A friend and I were talking the other day and got on the subject of “If you could go back..”. And most would expect me to say either before Hubby’s illness or maybe High School, but I honestly would rather go back to when I was 20 and ready to have my first child. I wouldn’t change the fact I got married so young (you couldn’t have stopped me) I wouldn’t change having kids so young, and I wouldn’t have wanted fame or fortune. I would love to go back to that young Mom who didn’t have a clue and tell her to do a lot of things differently. Ya know.. If I knew then what I know now…but how would you? Living life and making mistakes is what puts us here with that knowledge and that maturity that makes us older and wiser. With that said, I would have liked to have lived healthier and been an even better Mom. I would have loved to have had the information I have now about health and nutrition and have kept my family away from fast and processed food. No one really knew that many years ago. I wish I would have appreciated the simple things more and not felt I needed to conquer the world and have the best most amazing birthday parties, shoes and clothes for my kids. Here’s the funny thing, just as I was, I now get the same reaction from the new parents I speak with, who pretty much don’t want to hear my advice because they have it all figured out. My heart aches for these young people because they really have no clue and could benefit from our wisdom and save themselves a lot of heartache. But as generations go, each will do the same. We tortured our parents and grandparents and didn’t listen to them either. I know they have to learn as we did but it would be nice to be able to prevent it. But, I have learned that it molds us into the people we will become and prepares us for what God has planned. I oddly now see that the challenging life I lead throughout my childhood and as a young parent was God’s way of getting me ready for where my road in life would lead. And believe-it-or-not I thank Him for that because if it wasn’t for General Char or my Scarlett O’Hara personality I would have been toast the last 6 months. Which takes me to the day we came home and were released from those 17 days… ** My beautiful late Grandma 🙂
As I said, our release from the hospital took forever and with Hubby’s new time sensitive health schedule we were running out of time. It was almost time for him to take his insulin and we still had to drive home and pick up all his meds from the pharmacy. But I thought no biggie.. yes we have an hour drive home but all the prescriptions have been called in and all we have to do is pick them up right? So I thought…
I let him stay in the car while I went in to grab all the meds. It was a hot day but I left him the keys and we parked in the shade.
I at this point was so exhausted and really wasn’t strong enough for things to go wrong. Ha! I guess that was just too bad. It was happening anyway!
To try and make a long story short, I was in that pharmacy for almost 2 hours!! They had everything wrong and had to call doctors and insurance companies. I had to keep going to the parking lot to check on Hubby in the hopes he would survive THIS now along with everything else. I couldn’t bring him in there he was just too weak and I couldn’t leave without his meds. And, let’s not forget time is just ticking away! I actually felt sorry for the pharmacist because I ended up in tears and he was doing the best he could. Remember, Hubby was now on 14 medications and needed all kinds of equipment for his diabetes. We were starting from square 1! And neither of us had a CLUE what we were doing.
This was when I REALLY missed our family. I had no one to help me with him or stay with him. We felt so alone. And yes, we had the whole community come together and help us in many ways.. but this was so personal and a time when all you want is your kids and your family.
When we FINALLY left the pharmacy we were way off schedule and I was beginning to panic. Yes, I had his meds and equipment now but had NO idea how to use it. The nurses try to educate you before you leave but trust me, it’s not enough.
When we finally got in the door we didn’t have that same feeling you get..ya know..oooo it’s so good to be home..that feeling of relief and comfort. Nope, we felt like life was a mess and we had to dig our way through it.
A Mom of one of our daughter’s friends had her quite a bit during all of this and somewhat adopted her during this whole thing. She was an angel from God. She made it so our daughter was one last thing we had to worry about during all this craziness. Got her to all the school events and school and made sure she was safe and fed and showered lol! A blessing to us without having family to depend on.
We had many “Angel Moms” step up as surrogate Moms for me thru all of this. Easter came and went during our 17 days and even though it wasn’t pressing to me at the time we had many coaches and Mom’s concerned our daughter wouldn’t get an Easter basket. So many little “Easter bunnies” worked very hard and made a point of leaving baskets on our front porch for our daughter and our other big kids to enjoy while their parents weren’t around. That meant so much to us, along with all the other precious care packages we received that were blessings and helped so much.
Shortly after we got in the door our daughter came home and the Mom who had her was taking time to talk to me and explain everything that was going on and that I needed to know. I heard about 10% of it. It took everything I had to not have a nervous breakdown right in front of her. I was trying to figure out what to make Hubby to eat and trying to figure out this STUPID blood sugar meter and insulin…all-the-while knowing he was way off schedule.
After she left I tried my hardest to bring out the General but it wasn’t happening. I looked at him, I looked at the kitchen table full of papers, instructions, bottles, needles, and equipment and I COMPLETELY lost it. This was BY FAR my worst moment yet. Luckily our daughter was outside. The feeling of hopelessness overcame me and I froze and just cried uncontrollably. I literally was ON THE FLOOR. I was so scared and clueless. I knew the nurse wasn’t coming for 24 hours and we were on our own. I can still feel in my gut how I felt at that moment. Everything was so overwhelming and confusing and someone’s LIFE depended on it! HOW was I going to do this? After about 5 minutes and looking up at God begging him for strength and wisdom I pulled my butt up off the floor and took a deep breath and got those instructions. Wiped my eyes so I could see and I started reading. I cried the whole time but I kept my wits about me enough to absorb the information.
As I think of that hopelessness I felt that day and the weeks to come, I couldn’t imagine how much harder it would be on a spouse who didn’t have the knowledge of food and nutrition I had. When you come home with a cardiac and diabetic patient their diet is almost impossible and takes serious planning and education and doesn’t happen overnight. But, their needs are immediate and you feel like you couldn’t possibly do this right or fast enough. I actually had to leave Hubby with our daughter while I made a mad dash to the grocery store that night to get enough of what he needed to make it through the week. I think that was by far the fastest I ever shopped. The people in the store probably thought I was crazy!! This is what eventually inspired me to take my blog, which I was already developing before hubby got sick, in the direction I have. I have been lead thru all this to try and help those who might be going thru the same or similar situations… or maybe those who just want to make their life a little better and healthier.
Hubby needed 24 hour care for a long time. I don’t think I slept a wink for months. He was scared to sleep and had a lot of anxiety and I was scared to take my eyes off him. I will tell you, we did a lot of binge watching during those months 🙂
After that first night home the visiting nurse came the next day and saw that we had survived. 🙂 She was GREAT and I was so thankful for her. I remember she was SHOCKED when she looked at Hubby’s chart. She said, “Boy, you are one lucky guy! How did you make it thru all this?” And we continued to hear that from every medical professional we dealt with. All of them amazed he lived thru it all. Our home nurse was kind enough to give us her cell phone number and I sure did use it!! She was a constant source of information and a safety net for me which honestly got me thru a lot. So grateful to her. She was special 🙂
Then to put the icing on the post heart attack cake, brainy me decided in our stressed financial situation I would go back to my nanny job just a few days after we came home. I wanted to help the Mom because she was having a hard time finding back-ups and I was very nervous about money coming in. Bills don’t stop because you get sick. Creditors could care less. So, I was like, no problem, I got this. Mmmmmmm…
This little munchkin was the type who had no interest in a schedule or sleep at all for that matter and did not want to share her time with the Hubby heart patient. Needless to say after a month or so we all came to the realization that it was not a good idea for me to continue to work. We had a couple close calls that required me to run hubby quickly to his doc or to the hospital and I HATED calling baby mom to leave work and come get her. We all decided it would be best to move on. But, it broke my heart and I still miss her. I always get so attached to my babies but this time, my heart and mind was overflowing with stress and worry in this overwhelming situation, and our home was no place for a beautiful thriving baby.
Eventually, my mother-in-law was able to fly in and stay for a couple weeks and help. It was so hard on her to be away from home but she didn’t complain. She luckily had a rental car so she could get out and about and get away from our “hospital house” from time to time. I am sure the whole time she couldn’t believe what was happening and that her baby boy was sick and in this horrible situation.
Even though my total focus was on Hubby’s needs and his health I worried about a LOT. I worried about our youngest and how she is now stuck in the middle of all of this. I worried about our future and if hubby would be able to work of if we would be able to keep our house. I worried about what we would do if he couldn’t go back to work. He has always been the breadwinner… how would I support us? My whole life was about this family… THAT was my career. We all know what that pays! Fills your soul, but doesn’t pay the bills. I firmly believe that husbands who have wives who don’t pursue a career, and are in the background handling all the blood sweat and tears while they pursue theirs, have gone way further in life and in those careers because of them. It’s a one woman support group for the aspiring career building husband, and a recipe for his success. Just my opinion 🙂
So with all the worry in the back of my mind at pretty much every moment, I tried to keep turning to God. I tried to give Him all that worry. I prayed for the faith to do so. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not so much.
If he can no longer work how will we get back to the kids? How will we pay for college? Will our oldest daughter have to drop out? Will our youngest get to go at all? All these questions spun thru my mind on a regular basis and I prayed it would stop because it started to consume me.
All the while I kept posting updates on Facebook on hubby’s progress. There were and ARE so many people worried about him and rooting for his recovery. Feels so amazing to have so many people far and wide who care about you. Once Hubby was able he finally started to read all the comments and well wishes. I really believe it helped him in his recovery. All the love and positivity.. it’s inspiring.
As Hubby started to make progress we would have never guessed that the bumpy road was not ready to end. Little did we know we had many more trials in store for us.
When people suggest to you to live one day at a time.. LISTEN. It is literally all you can do in these situations and as the weeks and months went by we would learn just how true that is…
Until next time.. be a blessing… share a blessing… be blessed xoxo