Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Just Breathe

I woke up early in the morning. An hour has passed by now; it is 3:30 in the morning. Something is bothering me and I can't sleep. I finally make my way out of bed and move downstairs. It seems exceptionally bright. The storm has moved in and the snow has covered the back yard. The wind blows flakes left and right and up. The only thing I don't see is the snow coming down.
My wife has been feeling painfully miserable. I've told her over and over again to go to the doctor. "I can't. I will. No time. Next week. I'll see." The words come out in different ways. I tell her, "You have to stop. Your going to get sicker."
She calls me and says, "I've made an appointment."
Finally. Hopefully. Maybe. She'll get better.
She comes home from the doctor and say's, "My allergies are killing me. The doctors said that my (insert names here) levels are through the roof. They are 1,400. Way too High. Stress levels that can cause heart attacks. He gave me pills."
I whimper inside. I've know that the stress levels have been way too high. I've told her that she needs to try and relax and quit taking things so serious.
"What like illness? And money? And death?"
"Yes, like all those things. Just breathe."
"Can't breathe. It's choking the life out of me."
I am happy about the doctor appointment.
Finally. Hopefully. Maybe. Things will change.
One of the first things I learned as a person with a chronic illness was that it is just as hard on the caregivers. We've gone to parent/teacher conference meetings and said, "Here's our story. Please watch our kids. Let us know if you see any changes."
I think it is different with a spouse. You can't stop the worry and the stress. It is part of the normal reaction.
I am praying that this gets better. I know that the allergens have long since been aggravating. We've been working on them. But I know that we are not saying goodbye to the dogs and the cats and the guinea pigs and the hamsters and those other tiny rodents any time soon. All we can do is minimize the damage and work on the stress. Just breathe.

I love you, Lo.


  1. Please tell your wife that I can completely empathize with her. I have been there. And still am there. My husband had a liver transplant in June of 2008, then was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2009. It has been a really rough few years for us. And you are right, it is hard on the caregivers. But, I hang in there because I love my husband, and I vowed to be there for him. That is exactly what I want to do and will continue to do. I am sure your wife feels the same way. You are so fortunate to have each other. Better days are coming!


  2. I spend time scouring the web; looking for someone else that might be going through what we are. My husband's MELD is 25 (with liver cancer) - waiting here in the Atlanta area - waiting for 'the call' is agonizing. I wish you well - my thoughts and prayers with you - please continue to write - it means so much to people - you have no idea. This is our blog address.

  3. Yeah, it's tough on everyone. Is there anything nice and caretaking that you and your wife could do for *her*? Do meditation together? Find some way to get her a treat? Is there a friend or family member she hasn't seen for a while? A food she really likes? Maybe it's just lying quietly on the floor in a pool of sunlight for a few minutes. Whatever might be a way to speak to her body and say "you are loved, you can find some rest".

  4. I know that I was deathly allergic to cats until I got desensitizing shots which really helped me. Hopefully something like that could help her.

  5. I see this in my husband too...I really think chronic illness is harder for the rest of the family than for the "patient"...they have to hold it all together, worry...we get to rest. They never, ever rest. It is non-stop for my, driving the kids to and fro, caring for the house, the bills, the anxiety about leaving me home alone...I hear you. And yet...what can we do? Except remind them to please sit...please stop...please, just for this moment exhale with a sigh...inhale my that we are going to be ok...we ARE OK...right now, in this moment...we are all ok...ok enough.

  6. Such wonderful comments filled with love for you and your family. I add my prayers of comfort and a breath of peace for you, Lo and your two beautiful girls. hugs- teri

  7. Thinkin' about you Beaux, sending you peaceful healing energy.