Sep 26

It Goes With the Territory

My Dan sleeps.

He naps during the day.

Gentle, tender naps.

He dreams the wild dreams by night.

He has something called (briefly) RBD.

The long name is Rem Behavior Disorder.

It means that his body moves with his dreams.

He flies from the bed.

He has wings.

And fists to fight his dream-foes.

We’ve done what we can to protect us both.

Many RBD people develop Parkinson’s

Or Lewy-Body Dementia.

My Dan has so many things.

Including now another round of

Skin Cancer.

Apr 29

The Bottom of the Cup

golf
My Dan. a cylinder of efficiency;
One day, a golfing wizard,
The next, struggling to pull his putt
From the bottom of the cup.

Yesterday, we met with a nurse from the
Arizona Palliative Home Care folks.
She was beautiful. Smiling. Informative.
She gave us a packet.

My Dan is eligible for hospice.
He’s not ready.
He still in argument with life
And death…and low sodium … and cheese.

So, we chose Palliative Care.
We’ll keep him free from
Pain and missed putts.

I’ll gather myself as I can.

And I’ll cook with Parmesan cheese.

Apr 15

One Happy Sea Change

despicable-me-2-img

We talked
Three nights ago
We talked.

My Dan is a brilliant thinker,
While I’m slow.
So very slow.
Slow is okay, he says.
Brilliant is better, I say.

He said he was happy.
He said we’ll all die at some time.
He reminded me that I could go first.
Then he said he’d love if he’d go on the golf course,
Or the bookstore—either would be grand,

While I’d sadly go, still fussing over whether
He’s happy or not.

He’s happy, he said.
He’s Pharrell Williams “Happy,” he said.

With his words, My Dan changed my seas.

Thank you, My Beautiful Husband.
Thank you, Sea Change.
Thank you, Pharrell.
Thank you, Happy!

Apr 12

The Thing About Hearts and Limping Dogs

IMG_0143

And now here we are … I have a limping dog that needs to see the vet, and a husband with very difficult heart and lungs, and kidneys that can’t decide if they’re in Stage III or Stage IV disease, and then, there’s my own heart that refuses to accept any of it. I’ve no idea at all about my own kidneys … or my heart that catches my breath and flips and flops all the time … or my dear liver that’s been drinking in all this wine of late.

I’m deeply suffering from what some might call Pre-Grief. It’s unremitting, and as wide and unpredictable as any ocean might be.

It’s ridiculous. There’s nothing to really fuss about, yet here I am fussing away like a two-year-old in full tantrum. I’m sorry, but this is what a sensitive-hearted wife does. She simply fusses beyond reason, and I’m really, really sorry about it all. It makes me cry. It makes my heart sadder than sad.

I don’t know how to write about this. I don’t know what to say. It’s all so very silly, and I’m so very embarrassed by this response to something beyond my control. Still, this is what I’m doing.

I can’t seem to help myself.

Lately, I’ve been researching palliative comfort care (not to be confused at all with hospice care) for a man who sees no reason for any of it. We talked about it tonight … he’s happy. He goes to the book store for tea and magazines. He goes to the library where he reads the local newspaper. He catches up with his golfing buddies as they round the 9th tee. He is fine. He’s happy. He doesn’t care about his terrible and frightening symptoms. “I’ve lived a good and long live. I’ll die when I die,” he says. He’s happy.

It appears I’m the one who needs the palliative care. I’m the one who needs to find comfort. It’s said that caregivers often suffer more than their caregiveree. I’m beginning to notice the truth of that.

Maybe I’m just another limping dog who doesn’t know what to do until someone takes me to the vet.

 

Apr 01

It’s Been a Long Time

2014-03-31 19.34.20

Yes, it’s been a while. My fingers have been silent. My heart too.

On December 20, 2013 … My Dan, my handsome husband, the love of my life … had three heart attacks. Yes. THREE!!!

Four stents were installed into his right artery. My own heart was wrecked. It’s been a wild ride since that crazy day. Dan’s been solid.

He survived.

He survives still. Like new seeds in our garden, My Dan grows.

He’s the semicolon that continues the thought.

He’s My Dan.

You can see by my fingers … I’m still wrecked!

 

Oct 20

Here’s What Love Would Do

typewriter

Love would Google her fingers off until an answer was found
To make sense and rekindle the health of her loved one.

Love would dust the house in the midst of a
Story storm that envelopes that very house.

Love would kiss the morning neck of the man (or woman) who showed you
A rainbow the evening before.

Love would fix your backyard sprinkler,
Your split-in-two heart,
Your grammar and punctuation,
Your terror regarding stinging insects.

Love would turn a pancake for you.

Love would run his fingers over your old typewriter
Like it’s a treasured friend.

Love would not change your past, but rather,
Enhance your future.

Love would help you
Figure things out …
Math
Religion
Politics
What to watch on Friday night.

Love would help you dig deep, find your story,
Enhance, hang pictures on the wall, paint first,
Change colors, do it again, fix, mend, weave,
Dream, scheme, age, lose, find, adore, reject,

It would say … Oh, oh, that … that I adore.

Love would find you.

Find you.

Find you.

 

Sep 24

My Dan

My Dan’s not been feeling tip-top lately.

He’s had tests.

Then more tests.

It’s said waiting is the worst part.

I don’t yet know if that’s true.

We’re in the waiting part.

The knowledge part doesn’t start until

Tomorrow.

Maybe.

Still, we know this: There are changes.

Something here … and another something

Over there, and possibly something else just below.

There are hardenings, subtleties, fine distinctions,

Unremarkable notings …

All of which are caught in this net of watch and wait,

And the magical thought that if I just don’t think about it,

It won’t happen, and if it does happen …

It won’t be true.

Aug 28

The Kindness of Expand-o-Foam

scorpion

We’ve been having scorpion problems in our house,
As happens now and then in Phoenix.

The bug guy came this morning.
Sprayed inside and out.

Then Dan decided to place expand-o-foam
Under the cabinets
… In the spaces …
Where scorpions might enter.
As we worked, he spraying,
Me cleaning up behind,
The following conversation occurred:

Me: If I were to die first, you’d be able to take care of things, no?
Him: Hmmmm.
Me: So I think I should die first, to be polite, you know.
Him: Naw … I don’t so much like scorpions. Ordinarily I’d say you first,
But not when stinging things are concerned.
I’ll go first, if you don’t mind.
Me: No.
Him: Get a nice condo – you should have a nice one.
And on a high floor where there are no scorpions.

We’re so silly.

We know we don’t have a choice in the matter.
Nevertheless, my Dan is so kind to me!
He fills the spaces in my heart,
Much like his expand-o-foam.

Aug 17

The Ups and Downs

hands2

I visited my sister today and found good news and bad news

Good news –

She is talking again

Bad news –She’s lost her legs and can’t walk
Her blood pressure is 74/45

She’s dizzy – presumably because of that wacky blood pressure
What she says doesn’t make sense
She took my glasses and now they’re hers

Conclusion –

Whatever is going on, I love my sister!