Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Found a new blog yesterday...

It's called Ready...Set...Wife and is by two bloggers, one of which who wrote Living Oprah. It's very interesting. The first entry I read was Home is Where the Husband Is. In fact, I found the the new blog from looking at the March 9, 2010 entry from Living Oprah (caught that from a special show on late-night TV). I decided it was a very interesting project, so I posted this comment (LOL - I've fixed my typos though; hate those things and it looks so bad when a writer does it!):

Very interesting project. I could offer lots of advice on being a wife. For better or for worse… We say those words but do we *really* – I mean REALLY – dissect them and take them in as we say them? Do we really know what that might entail? Sure, there’s always the possibility of a spouse losing a job, or wanting a career change at an inopportune time, or even making some poor financial decisions.

But, what if the “for worse” included serious medical issues? Would we be able to stick it out? Would we say “I didn’t sign on for this” and hit the road? My mother taught me the true tenets of that statement and I have worked very hard to live them as well. If you’ll check my blog, you’ll see my documented struggles over the past two years. Health issues go back farther than that (first amputation April 1, 2006) but I didn’t know about “blogging” back then. It might have helped my stress level back in 2000 and forward to be able to have an outlet for when the “for worse” threatened to take over.

In sickness and in health… Sure, we all get colds, sometimes we get pneumonia, and sometimes we get the flu. What about multiple health issues all in one person – stacking the deck against the spouse. Congestive heart disease, chronic kidney disease, pulmonary hypertension, peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, tardive dyskenisia, high blood pressure, diabetes. All diseases that can strike any one of us at any time. How about ALL of them in ONE person? That is my life with my spouse. In addition to this, he is a double-amputee (1/2 foot on left, below-the-knee on the right), has diabetic retinopathy, and a slew of other problems that could cause someone to seriously reconsider “in sickness and in health”.

All of this is what being a wife entails. Home is where my husband is, but sometimes that is a hospital bed or – as in now – a rehab center as he (hopefully) learns how to transfer and prepare himself for a prosthetic leg.
I received two very nice replies (and a new follower on the blog). One of the replies posed a question back to me..."I am very interested in how you deal with your hubby’s health, as it’s the other side of the coin for me."

For those of you who have followed (or read) very much, you know that my faith is what has gotten me through. You know that I have my down and dark days when the frailties of the human mind take over and all I can see is the despair we are facing. You also know that I try to inject humor wherever I can find it into the situation (arm-pit jewelry, anyone???). Sometimes I get mad, sometimes I get lonely, and sometimes I get selfish. Then, I remember that if the tables were turned, he would do the same - and probably more - for me (he's not put off by "bathroom issues" if you get my drift; in other words, he does toilets!).

I've tried to navigate the health care industry and the insurance industry. You have to be prepared to take on the giants when the health of your loved one is threatened. I've fought for charges that should have been paid to be paid, I've fought for charges to be removed that had already been paid, and I've fought for charges that should have been paid if the entry clerk had used the correct code. You have to have an outlet and for too long, I had only blogging. I had put all of my other interests aside while I devoted my entire day and night to taking care of Ron. 

I discovered that it was not the smartest thing in the world for me to do. It made me more selfish because I resented the fact that I couldn't take time - or thought I couldn't - for myself and my interests. (Thank you bloggy friends for helping me see that! Your support was instrumental in this realization.)

I discovered that I sometimes need to say "No" to others and to Ron. That was a hard one! I've always, always done for Ron and the thought of telling him to do it himself was not pleasant, even if it was for his own good. I wanted him to be able to do as much as he could, even if it pained me to watch him try to do things that would have taken me a fraction of the time to accomplish.

I still cut up his food, tie his shoes (or, "shoe" now), helped with his shoe inserts and his brace, fetched water, pills, insulin, food, etc. etc. etc. if he needed it. But, sometimes you just have to let go.

That is hard. For people without faith, I don't know how they manage. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't been able to call on God. We have a "love/hate" relationship - not the typical "He loves me/I hate him" kind of thing, but He loves me and understands that I sometimes hate my life.

So, in a nutshell - how do I deal with his health??? Faith, prayer, perseverance.


SkippyMom said...

You're simply the strongest person I have ever met. No doubt.

Hugs sweetie - and this is such a wonderful, telling post.

jojo said...

beautiful, bitter-sweet post. I am the half of this marriage that is 'in sickness.' Your husbands list of illnesses could be mine. It is very helpful for me to hear and see the other side...thanks for sharing with us.

VA Spillman said...

I absolutely agree with are the strongest person I have ever met as well. I can almost hear you say "I had no choice" or "what other choice did I have?" but there are many other choices...selfish, self serving choices that you have resisted. You may have wanted to choose a more selfish path, but your love for Ron, and for God, just would not allow it. Your perserverance is inspiring...and your heavenly treasures vast...i really believe that! You are a trooper, and I count myself very blessed to call you my friend. I am happy that Ron is doing so well, and that the pressure on his health is less...that is wonderful! Praying for you both...rooting for you both! Hugs, Veronica

Pat said...

A weaker woman might have left by now. You keep on truckin'!

Remember to take time for yourself and to take care of YOURSELF, too!

Marla said...

Faith, prayer, perseverance