Tag Archives: crisis

The Man in my Vision

 

When I didn’t know if he was to live or die, he kept appearing to me.

Standing.

Not flat on his back in a hospital bed attached to alarming machinery, with snaking lines, twisted together like translucent spaghetti, connecting him to countless, beeping IV pumps. My brain could not accept. I was in a familiar place. A place I knew intimately. A place where one must act quickly, quickly.

I’d been there so many times. So many times.

But not in this way. Not in this way. Not when I could do nothing but sit. Sit and interpret all that was said. All that was not said. I heard those words the loudest. The ones not said.

And to muffle the sound of those unspoken words, the vision would come. I would see him standing in that way of his, one long leg forward, shoulders hunched in just a tad, shoulders wide from years of surfing. His hands by his side, one thumb caught in a pant’s pocket, the tilt of his head with that smile on his face, like he knew, he knew the sight he presented.

He would appear at all hours, day and night. When I least expected it, he’d be there. And I would compare the man in my vision to the man in the bed and my brain would recoil. No, that was not him. Not him. 

The him in the bed was unrecognizable. I didn’t know that person. I’d never met him before. He was a stranger, and yet, a stranger that belonged to me.

I didn’t know who the man in the bed would be when he woke up.

Or if he’d ever wake up.

If he’d ever stand.

Stand in that way.

Knowing who he was.

Who we were.

And so I welcomed the man, the man in my vision.

For he seemed to be there to deliver a message.

“I’m still in here.”

And that gave me peace.

 

 

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The Long, Long Road

I thought I would have caved in by now, fallen in like a deflated souffle.

It’s been 25 days since our life radically changed in one split second, or perhaps it occurred over the course of many hours. Hard to tell, hard to know.

All I’m sure of is that the days we used to have are gone. Gone forever, or gone for a while, we don’t know.

His sister says to tell him, “Chin up.”

Oh, if it were only that simple. Simply a matter of will.

I worried about me. Once I stopped being consumed with worry about him, I remembered me. Twenty-four hours in, when I left the hospital for a shower and change, and a quick nap that never happened, I made the conscious decision to increase my prednisone.

I’d spent over a year weaning down, weaning off. And I did stop, for about a month, but then the old pains came knocking and I gave up. “I’m done,” I said to the nurse practitioner at my last rheumy visit. Done, done, done.

If a little prednisone is the difference between feeling good and feeling bad, then bring it on. I told her I was on one milligram, and would stay that way. She nodded, but I didn’t need anyone’s permission. My body, my life, my decision.

So that Sunday at home for the first time after his massive heart attack, after I knew that he’d made it through that first night, that first 24 hours, I told myself what to do to keep myself going.

I would increase my prednisone to five milligrams, five times what I was getting before. And I would stay on that dose indefinitely, for as long as it took, till my slow, self-plotted days resumed.

Right now my days are nonstop, nonstop, a whirlwind of medical appointments hither and tither. Nights that don’t include much sleep, or much rest. Nights that when I do sleep a little, I do so halfway, alert for any sound, any need.

And therefore, I find myself surprised that I’m feeling fine, physically. I am tired. I am exhausted at times, and I can’t think straight at other times, but that is normal. That is a normal reaction to such a crisis.     

As we proceed down this long and tortuous path toward recovery, I have to give thanks that at least one of us is feeling normal, and that so far I can still claim the fortitude to keep on traveling down that seemingly endless road.

This song keeps playing in my head, the mournful beat and the words:

You know I can’t let you slide through my hands

I watched you suffer, a dull, aching pain

Faith has been broken, tears must be cried

Let’s do some living, after we die

 

I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed

If you’ve ever seen the movie Predator, you are familiar with that line. Jesse Ventura is hit, bleeding, but he’s focused on taking out the alien predator so he’s got no time to bleed.

I feel the same way right about now. Only the blood I want to shed, but hold back, is not red, it’s clear. And comes from only one source, my eyes, and originates from only one site, my heart.

I don’t know when I’ll have time to do anything but move forward. When I will have time to stop, curl up in a ball and release all the pent-up emotions. I don’t know when that tomorrow will come, or what that tomorrow will bring.

Or perhaps, I do know. Perhaps I know too much. And therefore, my desire to “bleed.”