They wheeled Chris from the operating theatre to the hospital ward, Friday after the angiogram. I was waiting anxiously to hear the results of this procedure where they pump dye through your arteries to check for blockages.
Chris looked pale and stricken. There’s nothing they can do for me, he said.
And I realized that health wise? He’d just hit a brick wall.
We’d known this was a possible outcome. When his kids had advised him against the probative procedure, he’d countered with: So what am I supposed to do? Just sit here and die?
I wanted to burst into tears, to give in and let it all wash over me. But one look at the grim determination on his face, and I knew. The bad news was his to deal with. I could not be the one to let go.
We’ll have prawns for dinner, I said stupidly. What’s for dinner had been the topic before he went in for the angiogram,
Then I got myself together and said; You’re here, you’re alive, and you’re coming home with me. That’s all that matters now.
But the news left me stunned. In my sixties, I have no job, and very little income on my own. We have debts, and our income is greatly reduced due to Chris’ illness. Life insurance? Meagre at best.
As I helped him dress and wheeled him down the hall to the parking lot, I worried about how this news would affect him.
After all, if I was in shock, I couldn’t begin to imagine how Chris felt. I only know that whatever lies ahead, I need to be strong for him.
Pray God I am up to it.
2 thoughts on “Caregiving: The Diagnosis.”
Being a caregiver is so tough — I haven’t felt so many jumbled raw emotions since being a teenager…and the best ones (lust, puppy love, wonderment, etc) aren’t part of the caregiver mix. Only the ugly ones. Dread, fear, guilt. I love what you said about prawns. No shame in that. How perfectly human of you! Carrying on in the face of bad news. Sometimes I find the most comfort in routine. Some see it as a rut. But the caregiver me knows there is peace in that routine, particularly on the days there are no surprises.
Best to you and yours
Amanda, just rereading all the comments on my blog–I don’t know if I replied by email or what, but I want you to know that I fully appreciate what you are saying. Routine saved me many times. I think just being able to put one foot in front of another and come to the completion of some task was often what kept me sane. Thank you for letting me know that was helpful for you too.