I have resigned to the fact that the doctors are wrong. In my mind, my husband is fine. This vision is easy to do since this is his favorite time of year. He loves the sunshine, puttering in the gardens and lawns, and most recently, his dog.
It is amazing what a dog has done to lift his spirits. A friend found a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback/ Lab Mix. She is 2 years old, and her name is Kindle. Another friend is helping to train her to become a Service Dog for my sweet baby. The hope is that she will be able to bring him home in case he wanders, and provide him comfort when he becomes anxious. So far, so good. We took her on her first outing on Saturday. She went to a birthday party for a 3-year old girl and was fantastic with the little ones, even licking one little face! Her only bad habit…when let off leash, she loses her brain and runs down the hill with her nose to the ground. It takes a strong 45 minutes to get her back. The trainer is working on that! She loves belly scratches, bones, peanut butter, and chasing our cat Louisa.
Probably the thing that bothers me most is what the future holds. For a planner like me, that is frustrating. As a result, I cope with the diagnosis by ignoring it. Well, not exactly. We did everything we needed to do with the lawyers, the bank, we ordered our stone, and picked out our plot at the cemetary. Now, we are concentrating on just living. That allows me to live in the Land of Denial, while still being responsible.
Doctors visits force me to accept the diagnosis. I’m not going to lie, I secretly pray that we will be told that this was all just a big mistake. I want to experience the Golden Years, I want to retire on the mountain like we dreamed, and I want to do it with him. If I live in denial, then it will happen.
What haunts me is loneliness. I don’t want to live on the mountain all by myself, but at nearly 50 years old, I don’t want to live with my parents either. Our rural area doesn’t provide lots of choices for people in my situation. What I need is a dorm of people my age!
I hate telling him he can’t do things. It breaks my heart. He is still quite independent and can drive in town. He still reads, writes, and is active around the house. He’s not a chid, he’s my husband. However, he needs my help. I manage the money, tie his shoes, make sure that he gets his meds, and monitor his activities and appointments, while trying desperately not to belittle him. It is frustrating for both of us.
He lives in the Land of Denial too. He wants desperately to upgrade his truck. He cannot accept that he won’t be driving in the next couple years. The fact is, that he is the only loved one in my support group who drives, reads, writes, and speaks in complete sentences. We know what to expect, we just don’t want to think about it.
Isn’t that healthy? We have done what we need to do. We got past the dreaded SSDI Hearing and are anticipating the Medicaid paperwork. However, we are enjoying a sweet break from fretting and are enjoying each other. We fall asleep holding hands. We eat an ice-cream cone for supper every night, and we enjoy outings with the dog. I have just one question: Would anyone like to join us? There is lots of room on our island.