Friday, June 20, 2008

Anniversaries & Tightropes

Yesterday was mine and Donny's fourth anniversary. In some ways it seems like the time has flown by, and in others it seems like we've lived a few lifetimes in that time. So much has happened in our lives that it doesn't seem possible that we've fit it all into four years.

A few months before we got married Donny was at the doctor to get the results from some tests. The doctor had said that he thought that Donny might have testicular cancer, so we were rather worried. The doctor came in and let us know that there was no sign of cancer, but the news wasn't good. That's when we were told that Donny had cirrhosis of the liver. The doctor then asked us how long until the wedding. I told him a few months and he looked at me and said, "You'll have a very short marriage." I don't think that he thought we would make it this far.

The road has been very rough, and there were times that I thought we wouldn't make it, but the journey is worth it. Donny's a pain and hard to live with. He's also the most giving person that I've ever met. And you couldn't ask for a more loving husband. He has an odd sense of humor, but he loves to laugh. And if you want to tug on his heartstrings just mention a child or a senior citizen. He would rather go without his mostg basic needs than see a child in want. He has got the biggest heart that I've ever seen.

That's why this disease is so hard. My husband is turning into a grinch. He sees less and less of the heartache, and the joy, in the world. He's become self-centered. He's downright mean at times. He pushes kids away and does his best to cut himself off from the world. A man who once was the male version of a social butterfly now avoids going into public because he doesn't want to talk to people. Even on a good day he doesn't want to sit around and shoot the shit with his buddies anymore. He just doesn't have the energy or the drive. This disease is taking my husband and leaving me with a stranger.

I often wonder if the doctor's understand what this is like for the families. Do they know the tightrope that we walk trying to carry out their orders? Donny is having visual hallucinations all the time now. (That, or he really does see ghosts.) His mind is clear otherwise and he takes his medicine like he's supposed to so I don't bother going to the doctor about it. What would he do? What could he do? I'm constantly on the edge trying to keep an eye on Donny and live my life. Do the doctors know what it's like when the patient goes home with you? I would ask if they care, but I know that my doctor does. I just think that he doesn't have a clue.

Donny needs me 24 hours a day 7 days a week. He needs somebody by his side monitoring his medicine. Not only do you have to make sure that he takes it, but you have to make sure that he doesn't take too much. And if anybody has stray pills laying around he'll take them to see if they help. He's a grown man and wants to be treated as such, but he often requires the same care that you would provide for a toddler, including picking him up when he falls.

I love my husband dearly, I just want him back.

1 comment:

mielikki said...

Ah, Jamie

I want him back for you. And, I think many doctors are clueless. Some care. But, in the end, it is you that has the hardest job....
I am so sorry.