Warning: This is not your typical entry from me…
I’m struggling. I did fine on Thursday when I needed to step up, be strong, and make difficult decisions. I am proud of myself. My initial response was fear and a few tears, but I pulled it together before walking through the front door. I casually and quietly convinced him to go to the Emergency Room. We joked and laughed on the way to the hospital. I even bought him a coffee and a breakfast sandwich.
I learned a lot from the last time. I packed a “to-go” bag quickly, had most of what I needed to stay the night, and had the documentation that I knew doctors would ask for.
I stopped into school that evening to put together sub plans, took care of our animals, and collapsed into bed all by myself. I didn’t kennel the dog, but I mostly slept despite the empty spot on the other side of our queen sized bed. I was strong and brave, and I was what I needed to be for my children and for my husband.
I presented myself casual yet attentive to the observer. I hovered, asked questions, and listened carefully to doctors. I was determined to find the cause of his extremely LOW blood pressure which was causing him to pass out.
In the end, they gave him a new diagnosis: Orthostatic Hypotension, which is a decrease in blood pressure going from a sitting to standing position. This causes very low Bp, dizzy spells, and black outs. Doctors feel that he was on too much Bp medication and was dehydrated (a side effect of the water pill). As a result, doctors removed 2 meds completely and significantly reduced 2 others.
Then they sent us home.
The problem is that they did not tell us how high to allow the Bp to go before returning to the ER, or what to do about a significant increase in heart rate. They didn’t tell us how to tweak the meds in case he passes out again. They just sent us home with an amended med list and told him to drink a lot of fluids.
In the meantime, I have to go back to work tomorrow and he will be home alone. I’m scared to death that I am going to come home to find him in a pile. I wish so badly that I could just stay home with him: to hover, wait on him, protect him, remind him to eat, nap, take his meds, and monitor his Bp. Mostly, I want to keep him safe.
This isn’t a dementia thing. It is just him. On top of the Bp dilemma, we now have to make a decision on Friday about a beat up rotator cuff. That isn’t dementia related either. It is just him. The recovery time from surgery is 3-6 months, on his GOOD shoulder. He was just released from PT and OT from the stroke in April. It means starting again, while I work every day and hope and pray that he stays safe, and that his pain is under control. So many medical decisions to be made with no relief in sight… and then we have the dementia.
So, no, I am not alright. I am not okay. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I am tired, frustrated, terrified, and sad. I am trying to keep a positive attitude, and to do the best job I can in the workplace. I am trying to manage the finances and keep everything done in the house. However, I feel like I am in the middle of a cyclone that is spinning endlessly and going downward into the center of the universe. This isn’t fair and it stinks, and I hate it.
The bottom line is that I don’t have a choice. This isn’t going to go away. It is a road I have to take and a burden I have to bear. I’ll just keep moving one foot in front of the other and do the very best I can. In the end, I am determined not to have any regrets, and I always want to be a good example of a a faithful servant of God.
I won’t give up because I love him desperately, and he’d do it for me. But, please pardon me if I tell you “it’s not okay”. Just hug me, offer me coffee and a sweet treat, and agree with me. Sometimes life just plain stinks.