28 December 2008

Catch up...

Life's been busy since my last posting. I did get the spousal unit home form the hospital after Thanksgiving. Got him home the first week of December. Things went pretty good for a week, then he got sick again. He re-developed the pleural effusion that fills the area between his lungs and the membrane that covers them with fluid. So back we went. This time they drained 15-17 litres of fluid over the course of two weeks. I'm not exact because I actually lost count of how many times they opened the drain.

Poor guy spent his 55th birthday in the hospital. He was discharged on Christmas Eve. We had a quiet Christmas at home. Had a nice dinner. But he was getting weaker. The day after Christmas, I sat him down in the shower and helped him clean up as Korean hospitals aren't as big on personal hygiene as US ones and bathing a patient with the amount of tubes he had is problematic in itself. He almost fell. He's 6'3" and I'm 5'2" with a lousy back. If he had fallen, I couldn't have gotten him up and out. We survived that and he was MUCH more comfortable.

On the 27th, he wanted to take a little walk in the apartment. He got about 10 feet and it was all I could do to get him into a chair. I decided at that point that it was time to go back to that damned hospital. Thank god for the neighbor I had never even seen before. This young man was coming out of his door as I was struggling to get my husband into the elevator to the garage. He very graciously helped two complete strangers. We went to the emergency department and proceeded to spend the next 30 or so hours there. My darling husband's heart failure was acting up and he couldn't maintain a stable blood pressure. The rules say that if your blood pressure drops too low, you will have a cardiac arrest. His coronary status is such that he very likely could not be resuscitated.

We finally got out of the ED and into a bed in the coronary care unit. I saw him settled in as comfortably as you can be in a place like that. I made it home and took myself to bed. As of 0600 this morning (29 DEC, 2008) he is still with me.

That's the clinical stuff...the stuff that I can recite pretty mechanically. Now I'm going to dump the messy stuff, so turn away if tears and such make you uncomfortable.

My head is full of images of what my life will be with out my husband. You see, he has been my rock, by BEST friend, my lover for 18 years. I can not imagine my life without him. I'm sitting here with the thermostat at the temp it's been at sine it got cold here. The woman who was NEVER cold is huddled in a "fuzzy" robe, freezing. I woke up after only 6 hours sleep because I was cold. I was huddled under a heavy blanket, cold. I never slept under the blanket. I'm afraid the light is going out of my life and I will be cold now, forever. I'm afraid of the solitary life that I see on the horizon. That I will never be held again. That I will be empty.

I am trying so hard to remain hopeful, to believe that he will get better and come home to me, that I will hold him as he falls asleep again. I want to howl out my fear and pain. Logically, I could say that I am finally crumbling under the stress of the last four months. His deterioration, my job issues. It's easy to see, in the hard light of logic. I've always been he strong one. I've had to be. I was able to give some of that work over to my husband, to let him be strong for me at times. I've always been the caregiver but I was able to let him take care of me. Now I'm his caregiver, and gladly, you must believe. But I'm so tired and so lonely, and so damned cold.

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