The Way We Were
Hello my darlings,
It’s been a long minute, amirite?
I wanted to update on what’s been going on in life, partly because I miss the heck out of blogging and interacting people more on social media, but also because this blog serves as a sort of therapy to me.
Where to start.
My husband has been dealing with anxiety and depression for the last fourteen years or so, but he’s always been the “normal” one between the two of us. He was always able to manage through medicine and chatting things out, and it got him by.
About 20 months ago, he dramatically shifted. We tried different medications, had constant contact with his doctors, and we worked very hard as a team to get him leveled out.
When he said his depression had turned to the despair of not wanting to wake up in the mornings, we got him into therapy and on a new medication toot suite.
Which went horribly wrong, as some medications do, and the despair turned into active suicidal thoughts.
That he felt able to talk to me about those thoughts is the thing I am most thankful for in the universe right now. I won’t let myself think of how my life would be right now if he hadn’t.
Because I don’t fuck around at all with anything dealing with suicide, I immediately called all his doctors and took him directly to the hospital. I’m also beyond grateful he came with me on his own, because I would have straight up called an ambulance and I didn’t want to do that to him.
He was ready for help. He was terrified, but he was ready.
And after evaluating him, they admitted him for the week.
He’s home now, and he’s doing really well. He has good days and bad days. Some very good, some very bad. But he is definitely in a place where the good days look like they are starting to outnumber the bad days.
He’s unable to return to work right now both because he’s not mentally and emotionally there yet, but also because he’s in an intensive outpatient treatment that goes five days a week. It’ll be a month or six weeks at minimum until he goes back, and even then, he will have to start slowly, maybe only a day or two a week to build back up.
I’m talking about this situation from my perspective, as hubs’s isn’t mine to share. I did get his full permission to write this post, though.
I’ve taken on a new role in addition to mother and wife of “caretaker.” That’s what the doctors call me. And I am beyond happy to have that role. Whatever is needed to keep my hubs in a good place is my genuine pleasure to give.
But it’s also been a really hard shift.
When he came to me, I was knocked out with a double ear infection, sinus infection, and bronchitis. I am impressed with the human body’s ability to ignore everything else when a crisis hits. I remember sitting in a room with a doctor as they were admitting him and felt my fever spiking up painfully high, but I had more important things to deal with. So I did.
Our son’s 5th birthday was the day after hubs was admitted. I remember scrambling to get things together while hubs was in the shower before I took him to the hospital, and thinking I wouldn’t have time to bake a birthday cake. I only sort of remember calling a bakery and begging them to make a cake in the shape of a kitty in 24 hours.
The birthday party went off wonderfully thanks to help from my glorious mother and the help of my sister-in-law. Our son saved his special Legos he received to do with Daddy when he came home.
It was so surreal to them. They went off to a friend’s house to play in the morning and Daddy was home and fine. When they came home that night, Daddy was in the hospital. They had no idea why and didn’t get to say goodbye. They were scared he was going to die like my uncle did in the hospital earlier this year.
They understand he was in the hospital to feel better, that this wasn’t a broken bone or cancer, and the doctors are going to help Daddy fix the chemicals in his body that aren’t playing nice, and they will help him learn ways to keep himself feeling better.
Side note: may all the deities listening bless my friend Alina for hanging onto our kids for that entire day and so calmly handling the texts of a madwoman who was admitting her husband to the hospital.
As all of this was happening, as I was trying to keep life normal for the kids, trying to make sure the short-term disability papers were filed, trying to handle things with his company to make sure he would have a job to return to, trying to update all family members everywhere who had no clue there was even an issue to begin with, trying to will my body into forgetting it was sick…through all of that, I had a surgical consult two days into the hospital stay.
Three days before hubs had the worst day of his life, I’d learned my wisdom teeth had punctured through into my sinuses on both sides of my face and I’d have to have them removed, and bone grafts done to repair it.
But when I went to my consult, I learned I have issues in my ears/sinuses beyond that and will have to have a second surgery before they can even take my teeth out.
I assume this is because the universe has a twisted sense of humor.
I worry about a lot of things. I worry about hubs every day. Trying to balance caretaker and wife and not be overly ARE YOU OKAY SIR is a tightrope to walk. I worry about how the kids are understanding all of this. I worry how my surgery will impact hub’s recovery. I sometimes worry on the very bad days if I am going to wake up with my husband there.
I worry about money. I know we are never ever supposed to talk about money, but holy god do I worry about money. Disability is on’y 2/3’s of his regular pay, and we are definitely paycheck to paycheck people. I’ve spent the last two weeks cursing myself for never being able to get to that magical place of three full months of pay in a savings account in case of emergency.
Dave Ramsey is super judging me right now.
And we were *just* starting to get back on our feet from my heart attack last year.
I worry how I’m even going to pay for the surgery on my teeth. Oral surgeons insist on pre-paying the surgery, and since I can’t just have the bastards pulled, I have to have full anesthesia, and I don’t know where $1000 is going to magically appear from to hand over to them.
I’d try to put the surgery off, but that’s how I got into this mess in the first place. By putting off the wisdom teeth removal for so many years because I didn’t want to take that kind of money from our budget or burden everyone with my recovery time.
Hardy har, universe.
I worry about the monsoon of medical bills coming. And they are coming. We keep getting estimates of what our insurance doesn’t cover, and since it’s for mental health, they cover less than other medical issues. I wouldn’t have had this covered even if I had been Mr. Ramsey’s star student.
It’s like knowing the day I’m going to die. That by the end of November, everything is going to explode and there will be no survivors.
I’m rolling with the Caretaker vibe and have been parroting, “Don’t worry! I’ve totally got this under control!” to hubs and everyone who asks.
I’ve taken a very Scarlet O’Hara approach to life for the sake of my own sanity. I deal with what I can today, but the unfixable things I can’t fix will have to wait until tomorrow.
Really I’m just waiting for the day the unfixables won’t be able to be pushed off again. Boom.
I’m scared. Man, am I scared.
People ask me what I need right now, and I just blink at them. I honestly don’t know. A tree that produces $100 bills? Mary Poppins? A fairy godmother wouldn’t go amiss.
I keep trying to think in terms of what I can live with losing. Hubs is not one of those things. The kids. Our sweet critters.
The house, the cars, etc. Those I suppose I will have to learn to be flexible with.
I childishly think of things like our daughter’s birthday in December and Christmas. It’s usually my favorite time of year. And how this year, somehow even more brutally real world than last year, will be more of a struggle than we’ve ever faced.
I yell at the void and wonder why the fuck we can’t have one year without this shit. Why can’t we just have a win for a minute.
I MEAN CAN WE LIVE, UNIVERSE? Gawsh.
I crack jokes and say everything is under control because that’s all I’ve got.
At one point, I wandered into a Lush store while I was waiting for my phone to be repaired (I dropped it while they were admitting hubs to the hospital and it shattered. Because of course it did.) and when the sales lady asked how I was doing I sort of lost it and told her exactly how I was doing.
You’ve never seen a more stunned look on a person. She sort of bleated, “LET’S GET YOU SOME FREE SAMPLES.” and then gathered all the other sales folks and whispered the tales of the customer with a noticeable eye twitch and they did in fact give me tiny pots of almost every single item they could scrape off.
I’ve cried once. One time. After they took him away and I was told I wouldn’t see him for several days, I walked calmly to my car, sat in the rain, and ugly-cried like I have never ugly-cried before.
For three minutes. Then I took a breath and started making all the phone calls that needed to be made.
I am automated survival mode now. Sometimes I worry I won’t make it. I’ll make a mistake and we will all lose everything. That I won’t spot a signal and he will slip. That the kids will suffer from my error.
In like, six months or so, when everything has calmed down, when hubs is doing better, when life has found a comfortable sense of normalcy, I’m going to rent a hotel room for 24 hours and I am going to sit in silence and scream and cry and laugh and eat an entire pie. A whole pie.
Maybe multiple pies. Probably definitely multiple pies.
This is the repetitive dream thought that gets me through each day.
If I can just survive for six months, I get hysterics and pie.
So. That’s what’s up.
Things are going as well as they could be going right now, I assume. We’ve had a lot of forward progress with hubs, and for that I am eternally grateful and will gladly put up with all the rest of it for that progress.
Huge thank you’s to everyone who has reached out and helped in whatever ways they can. I very literally would not have survived the last two weeks had it not been for that help. I love you awesome nerds. Muchly.
I miss you all, and I hope I’ll reach a point where I can get back to blogging and typical social media shenanigans soon.
Promise me you’ll all be quite kind to one another in my absences.
I hope you all are marvelous and wonderful and all the extra hugs for the days and weeks I’ve missed wishing you those marvelous and wonderful days!
Until next time,
Peace, Love, and Pie