It seems that I am always bracing myself for something: the next storm, school year, evaluation, birthday, or trip. When you are a planner, and you can’t organize the next big event, it feels terrible. It feels like quicksand under your feet. Most of the time, I can get my footing. Most of the time I can find the inner strength that I need to face the next hurdle. Not Thursday.

Something is not right, and I know it.

I took my data to the doctor before the office opened and waited. Nobody would listen. I wasn’t heard. I just needed someone to say, “You are right, something is wrong.” I needed to be heard. Instead, I was treated like a student in crisis. I was placed in seclusion, I was double teamed, spoken to in gentle tones, and given next steps I didn’t want to take. I left in tears. We spent the day in the Emergency Room, I missed another day of work, and we still don’t know what’s wrong.  Tests, tests, and more tests…

Three days later, I am still tired. You know that tired feeling you get after a hysterical cry? That kind. I wish I could brace myself, but I don’t know what I am bracing myself for. Something is wrong. I know he is a complicated medical patient. He is full of arthritis, has a beat up rotator cuff, and he still wears a leg brace from the stroke last April. We have to monitor his blood pressure three times a day, has compromised kidneys, as well as multiple adrenal tumors, and now gall stones, on top of having dementia. But why isn’t he urinating? I am not a doctor, but I know that what goes in, must come out and why is it so dark? Where on earth is it going? The ER docs say that maybe he has a virus that is absorbing it. Huh? He doesn’t feel sick. He isn’t bloated.

I am bracing myself for something, but I don’t know what, and I am terrified.

He eats very little. He says he feels full all the time. He drinks all day long. He sleeps a whole lot. However, he is still quite active. He keeps the laundry done, he loves to cook, and the house is immaculate. He has started plants in the basement, and has refinished some of our furniture, as well as a couple of beat up pillars in the entryway. He plays solitaire on his iPad, follows news stories on the internet, and enjoys watching TV series with me in the evening while I correct papers. He seems to have become more sensitive to milk, so dairy can be disastrous. However, it doesn’t stop him from ordering a strawberry sundae when we go for a drive to the coast, or insisting on a tall glass of milk with supper. He is mostly happy, and looks forward to me being with him, so I get home to him just as soon as I can.

I wish I could protect him. Although I pray for a miracle, I accept his diagnosis. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I just want him to be comfortable, and for him to pass with dignity when the time comes. I want to do what is humanly possible to have him go from one life to the next, pain-free, peacefully surrounded by those that love him most.

Tell me, how do I brace myself for the day I lose my best friend, my soul mate, father of my children, and the keeper of my heart?







  1. It is times like this that test our faith. It is difficult when the medical people have a mind set that they can not see through our eyes as to the problems we face. Some times we need to listed more to the voice of God and see where he wants us to go and look for other to help. Am praying that God will give you the help you need.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think you can “brace” for it Cindy. You just have to take each day is it comes, fight each battle as it comes and love him to pcs. And when you need help, ask for it. And when help is offered take it. And try to take care of yourself as best you can. Life can be extremely cruel. Know that you have friends and are loved, probably more than you can ever imagine. And that you will get thru this because you have no choice and you are not a quitter I think you are an exceptional woman and you have an exceptional family that loves you. I wish I had a true and positive answer for you. I don’t. Just hang in there with lots of love and attention and when you feel something is wrong don’t give up on your quest to find out the answer. I don’t know what it is like to have a seriously ill husband, but I do the pain of having a terminally ill child. My 2nd son only lived to be 29 mons. Not real treatment for his disease at that time. I know that I am available for you for talk and support, and do and will keep you and yours in prayers. I am sure there many others also. You and Rusty are a testimony to other’s. Love knows know bounds and you two are proving it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cindy, I must agree with you! Something isn’t right when you have dark urine and severely diminished urine output. Did any one suggest monitoring his actual fluid intake and output? Aside from the concentrated urine, does he show other signs of dehydration (i.e. wrinkled fingers)?

    You mentioned impaired kidney function. Did they give you numbers of his BUN, GFR results? Hopefully, they give you copies of his lab work which can be shared with his other doctors. Is he on any medication which metabolize in the kidneys and might be contributing to the problem?

    I raise these questions because my sister has Stage 3 chronic kidney disease, including a non-functioning right kidney. When she first saw the nephrologist, she was in a rapid decline. He changed some her meds which were primarily metabolized in the kidneys and added Vitamin D to her med regimen. With these changes, her kidney function has stabilized; not any better, but no worse!

    I throw these comments out for consideration, if they haven’t already been addressed by your doctors.

    Always in my prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

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