During the time Hubby was under sedation we had some VERY interesting nurse stories occur that I have had fun spinning to him over time. I honestly think he doesn’t believe half of them but they really are true.
Obviously, when a patient is incapable of caring for themselves the nurses and loved ones have to keep up their care and grooming. I always said my Hubby no matter what is ALWAYS attractive. He comes from a family full of them! They could be run through a pig pen.. not shower for a week and not even pick up a hair brush and still come out looking gorgeous! All they have to do is turn..smile..CHEESE!.. and perfect selfie..EVERY TIME! Nauseating, and has never been fair. I, on-the-other-hand, take much much maintenance and grooming before I can even go out in public. I will need an entire beauty staff if I ever end up in the hospital! And Hubby is under strict instructions to provide this if I am ever so unfortunate as to be in a hospital bed. So obviously I am very high maintenance AND shallow..
One day a group of nurses came in for various reasons and I swear Nashville has the most attractive nurses! It’s like an epidemic! I would literally be a dish rag slouched up in the old rickety recliner, using all my strength to hold up my head and to muster up a smile and a hello… and they would just bee bop in that room smiling from ear to ear.. rainbows and unicorns circling around them.. fresh moisturized skin and sparkling makeup.. not a bag under their eyes.. and say.. “How are we doing today?” Now, don’t get me wrong.. their positive way was on point and part of their job and what a blessing they are to this world and all the sick people they help… BUT OMG! How DO they do it? Must be some kind of magic beauty that comes from caring for the sick.
The one nurse..she was a little older than me..says..” OOOOO my! Look at this one! He looks much too young to be here..and that hair! I love his “Swoopy” hair! Mmmmmm.. Mmmmm.” Now in a normal situation, I may have to be a bit jealous.. but my husband was in no shape to flirt back. So I just giggled and thought to myself.. GEESE..even in this state he is wooing the ladies! GRRRRRRRRRR.. I should have married a troll…
And this continued on and on through the entire 17 days. A doctor or a nurse was always commenting about just how attractive he was and how he didn’t look like he belonged there. You would think I would be used to it. My mother-in-law and I over the years would always compare notes on this frustrating family trait. Her late husband was the same way. Although she could hold her own with no problem..like I said.. the family is oozing with natural beauty and perfection all over the place.. she would always have to listen to how handsome he was and have to deal with all the young ladies secretly wishing he was single. The funny thing was my father-in-law never had to do a thing..he just had to “BE” and he got noticed. He just had that “thing”. He was a man of God, a man of faith and a REALLY AWESOME preacher, and boy o boy could he enter a room! Gosh do we miss him.. so you see..the apple doesn’t fall far from the overly attractive tree… 🙂 😉
At one point right after the second heart attack they assigned Hubby 2 male nurses. They were awesome! We had them at least 3 days so I got pretty close with them. They were young enough to be my sons so I think I had that kind of relationship with them for that little bit of time.
One of the days I came in the room and looked over and noticed that Hubby’s hair had been fixed…and boy do I mean fixed!!! The male nurse that had fixed it was very stylish in a very modern way. I would have loved to have seen him in his street clothes. He was very chic and with the times. It was amazing how he coiffed Hubby’s hair! I wish now I would have taken a pic of it. It was VERY Mad Men and I was amazed at how good it looked on him. My husband has always been very traditional, sporty, and NON-CHIC. So when I came in and he had his hair parted on the side and somewhat slicked I was like whoa! I think I LIKE this! But no matter how hard I have tried since we have been home, he won’t budge in the coiffed dept. Ya know..old dog..new tricks…ain’t happenin!
As each day went by, Hubby kept improving. It came time to have the catheter and the balloon pump removed. He can tell you all about how much fun that was. He tells us that was the most painful part of the whole ordeal. I made sure I was out of the room. I can’t even imagine how awful it was. The pump had to be pulled out of his leg and well, we all know about that lovely catheter! All of this brought us to I believe day 12, and he was ready to be moved into a regular room. We finally convinced the kids to drive back home and get back to their lives. They are adults and they do have them. Our daughter still had to finish her semester and her softball season…and o boy Dad wanted her there and not missing school and games for him. The boys have jobs and needed to get back to them. I know none of them wanted to leave. It was very hard for them..it was hard for us. But that is one of those horrible sacrifices we made to move away. This whole situation as I have stated, had brought so much guilt and regret to the surface in regards to our move. Sometimes you are lead to make a decision.. you make it.. and you live with the consequences. Knowing God put you there for a reason… and you try to accept it. I still feel strongly that God will put us where we are supposed to be and I continue to try my best to have faith and trust in that.
I will say that the ICU had its perks…wow I guess that sounds terrible LOL… but, what I mean is in comparison to a regular room. The regular rooms are VERY small and you just don’t get the attention you got in the ICU. I found myself constantly trying to find a nurse and I eventually just learned to take care of Hubby myself. Which probably wasn’t a bad thing considering what I was going to face when I came home.
By day 13 I had finally run home a couple times. I actually had to make an emergency visit to the dentist because my tooth broke and I had to have it fixed. I also snuck home for a shower and to do a load of laundry. Every time I walked into our house I felt a weight of sadness like never before. I felt awful leaving the hospital for one, and I could also feel the reality of what we lost and what was to come. At this point I truly had no real idea what I would be in store for in the weeks to come.
I also felt a constant battle between my own needs and the needs of Hubby. I am a very nurturing person and I don’t think I go a minute without thinking of what others need. It can be a good thing and sometimes not so much. I would often be jealous of women and Mom’s who could put themselves first when they needed to. I have always struggled with that..and in turn my well being mentally and physically has suffered from it. I always feel this huge guilt if I do something for myself…I feel like it’s selfish when I should be taking care of something or someone. Now, I REALIZE that isn’t really true..but it is the way my mind always goes. I sometimes wonder if I feel this way due to the fact that I had such a NON nurturing childhood. When I had kids I SWORE I would never let them feel all the hurt and loneliness I experienced as a child. My main goal as a Mother was to make sure in every minute of everyday my kids felt loved..safe..secure..and that someone had their back..ALWAYS. Not spoil them materialistically.. but with the security of knowing that NO MATTER WHAT Mommy is there and is your biggest fan…and nothing will ever change that. I viewed it like a safety net of love, comfort, and security. I went without sleep for decades to accomplish this and I wouldn’t change it. And, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying the mom’s who don’t do this aren’t good mom’s, not at all, I am just explaining how my mind works.
So, with this nurturing issue of mine, I truly almost destroyed myself over this period of months. It all started with those first 17 days and has continued. It could have easily taken an army to handle what we came home with and it was me, myself, and I. And it all made me an even stronger Christian because it had to be the super human strength God gave me or I would have NEVER made it.
And when you go through a situation like this you WANT to complain…you WANT to whine..you WANT to say HEY!!! WHAT ABOUT ME???!!! And guess what? You DON”T. At least not out loud. HOW could you possibly think about yourself when you have a critically ill husband who has suffered horribly? What kind of person ARE you? I will tell you by this point in time I was so severely exhausted. People told me all the time to take care of myself and get rest… but you just DON’T. I honestly don’t see how its possible. Hubby DID NOT like for me to even leave the room. (We may have to address that issue of separation anxiety in some type of therapy LOL) And along with my guilt complex I rarely did. I was starting to become a very scary version of myself and I had no idea how to change it. I got to the point where I avoided the mirror. I could see myself physically self-destructing. And when I would catch a vision of myself it destroyed me even further emotionally.. so I tried my hardest not to look.
And if I’m being honest.. people may not say it but you feel it. You feel the judgement from others.. the feeling of no freedom to feel sorry for YOURSELF. All anyone wants to talk about is the person who is sick..they want to know how he is..they want updates…they want to help and ask questions.. and all I wanted to do is RUN AWAY. SEE???? Terrible right? What kind of person thinks that way? Well.. I will tell you.. I bet every person who has ever been in my shoes who is willing to admit it. It hits you after a while.. after a long time of being so strong every minute for every-one.. And it doesn’t stop. I STILL feel that way at times. I hate this illness and I hate what it has done to us. I feel so much anger towards it at times. Like it has it’s own existence. If I could grab a hold of it I would strangle it! So basically you are being pulled in so many different directions and you just don’t know what personality to take on. Then there is the guilt with God…yes with God. We are taught that things happen for a reason and there is a plan. And to no matter what see and be thankful for your blessings… not always so easy even for the best Christians.
The anger has been one of the hardest things for me. Angry at God, Hubby, myself, and pretty much the whole world! I can speak for Hubby on the anger towards other people. We will both see very unhealthy, very overweight, smoking, drinking people walking around scot-free and not in a hospital bed! And yes, Hubby was not a good boy when it came to eating habits but it is just amazing how his body could COMPLETELY explode like it did. And that is not an exaggeration. He really shouldn’t have survived. So, what helps us sometimes is.. THAT… the fact that he has been given a second chance…with challenges of course.. but a second chance at life. And I realize it is normal to feel this way and just scratch your head and say..WHY? Why us? And I don’t think we will ever truly stop asking that but as time goes by we ask less and less.
Later I will get into the day we came home from the hospital. It was by far the hardest day I experienced through this whole ordeal. You would think it would have been the day Hubby got sick.. but I was in too much shock then to feel..this day is when ALL the reality kicked in.
As I write this story I write it with honesty and I will continue to. I hope of course I don’t offend anyone or shed a bad light on myself. But as I have stated I am being led to write this story and I feel like it is meant to help someone in some way.
I just took a look at the time and I have to pick my daughter up in an hour which means I have to go out in public.. an hour of prep time will have to do. Luckily Halloween is getting closer and scaring small children will be acceptable at least thru the month of October. Until then I will do my best to make myself presentable before I face the world and before my stunning Hubby gets home 🙂
Until next time.. be a blessing.. share a blessing.. be blessed xoxo