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.

#motivation

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

27 Comments

  1. <33333 so much of my love and so many positive thoughts are coming your way. i wish i was in a position to help you, because while you are putting on a wonderfully brave face and kicking ass right now, everyone deserves some help.

    you are a wonderful person, summer, and your family is the absolute luckiest to have you. just give us the when, and i'll have everyone send you the best pies in the world.

  2. My first thought (after the tears slowed and my vision cleared), is has anyone volunteered to host an auction for you? If not, I would like to be that person, Summer.

    My heart is breaking for you, and I wish I lived close to give you an awkward hug from someone who has never met you but thinks the world of you. If there’s ANYTHING I can do from afar, I will. Please just ask.

  3. Oh… no. Sending you so much love, Summer and family.

  4. By the gods, woman!
    Seriously, if you want to let me know a couple of things the kids want for Xmas I’ll get them. You don’t have to stress about that.
    And I will make you a dozen oreo brownies to go with your pie because, damn.

  5. Summer,

    You all need to come in here for a group hug that lasts uncomfortably long, with like, snot draped everywhere and fancy drinks named after famous people and stuff (g rated).

    Also, imagine I am baking all the most luscious pies from organic and farm-grown ingredients, and I am making ALL OF THEM, literally, ALL PIES EVER CONCEIVED, and shipping them in flash sealed containers at the peak of freshness to wait until that time when you are ready and can rent your hotel room and make out with pies.

    Sending love and prayers, too. Because, reasons.

    Love from our family to yours.

    Don

  6. Aww, hun. So sorry but I know this will turn around for you. Yay for getting your hubs help when he needed it. Sorry about your upcoming surgery. Glad you have friends to help out. You should do a GoFundMe account for your medical bills. I know what it’s like to be broke and without insurance or have insurance that doesn’t cover things. Hang in there! You have my positive thoughts and vibes.

  7. I love you guys! Summer: You live up to your name of sunshine and happiness. Literally I was thinking of you just a week or so ago when I faced a shitty person and I was all “Why can’t I be as brave as Summer when faced with this shit” (true story!)

    Your family is strong, and I know you’ll get through it. In the meantime sending you love, thoughts, prayers and unicorns.

  8. *sends you and your hubby hugs and pie*
    Telling you that you’re doing a good job and to stay strong seems really silly. But please know that I’m wishing you (and your husband) all the strength in the world. I’m not a religious kind of gal, but I actually, truly said a real prayer for you. I hope everything works out.

  9. I’m so sorry, Fizzy. I can’t say I went through the same thing, but very close. My hubs developed a case of post traumatic stress after an operation. He couldn’t go to work. Someone had to be with him 24/7 because he couldn’t handle being alone. He had bad thoughts about himself and was suspicious of everyone close to him. My kids were small at the time. After he got on medication, all he did was sleep and go to work. He became like a zombie. The kids didn’t understand and I was carrying it all. Each medicine seemed to make him worse. It took a long time, but now he is nearly 100% better. That time seems like a dark memory that happened to someone else. I pray that you will get through it much quicker! But from one who has been there, I send all the support I can.

  10. Lana Wood Johnson |

    I just wanted to leave some advice, I’ve been the kid in this scenario so many times. They know when things are messed up. Be as honest with them as you can. Let them help, it’s their family, too, and knowing they contributed in times of need help them deal in the future. Also, my best Christmases and Birthdays were not the expensive ones, they were the ones that had fun memories like boardgames or movie binging.
    You will get through this, and so will they, and money can be the practical consideration, but love and togetherness are way more important.

  11. Dammit Summer! This is not the first time you’ve made me cry. And I only have one cry mode and it’s ugly cry. As luck would have it the electrician will be here any minute. So after I try to undo the red blotches from my face I am heading over to the auction to support you. HUGS… Like big take your breath away hugs. Hang in there. We moms/wives are always trying to pull off that super woman act. Take a minute for yourself. After I visit the auction I’m going to get on my knees and pray for you and your whole family cause that’s just what I do. Be well my friend. This too shall pass <3

  12. Oh Summer, I just want to give you the hugest hug in the entire history of hugs and send you ALL the pies in the world. I’m so sorry to hear that life has thrown you such a curveball, but I hope you know how loved you are. You are not alone – and never will be. All my love to you and your family! xx

  13. *Hugs* and more *Hugs* I love you guys. Your story is amazing. The way you tell it is amazing. Can we get a book deal already!? Hello-ohhhhhhh! And I think you and your family are all amazing. I’m so glad you share your life with us. Regardless of the hellish circumstances, your stories reveal a beautiful big heart, gratitude for simple things, a wonderful sense of humor, a fresh perspective, and a relishing of life that lifts me up each time I read them. I wish for you and your family all the peace and happiness the universe can muster. And Pie.

  14. I love you. I don’t get exactly what you’re going through, but I get it in my own way. We know the “everything please stop happening” (even when you think nothing else could possibly happen) feeling so I can at least get that feeling. Most importantly you are so very loved. Cry and scream and yell when you need to in a secret place, let it out and then keep going. When we could only afford eggs, and then some of the eggs went bad, I was so sick but so frustrated that I got up the energy to throw the bad eggs at a tree in the woods outside. It was a good release. I understand holding it together on autopilot. One day you will get to throw the eggs. <3
    You are amazing my preacherfriend. Fizzypulpit forever. Look at all these people responding and donating (on Jessa's page) and see how much you are supported and loved. <3 you've helped a lot of people. Thanks for opening up to let us help you back! Love forever.

  15. Oh, my God. Sending you light and love…as much as will spread in your direction and cover your family in hugs and security and divine interactions. May your days become brighter and lighter, and you can look back on all of this in a memoir. <3 I hope the monetary help arrives in the bucket loads.

  16. I still remember stumbling across your blog back in 2013 when I was in a dark place and laugh-crying my way through your Egg-mageddon post. Like, tears pouring down my face, scared my husband type laughter.

    I needed a lift then, and you absolutely deserve everything this community is doing to help give you a lift now. You have no idea how many people your writing brings a bit of happiness to when they really need it.

    On a more practical note, for the dentist bills that have to be paid up front, try looking into Care Credit. Most dentists (and vets!) accept it and they give you 12-18 months to pay the amount back, interest free. Also, you can sign up for it and print out your card number to take with you in less than an hour which means you can get your appointment made asap!

  17. Summer I don’t know where to start… first, all the hugs.

    I get it… my family was knocked sideways earlier this year when my niece was diagnosed with cancer. She’s 13. It’s pretty much just my sister and me… we’re not close to extended family.

    I’m so glad Jessa set up the auction — I will be all over this because I adore you and miss you online. I hope we can all help you through this.

    xoxo

  18. Hugs to you and your family. I’m sending buckets of prayers and positive thoughts your way.

  19. I’m keeping you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers.

  20. I know there’s probably a bazillion people going on about it, but have you looked into applying for public assistance? I ask cause my day job is eligibility, and if you’re filing temp disability, your family might have linkage to medicaid (or other programs depending on your state, such as MediCal in California where I work). I know it’s a helluva pill to swallow, but if you haven’t investigated this yet, it is worth looking into. This is one of the cases those programs are designed for. Email me if you have any questions. In the mean time, good luck and I will keep you in my thoughts.

  21. First off I would like to say terrific blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to
    writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my
    ideas out there. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Kudos!

  22. I know the feeling. My son was born with a rare brain disorder. On of my other kids has type 1 as do I. A lot of folks are in your same boat with you. We’ll steer together when the waves are so rough we think the dang boat might capsize. It will get better. Praying and thinking of you. Will try to donate.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Giving Thanks - Fizzygrrl - […] quite two weeks ago, I posted a blog updating on how life was going. It was a hard post…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.