about what types of exercise he can do as soon as surgery is over. We talk about pain management.

Then we have our moments of sheer denial. This isn't happening. Let's plan a cruise for June. Until reality slaps us both back to the present. We both agree that we are living in the unknown. It's like wandering around in a tunnel and there's no light at either end. Until we meet with the surgeon and they actually schedule a date for surgery, everything is just in limbo.

Until reality slaps us back to the present and we realize the dogs are out of food, the refrigerator repair guy will be here in a couple of hours, we need to work on next weeks menu and grocery list......

I think today I want time to stand still. I don't want him to have to have this surgery. I want there to be an alternative. I want to turn the clock back 30 years and make him eat right and exercise. I don't want to go forward down this particular path. We sit and talk and he doesn't want to go down this path either. He is anxious about the pain. I try to reassure him that they will manage his pain, all he has to do is tell them what the level is. He is anxious about having to get up and walk immediately after surgery. He can't walk now because of his back. I remind him that the back surgeon's team is already coordinating with the cardiac team to insure that he doesn't experience pain.

So I find myself now in the role of comfortor, cheerleader, motivator, encourager. And this blog has become a place for me to grieve, to share my own fears, because I can't let him know any of it. I have to remain strong for him. I have to keep his spirits up. I have to find humor every day in something so he can see the humor in something.

I couldn't share with him my anger. I can't share with him my fear. Thank goodness for blogs!

We have researched his surgeon and the facility and are extremely pleased - they are in the top 15% of the nation for this type of surgery. It has helped his confidence to know this. We have made a list of quesitons to ask and have been modifying it daily. We are just waiting. Waiting til Tuesdays consultation. Waiting to have the surgery scheduled. Trying to stay "normal" - yet all the time a sense of wandering around, no direction, worried that he could have a heart attack at any moment, gently reminding him that he can only do stairs one time a day.

I am working to keep my own physical strength up. I'm obviously running up and down stairs for him multiple times a day. Alone in carrying in all the groceries now. Having to carry the carpet shampoo machine upstairs by myself (you know, puppies do make messes). So I have started a strengh building program working with repetitions and weights on a bowflex machine. Hoping I can keep up with the demands of what I need to do to keep him from lifting anything over 3 pounds or exerting himself in any way until we get past this.

In limbo. That's where we are today. I'm off to find something fun to share with him. I think it's time for a smile today. :o)

DW

1 comment:

Pam said...

how do you do it?? How can you be the "rock" of it all, the cheerleader, care giver etc, everything? I am facing a similar situtation and sometimes I NEED to be the one being taken care of. I have 4 kids under 3yrs and a very non compliant husband. Dealing with the every day stress of 4 kids, i have to treat him like my 5th, and i want to say "grow up"!!! Thanks for all of your stories and information, it helps me deal with my own CRAP!!!