Paradox – Paradoxes – Paradoxing

Sunset from the hospital parking lot

My high school friend, Kevin responded to my last post saying that he appreciated the “courage” it took to write about this journey. At that point, I didn’t really think of my posts as particularly personally courageous, but this post might change my thinking as it doesn’t show my better side.

Glen taught me this word – paradoxboth things can be true. (Glen has taught me many things.) Disappointment and hope, for example. Fear and hope. Dislike and hope. Annoyance and hope. Read on to understand my thinking about these paradoxes.

For the past few days (four?) I’ve woken up with the hope that today would be the day. Today would be the day that Glen gets to come home. The day when he could be in his own surroundings with visits from friends. When he would be comfortable in his own bed. And…the day when I wouldn’t have to face the bridge traffic. When I wouldn’t sit in a hospital room with all the sights, sounds and smells. Ugh. The smells.

But let me back up a bit. We’ve known for years, that a feeding tube could (would?) be in Glen’s future. During cancer treatment he fought HARD not to get one. It’s never been on our priority list of “must dos” during our lifetime. (Yes, that’s snark.) And here we are grateful for this life-saving tool.

Now I’m going to back up even more…There’s a reason I didn’t go into the medical field. I hate medical stuff. Okay, maybe hate is a bit strong, but I am really uncomfortable with it and don’t like to be around it. Over the years, Glen has put me through the medical wringer many times for many days/weeks/months. I know that sounds very self-centered and self-involved because literally he’s the one in the wringer, but let me have a moment, if you will…

So after experiencing long treatments and recovery for meningitis and cancer, there came a day when he needed some sort of a stint or something in his neck. (Seriously, I can’t keep track of the details of his ailments.) So we both remember that as I stood over him in the recovery room, watching him come out of anesthesia…I looked at him with tears in my eyes and said…I’m done. Next time you need some procedure or a trip to the hospital, you need to find someone else to do this with you. I’m done with you in hospitals. Now, I hope you know that those were empty words, yet they were sincere.

And here we are…15 days into his next hospital stay. I’ve been here for 14 of those days for 10 hours a day (Glen will note that that’s not completely true because sometimes I was late) watching him, watching the nurses, and thinking to myself…WTH did I do in my past life? How do I deserve this? I must have done something truly horrible to someone. Yes. It sounds like a self-pity party. And I have my moments of feeling sorry for myself. AND I also think that I mostly rise to the occasion, to the need, to my role of attendant. I won’t say nurse – will never say nurse because as I have stated over and over and over…I AM NOT A NURSE/CAREGIVER!

So back to where I started this post…hoping that today is the day for Glen to come home. He needs to be home to recover and reassemble his life. And here’s the paradox. Or a paradox because there are actually many. While he’s in the hospital, I’m an extra attendant. The responsibility is not mine. I can advocate for him and help him, but ultimately, it’s not me. You see, as the extra attendant, I can push this lovely red call button and when pressed…voila! The real nurses or caregivers arrive and take care of the patient!

And when he comes home…well…there’s no red button.

So as our blog title states – Can we? Will we? I’m going to say that in this case…I can. I will. But it doesn’t mean that I have to like it. I’ll be paradoxing because…both things are true.

Sunrise from our yard this morning.

Published by gat2jdt2

60 something retirees (or semi-retirees) learning to live differently

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