What a way to start a year, my dears. On January 2, my husband Don went into the hospital for an outpatient procedure to remove a stuck kidney stone. Should have taken a few hours, but nothing is easy with Don. Instead, his blood pressure was so high that the procedure was canceled and they admitted him to the hospital. He spent the night of the second getting poked and prodded and having his meds adjusted, and I brought him home with a whole bunch of pill bottles yesterday. Today, January 4, we are both rather exhausted and not doing much. His pressure is still pretty high, but if the meds work like they’re supposed to, he’ll be going back to the hospital for the stone removal on Wednesday the ninth.
Any of you who have followed me for any length of time know that this is far from our first health crisis. In fact, tomorrow marks exactly ten years since Don’s health saga began. I’ve written about his many problems on this blog throughout the years, beginning in January 2009. They include eleven operations for kidney/heart/prostate/throat/hernia/intestinal problems. Last year, before the throat operation, the anesthesiologist teased me that I got a lemon when I married Don.
I’ve spent many a long hour pacing up and down the halls at one hospital or another, trying to kill time while somebody does something else to Don, and studying the other people whose paths I cross. One thing I noticed right away, especially on the Cardiac floor, where Don has been on more than one occasion, is the family configurations of the patients. There are people of all ages who have heart problems, of course, and all kinds of family groups, but it seems to me that as I passed by the rooms and glanced in, there were an inordinate number of old men in the beds, and old women sitting in the chairs next to the beds. And then I noticed a large number of really old women in the beds, with middle-aged women sitting in the chairs.
It’s our American life passage. Papa gets sick and Mama devotes herself to caring for him for several years. Then, in her very old age, Mama gets sick and her daughter cares for her until her time comes. I was sitting in a waiting room one day and overheard a man say, “You get married and have a nice life together, and then one day you end up with one of you pushing the other down the hall in a wheelchair.” It’s what you sign up for, though at the time, you don’t really realize that the day will ever come. It’s quite shocking when it actually does.
Anyway…I’ve been married a long long time. These last ten years have been difficult, but really, it’s all totally worth it in the end.
I’ll write an update to this tale in a few days, after I know how it comes out. I have plenty of writing news to share as well, so stay turned. It looks like 2019 is going to be a year to remember, one way or another.