Monday, January 14, 2008

Screaming on the inside

On the outside, I look like I’m a very calm, collected individual. It’s only by the grace of God that I’m able to present this front. I’m really screaming on the inside. Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m going to have a brain aneurysm or a stroke because of the amount of stress I’m under, but God is good and He’s brought me through a lot of trials in the past few years. He’s not let me down before and I don’t expect He’s going to now, either.

I have an arranged marriage. God arranged it, I accepted it, and my husband and I have worked over 23 years on making it successful (it will be 24 years in August). It hasn't been without its rough patches and we've had our share of ups and downs. I can't complain because overall, it's been a pretty happy experience.

I'm really a happy person. I don't let too many things really get to me but sometimes the little things just set me off. I can handle the big stuff, partly because I know that I have no other option. But when something little and minor happens, I just bristle over it. I figure that people should be more responsible with things so when they're not - I'm just overly upset about it.

My hubby has a lot of health problems. He's got intention tremors (due to taking Raglan for 7 years instead of just a few months and no one realized that it was a short-term medication; he'll never get better but stopping the medication made it quit getting worse), pulmonary hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary problems (and he never smoked), hypertension, diabetes (takes lots of insulin plus pills), severe peripheral neuropathy, diverticulitis, and is currently undergoing tests to find out what's going on with his liver. Since 1999 he's had an anterior cervical fusion with cadaver bone, a posterior cervical fusion with metal cage, pins, and bone from his hip (same vertebrae; just didn't heal before), two other surgeries on the neck to clean out staph infection - which left him with a deep crater in his neck that cuts through all of his neck muscles - several surgeries on his hands and elbows, and 1/2 of his left foot amputated (that was the most recent surgery). He's also had kidney failure twice (in the same month) and ended up in the hospital last year - once in ICU and the other time in a regular room. He had dialysis the first time but was told the second time that he didn't need dialysis.

Since then we've been battling a recurring hole in his remaining good foot. It will clear up for a while and then I'll spend a month or longer dressing it every day. Same thing - day in and day out.

Because of his overall health problems we decided to build a handicap accessible house since our last house didn't have hallway or bathroom access for his electric scooter. We didn't just blindly go into this but really prayed about the wisdom of it and if it was the direction that we believed God wanted us to take. Our new house has no hallways and 36" doors, plus the bathroom is totally handicap accessible. We could not have remodeled our old house to accommodate his needs.

In addition, my daughter and grandson live with us. My daughter is ex-military and is considered 40% disabled due to migraines. Although she takes medication for them, when they hit she's out and cannot function. My grandson is PDD-NOS, which is in the autism family, and he goes to early childhood education. I am my daughter's backup for when she needs assistance with her son.

I really don’t have a backup. Who am I going to lean on when the going gets tough? God. Plain and simple, He’s the only one that I can turn to. Sure there are times that I rant and rave and ask the inevitable question of “why me?” but the answer is always right there in front of me… Why NOT me?

I have so much to be thankful for that it truly does outweigh the troubles. I have a husband who loves me dearly, kids who love and respect me (and that’s saying a lot these days), a roof over my head, food in the cupboard, a vehicle to drive, and money to put gas in it (that’s a biggie, for sure). There are many who cannot say the same so who am I to complain? I am blessed.

But, I still scream some on the inside, too!

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