Preoccupation with my own woes blinded me to my husband’s suffering, which culminated in a heart attack on Saturday night. We are shell-shocked.
“That’s what happens to caregivers,” a callous nurse commented. Am I supposed to feel guilty?
Unable to either drive myself, or push my own wheelchair, I am reliant on the goodwill of others to get me to the hospital, although even then, my body’s limits scream: Halt!
I trust that my husband is in good hands, and getting the help he needs. Meanwhile, I am home, alone, processing a gamut of emotions and what if’s.
This is not his first heart attack. The first was silent, and according to the specialists, all but fatal. It caused sufficient damage to have us all on edge. Thank God I saw the signs and called 9-1-1 this time around. The hospital said they will not release him until either medications are in place, or surgery has corrected the issue.
Our dreams have been so focused on RV travel that we have thought of little else, least of all the possibility that one of us would be gone and the other left to pick up the pieces. As terrifying as it may be, this recent incident has forced me to face reality. I am a fifty-seven-year-old, totally dependent female, who would not be able to maintain this lifestyle without the love and support of my husband.
I mentioned this to my son, whose words offered reassurance, but whose tone of voice conveyed a whole other message: How has our strong, independent mother come to this? Why can’t she just get better and get on with life? It has been hard enough for my children to come to terms with my illness, and thanks to Ric, they really haven’t had to consider my dependency. They still think of me as the super-charged single mother that raised them. Weakness was never an option then.
I am angry too – the kind of anger that looks for blame and is seldom satisfied. He is feeling it too, I know, because he lashed out at me for offering information to the doctor that contradicted his own answer. I almost think that the separation is good for us right now, as it gives us a cooling down time.
Something as serious as heart disease requires major changes – all the doctors have said so – and I worry that he will be able to follow through. My brilliant, big hearted husband, has slayed many dragons on behalf of others, but not so much for himself. I only hope that he can turn some of that indefatigable fighting attitude inwards and value himself enough to make the hard, but necessary, shifts.
5 thoughts on “Tribulations”
V.J. – please know that you and Ric are never far from our thoughts. So sorry to hear about everything you are both going through. Please reach out to us anytime. Sending healing thoughts and prayers to you both.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks. Hope you noticed this was a look back to two years ago – really I posted to remind myself how far we have come. Adjusting perspective, lol. Hope you two are well.
Reblogged this on One Woman's Quest and commented:
A look back to two years ago. Sometimes we need the perspective of the rear-view image to put the present in better focus. How far we have come.
Thanks Jan – always so comforting to know you are there and definitely understand. And, yes, you should be blogging all this stuff, lol. Bless you.
I am so sorry about Ric’s heart attack. But, isn’t it life’s most difficult times that make us see, as you are, things we have avoided facing. I understand how hard it is to deal with life’s “extras” when routine life is a challenge. I’ve been trying to find a time when I will feel well enough to move, scheduling around my daughter’s 10-day visit, doctors’ appts., and my husband’s eye surgery, all of which need recover time. And, oh, then there’s Mother’s Day and the Memorial Day picnic. Future dependency looms large. I want my kids to be able to live their own lives. That’s why I live with my ex-husband (but, don’t tell him that). Enough about ME. I should use my own blog Seriously, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.