My Confidante

When I talk to my son it’s pretty much all about sports, history, or books. Not a whole lot of personal stuff other than medical appointments.

My friend Larry and I, being the same age, usually talk about our health. The fact that we have known each other for nearly 50 years, we occasionally talk about our “glory days”.

Talking to other people I tell my story, but nothing beyond being married twice and widowed twice. Also a little about my conversion journey.

I keep all of my personal and crazy thoughts on a flash drive. There is only one person to whom I have shared most of those thoughts. She is my confidante, my muse.

Trigger Days

“Trigger days” suck. April 30th should have been my wife Donna’s 67th birthday, but there will be no celebration. I’m sure our son Dan will go to the cemetery and leave some flowers. I, however, am 2600 miles away and left with the memory of someone who blamed me for her problem. You see, she was an alcoholic who refused to look in the mirror to see the person responsible. Instead she blamed everyone else.

The irony of her death is that she was a teacher and she died on Labor Day. Back then it marked the end of summer vacation and teachers were preparing to go back to school. Dan was only 10 at the time, but he seemed to handle himself well. We agreed to play Donna’s favorite song, “Wind Beneath My Wings” at the cemetery. Friends, family, and co workers were in attendance. Grown men cried.

There were other occasions over the years…birthdays, anniversaries, family gatherings. Some members chose to attend an AA meeting to see what it was like. Others chose to not speak of her as if that would make her memory go away.

Dan and I were well taken care of with meals and child care provided by family, friends, and neighbors. Just when I think I’m doing ok, along comes another memory. I hate trigger days.

A New Direction

Taking my thoughts in a new direction. Getting away from the daily updates and just focusing on various aspects of my life.

First up: Sleep Issues

For quite some time I have had insomnia, but it was not diagnosed until a few months ago. My insomnia is not the type that keeps you from going to sleep, but the kind that keeps you from getting a full night’s sleep. I was referred to specialists dealing with the issue, but none of them were seeing new patients. A friend recommended her counselor, so I made an appointment.

She suggested I take a supplement called Kava, which is a relaxant and helps you sleep. Trouble is sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t. Every once in a while I have a problem getting to sleep. My counselor says I need to “let the air out of my balloon”. I call it “clearing the mechanism”.

It doesn’t matter how much or how little sleep I get at night, I still take naps during the day. That probably goes with the territory of being in my 70s.

“She’s Leaving Home”

9-5-13

It’s only 4 am and I’ve been up and down with Nancy 2 or 3 times.I told her that we could go to Texas Roadhouse later today. She keeps getting up and wanting her clothes so that she can get dressed. Managed to get her to take some morphine; hopefully she’ll sleep for a little while. This is the first time I’ve seen full blown confusion. Previously there had been a little here and there. While she’s getting confused, I’m getting concerned.

Finally found a bed at a nearby Hospice facility, They came for her this morning just before noon. While following Nancy to the facility, it came to me that she may never come back to the house again. She is going to be in a semi private room with a roommate whose name is … wait for it … Donna. When I was introduced I thought that my legs were going to give out. For those of you who don’t know, Donna was my first wife’s name.

Came home so that I could stop at the bank. On my way back to the facility I stopped to get something to eat at IHOP. While waiting for my food I had my head bowed in prayer. When I asked for my check the server said it had already been paid.

When I got back there was no roommate. I was told that she had gone to a better place. It was almost as if my first wife had come back to tell my second wife that everything was going to be ok. Nancy seemed a little better after she got used to being there. The next few days will be critical. All in all, a very emotional day.

More Visits and Phone Calls

9-4-13

Called Bill so that he could talk to Nancy even though she couldn’t talk to him; just so that she can hear the sound of his voice. Same thing with Mom. My Aunt Marie was visiting. They talked to her for a few minutes.

The Hospice Chaplain visited this morning and a nurse stopped by this afternoon. No meds at all today. She wanted to go to a restaurant, but I said no because she barely eats at home and she’s also having trouble swallowing.

Alone Time/Night Time

9-3-13

Hospice nurse stopped by to check on Nancy, who is getting very unsteady on her feet. She has lost her appetite and is not drinking a whole lot of fluids. Plus she can barely hold her head up. The nurse or one of her associates will be out tomorrow to check on Nancy. Social worker also stopped by for a few minutes.

My days are filled with distraction, but when evening comes that is when I feel the most alone. Feeling the need to talk to someone I called Hospice and talked to one of the nurses. She listened to me ramble. It felt good to have someone listen to me.

Boredom and Frustration

9-2-13

Every day is filled with boredom and frustration. Boredom, because I have no ambition to do anything. Frustration, because Nancy drinks very little, eats hardly anything, and has pretty much stopped taking her meds. She gets weaker by the day, less aware of her surroundings, delusional, and her voice has been reduced to a whisper.

Hospice nurse came out and reiterated that Nancy needs to start taking her meds on a more regular basis. She also said that she could be depressed and that she would leave a note for the regular nurse about an anti depressant.

Let’s Take a Ride

9-1-13

Up a few times during the night. Finally up at 5:30, Nancy wanted to take a ride!! Got her dressed and brought everything out to the car. Headed out. Little did I know she wanted to go to Lake Havasu. Convinced her that this was not a good idea. Considering that she can only sit for 15-30 minutes and this trip would take a few hours. So we went back home. Nancy put on her pjs and went back to bed. She is still adamant about not taking her meds.