oldsunbird

"I have been more outrageous and more alone and more courageous than the world has known. Passerby, my heart is like your own."

Archive for the tag “hypertension”

Too Much Bad News

Beulah, one of my closest friends, died unexpectedly Thursday.  I’m still in shock.  Skip, her husband, has been ill for several years and everyone thought he would go before Beulah.  As a matter of fact, he’s been in ICU for over a week.

I don’t have details.  Don’t know if she had a stroke or died of a heart attack or what.  She was home alone.  Her daughter found her.

Beulah was such a lovely, caring, upbeat person.  When she walked into a room, the sun came with her.  She worried about her husband so much and I think she must have neglected herself.  She seemed well and always said she felt fine when I asked how she was.  She was taking meds for hypertension, but all my friends do that, as do I.  We talked about two weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about calling her.  Procrastinating, as usual.  I’ve done that so much, you’d think I’d learn.  I feel such a void in my life.

I talked to Connie, another friend, today.  She’s just been discharged from the hospital where she was being treated for a cluster of clots in her left lung.  She’s on coumadin now.

And Ken, my son, is going tomorrow for a test to determine if he has an aortic anuerysm.

Beulah, bless her heart; I can just imagine, with Skip in the hospital, how she went back and forth to be with him, probably not eating right, getting too much salt, being stressed out because of his illness.  I feel so bad for her.  The world is not the same without her in it.

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I wish I had a strong faith to get me through.  I’ll work it out.  I always do, but I do have issues with death and loss and being alone.  At my age, loss is inescapable.  Always knocking at my door.

More About Me

I just started following a blogger whose husband is ill and she has to care for him.  Almost all her thoughts and moves are affected by how her husband will react.   She plans her life around him and his needs.

I understand where she’s coming from; I, too, was once a caretaker for my husband.  Keeping him safe and happy was my life’s work.  It was difficult at times, but mostly it was rewarding.

And this is why:

We were in our late 70’s when he became ill.  Our children had long left the nest and lived in other towns.  We’d lost two sons, along with many other friends and relatives.  We mostly had just each other.  I was a retired psychiatric nurse, and chose that profession because my heart went out to those in need and I wanted to help them.  I especially related to the sick, as I’d been quite ill as a child, often separated from friends and family, trying to deal with my fears and discomforts alone.  My mother took good physical care of me but was too busy or unaware of how to comfort a sick, scared child.  She never spoke of or explained my illnesses to me.  Basically, I was just put to bed in a bedroom and left to my own devices.

Mother had always wanted to be a nurse, but she lost her father and brother before penicillin was discovered and had to quit school and go to work to help with the family bills.  Her nursing aspirations were carried into her adulthood.  She saw that I and my bed were clean and that I was well fed.  When I had Scarlet Fever, she rubbed my rash with calamine lotion.  She boiled my sheets and everything that came out of my room.  When she learned that I had Rheumatic Fever, she cried on the bus on the way home from the doctor’s.  I knew then that something bad was wrong with me, but I had no idea what it was or what was going to happen.   The treatment for Rheumatic Fever back then was bed rest.  There were no medications to treat it with.

Anyway, after I retired as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I missed practicing my calling.  And with the boys gone and no one to take care of, I needed a reason to get up in the morning.

My husband was a strong, controlling individual.  He made the important decisions in our family, and I was happy to let him do that.  I’ve always been a sensitive, introverted individual, never really sure of myself, afraid to take the initiative.

Then, after Forrest became ill, first with Alzheimer’s, then with COPD, hypertension, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, and colon cancer, I gradually had to become the decision maker and performer of all the household duties.  I gained confidence, and, in fact, enjoyed being responsible.

But most of all, I enjoyed taking care of my husband—cooking his meals, buying his special treats at the grocers, seeing that he had his oxygen, clothes to keep warm, bringing his meals to him in the TV room after it was too much effort for him to come to the table, taking him to his doctors’ appointments, wheeling him in the wheelchair.  We’d sit on the patio, watch the birds build nests, the trees grow, flowers bloom.   Sometimes, we’d watch TV together, or I’d watch while he slept in a chair across from me.  We were together.  We connected.  Not only was he allowing me to care for him, he was enjoying it.  Sadly, it was our best time as a married couple.

The woman I spoke of at the beginning of this blog lives in Australia on a bird farm.  Our experiences with illness are not quite the same, but, still, I can empathize with her.  Her blog address is:  http://jmgoyder.com/    She’s courageous, admirable and an inspiration.  I think you might find her blog worth the visit.

WARNING: This is a pitty party of one

I fell apart after Betsy died and can’t seem to recover.  Have episodes of increased BP, nausea, blurred vision, ringing ears, passing out.  I’m anxious and depressed.  Don’t know if it’s stress or something else.  I’ve had these symptoms from time to time, but it’s more often now, and more severe.  It’s getting harder to hold on to a positive outlook.  In the past three days, I’ve been to the ER and seen three doctors.

I’m living the days I’ve dreaded for a long time.  I’m old.  I don’t like it, but I’m old, alone and lonely.  I’d love to have another furry companion but I’m afraid to get one.  Will I be able to care for her/him?  Would it be fair to the animal?  So I go through the rooms my precious ones have filled and the rooms are so empty!

A nurse from St. John’s Home Health Care was here today interviewing me.  Can they help?  I hope so.    My spirit has been broken before.  I hope I can heal it once again.

It would be wonderful to have just one person in the world you know cares what happens to you.  Seems to be a necessary requisite for survival.  I’ve always known why old souls in convalescent homes just shrivel up and die.

Enough said.  Tonight, I pray for the strength and courage to heal myself.

Morning Low

Another bummer of a morning.  Woke at 3:30 AM with BP high and climbing.  Took an extra 1/2 Lopressor but it didn’t do much good.  Four hours later, took a whole tablet.  Still didn’t stop the high readings.  Thing is, it’s not just the BP but the symptoms that go with it; dizziness, blurry eyes, ear ringing, nausea, numb finger tips, hot face & chest, sore head, neck, shoulders.  It’s not normal and I know something’s wrong but my EKG and X-Ray apparently are okay so no one will listen.  I called the cardiologist this morning and was told to lie down for a few hours & if my BP doesn’t lower to go see my internist or Urgent Care.

When BP was lower, I made some calls that Kathy, yesterday, gave me some numbers for.  The internist isn’t taking new patients so I’m back to square one with  that.  Waiting for return calls from the house cleaners and handy person, also from Life Alert.   Hope I get a bulls eye on some of them.

I’ll be grateful if the rest of the day is better than the morning.

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