September 24, 2013

Can I Let My Guard Down?

It has been since March of 2012 that my husband has had a major medical crisis. He's had just a couple of one-night hospital stays for minor issues.

It has taken me 18 months to be able to even start entertaining these thoughts.

I have a slightly superstitious side. A small part of me that thinks maybe one can jinx themselves or something. You know, those moments when you say, "Oops, spoke too soon."

So I haven't wanted to give voice to it.

Can I stop thinking Mark is going to die soon?

The roller coaster ride that is loving someone with chronic health problems makes your head spin. Mine was given a whirl when Mark's heart stopped after bypass surgery. Then it was like a never ending merry-go-ride when he had the arrhythmia, didn't seem like he was going to get better but then did.

I guess I don't think about what, up until that point, was the worst night of my life much anymore. The anniversary of Mark's double bypass came and went the other day but I didn't notice. Three years since the first time I thought I might lose my husband.

I guess that's what happens when something even bigger and scarier, something you had no idea would or could come, rears its ugly head.

In comparison with the aftermath of bypass, Mark's arrhythmia was indeed a bigger, meaner beast. The experience of his heart stopping, being shocked back, several days if sedation with a breathing tube and pneumonia were very traumatic for us both, in different ways.

When Mark came home from that hospital stay, I was prepared for the idea that he would be permanently much weaker. I didn't think he'd work again and wasn't sure if he'd even drive. I still think his personal determination made those things happen. Mark never thought he couldn't, so he did.

Each of these crises have left his legs weaker for some reason that I don't understand. He now always uses a cane to help him walk, gets tired from walking easily and often chooses to use those shopping cart scooters in stores.

His blood sugars still fight with the insulin his pump delivers and he just finished a nearly year-long battle with a few foot sores. He's still on dialysis.

All these things remain, but for crying out loud, MARK IS OK. He might even be better than OK. Now that the foot sores are healed, he is trying to use scooter carts less and has even begun doing some exercises each day.

And then there's the maybe could happen possibility of a kidney transplant.

A glimmer of HOPE.

I don't even know what to do with it. I mean, can anyone out there understand even a little bit how bewildering dealing with all this push, pull, up, down and sideways shit is?

OK so, your husband had bypass and that lasts a long time so he should be pretty good for awhile. Oh wait! Sorry, forgot to warn you about the possibility of developing Ventricular Tachycardia and that it might kill him. Oh shoot, it IS killing him. Better prepare yourself. But wait, he got better! Now let's see if he can have a new kidney!

Head. Spinning.

So I ask, when you've understandably built up a wall to hide from the scariest thing imaginable behind, and then it doesn't happen, is it safe to let your guard down and start peeking out?

That's probably a rhetorical question.

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