Thursday, July 21, 2011

Truth or Dare

Don't take this wrong, but I am not a happy camper right now. Yes, I'm thrilled to have Ron healthy enough to come home. Yes, I am thrilled that this is a fairly simple "fix" for his problems.

But, it's really only pretty simple for him. He's probably needed the oxygen at bedtime for quite some time and we didn't realize it. I know that ever since his sister died in the nursing home (from no C-PAP and/or oxygen), he's been reluctant to really let himself fall to sleep. He's fought it until fatigue just took over and he had no choice but to fall asleep.

Now all he has to do is make sure that he doesn't run over the tubing with his wheelchair. Simple, right? Nothing with Ron is simple. Nothing. I think I untangled him three times tonight. He hadn't been up since the oxygen was delivered and set up so he hadn't gotten tangled before I got home. I'm not sure how he's going to get around if he can't drive around this little apartment without wrapping the tubing around his wheels.

In order to go somewhere, I'll now have to load the ramps, take his Jazzy, and load the oxygen.

It's a tall cylinder on wheels. There isn't any way I can push him in the transfer chair and pull the oxygen tank behind me. I'm good, but I'm just not that good. I usually have my hands full of other stuff so that really isn't an option. He's too short of breath to walk right now and I'm not sure if (or when) he'll be able to even walk any distance other than in the house.

We were talking yesterday in the hospital room, while we waited on the doctor to come in, and I asked him if he had been afraid he was going to die in his sleep like his sister. He laughed and said, "What is this: truth or dare?" Then he admitted that he'd been afraid of not waking up when he went to bed.

I can't say that I blame him since he's had breathing problems longer than she had them.

Later, he asked me his version of truth or dare. He basically wanted to know what I thought about it all. That was a tough question, but I said if I was being totally honest then I'd have to say that this was not the path I would have chosen (if given the option). This is not how I would have envisioned spending my 50s if asked. I'm not sure how I would have envisioned them, but this certainly wasn't it. He immediately went to "like you should have married someone else and been better off." (Seriously - I could have decked him.)  I said, "no, that is not what I said. Don't read more into it than what I said."

I said that by this time in our lives (kids grown), we had talked about him retiring at 62 and us traveling, maybe getting a small RV and spending the winters somewhere else. Big dreams on a small budget, but still something to dream about. I didn't dream about hospitals and disease processes. I said the path would have been different for BOTH of us, not me without him (silly man). But now, I see nothing but worsening conditions in our future. How much more can I realistically handle without breaking? How much more can I take on and still do the best that I can for both of us?

If things change, how in the world can I possibly pay for all that he'll need? I don't have any easy answers. I have to go to work every day and pretend that there isn't anything in my life that is affecting my day, smile and pretend that things are super-duper, bust my ass to be as perfect as humanly possible (all the while knowing that every single thing I write down is dissected and analyzed to see if I've made any errors), and pretend that's where I want to be.  

I feel totally alone in all of this. No matter what I want them to do, there are still things that only I can, and will, do for Ron. Amy asked me if I was trying to give her a guilt trip. I said I was not; it was just that if I expect nothing and get nothing, then I'm not disappointed. If I expect nothing and get something, then I'm blessed. It's unfair of me to place expectations on someone without letting that person know of those expectations, and sometimes those expectations cannot be met by others. If I ask for something that is not delivered, then I'm just setting myself up for disappointment. The kids all have jobs and responsibilities and they do as much as they can, taking into consideration their other responsibilties.

My biggest thing right now is the dog. This morning, Ron realized that taking care of her is probably not something he's going to be able to do. He agreed that we'd see if our groomer wanted her. Tonight, he's changed his mind. He doesn't think he can get through the day without her. {sigh} {SIGH} As much as I don't want to take her away from him, or him away from her, I know that this will be another responsibility that will be 100% mine. I already take her out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and any time during the day that I'm home. I did not want to have that responsibilty. But, if I insist on giving her a new home, I'm the bad guy.

I am just not sure where our days are going to go. Ron was in Stage II heart failure for three years; now he's in Stage III. There are only 4 stages. How long will this last? Will he get better? Will he go downhill faster? Will he stabilize?

God only knows. I sure wish He'd fill me in on some details.


Jo-Anne Rambling said...

As you said there are some things only you trust you to do and in some ways you have to take it one day at a know that both you and Ron are in our thoughts and prayers.

Also if people think you are trying to give them a guilt trip then it so be it you know whether you are or not and if you are at times then who can blame you.

Yes it must be hard with the dog you know on one hand it is good for him to have the dog around him but on the other hand it is just more work for you......

colenic said...

hugs sweetie...I wish that there was a magic wand that I could wave to make things better for you. I am glad that you shared all of this with us....If there's anything that you need or want to talk...let me know.. hugs and love to you sweetie...

Bouncin' Barb said...

Teresa...I've been in your shoes. I know exactly how you feel. It is all on your shoulders. Ron can't help it and you know that but you want to scream. I so understand. Call me over the weekend if you want. I'll email you my phone #. Sending you huge hugs sweetie.

ellen abbott said...

I wish I could ease things for you.

Pat said...

T - YOU ARE HUMAN! Don't beat yourself up over having NORMAL feelings! You are NOT SUPERWOMAN. You just have to do the best you can, and of course, you will feel overwhelmed. OF COURSE. Just take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other, and plod through it. Know that you have friends rooting for you. Things have got to get better. I will keep both of you in my prayers.

Shelly said...

This is my first time visiting your blog and I am very impressed with how much you have on your plate and how you tackle it all with love and determination. My sister is in need of a heart transplant, so I know some of what you are going through.