11 Months - What now?
Little did I realize just how much my life was going to change this time last year.
My husband had been really sick off and on for the last four years. It really started years ago when he was diagnosed with heart problems. He had several heart attacks, two open heart surgeries, stents, diabetes and an aortic aneurysm, pace maker and the works. During all of this, he always came back strong and always pushing himself to return to work and being a hands-on Dad, granddad and husband. The doctors were always amazed at his perseverance and will.
But in July 2007, the aneurysm was at the size that the surgeon said that it needed to be repaired. Of course, it being Arthur, it was at the kidney and they couldn’t stent it but had to open him up and drain it and then repair it. He went through this and was doing well except for constant pain. This was due to the nerves being stretched during the surgery and now were misfiring.
Then the snowball started rolling. We were in and out of the hospital for the next four years. Sugar dropping to 20, both carotid arteries were 100% blocked (his doctor is using this in his teaching/training) blood pressure dropping to 80/40, platlet level problems and on and on. Always rebounding and walking out of the hospital.
In March 2011 we went to the ER for an infection around the knee area. They diagnosed it as “untreated strep” infection and needed to be hospitalized. During this time, he was placed into ICU because his sugar was dropping again and his platlet level was very low. While in ICU a doctor came by to talk to us about end-of-life care. Arthur could not and would not talk to him. The doctor called me into the waiting room and proceeded to tell me that Arthur was not going to make it through all of this. I pitched a fit and explained to him that he didn’t know Arthur and just how strong he was. He told me to face the facts that his blood pressure was 80/40 and his sugar was dropping into the 20’s again. I told him that we had been there before and Arthur had always bounced back. He said that he probably had less than three months to live. I told him that I would not or could not give up on him. After they got his numbers stabilized we were on our way home but with a pick line for the daily antibiotics.
A couple of weeks of being home, hospice had to be called in. He had gotten to where he couldn’t talk, swallow or breathe without oxygen. He fought as hard as he could until April 15th when he drew his last breath.
It was then that I became a charter member of the most difficult and unwanted club of my life time. You see this club furnished unlimited grief roller coaster rides and it was mandatory that you had to get on board and ride and ride and ride….but its been almost a year…how long do I have to ride?
I really felt like those around me, that I should be closer to the end than I am. I know that I will always love and miss him and have sad times but these breakdowns should be getting less and less.
For 43 years, I proudly wore the title of “Arthur’s wife” and was comfortable with this place in life. But being in these unchartered waters of “what’s my purpose” “why am I still here” and “I can’t see the end of the tunnel” has completely drained me. I’m physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, when I look at my surroundings with my eyes I am blessed but when I look at things with my heart, I’m broken.
God please mend my heart and provide a reason and purpose to my life…this is my prayer.