Wednesday, 12 October 2011

My Dilemma...

My dilemma…

Alex can’t sleep. We are told by the Drs that the best means for his brain to heal is sleep. Today he is frustrated. He has spent another night having nightmares about people beating him in the head, unable to go back to sleep, as each time he finally manages to sleep, he is plagued by these violent nightmares. They check him regularly in Hospital, and from one minute to the next as he lies there, trying to deal with the pain in his head, trying to sleep, he is unable, it’s very disturbing in Hospital.

He told me he wants to discharge himself, he’s had enough, for him he feels he’d be better at home, at least he can shut a door, and have the means to rest and sleep as and when he needs it. We have been told to expect another month of him being in and out of sleep, and a month after that recuperating slowly and then the 3rd month, fully getting back on his feet. In fact the recuperation period can take up to 6 months.

My dilemma is this, if he’s at home, he is NOT in the best hands, I will not know what to expect as ‘normal’ when to be over worried, when to rush him back in if things deteriorate. For me I would prefer him to stay till Friday (as they’re anticipating) and then I will try and be around as much as possible. I will obviously take precautions when I am out, get a mobile phone so he can call me, leave the phone beside him in bed so he can ring me/whoever, if he needs to, and he will get rest. Thus he feels he will recover more quickly. And this I understand, but it troubles me.

The clot is still there, and whilst he is still so vulnerable and fragile, I think he needs to stay as long as possible, I am not even happy about him coming out Friday if I am honest, as he still seems in a very bad way. He does have his stronger moments, but he’s not eating. Partly as he finds the Hospital food repulsive, partly because he's in too much pain, feeling too weak, and partly as he is at the point where he’s had enough, he needs his home comforts. But I am afraid. I am not a Doctor, how will I know?

His dad went up to see him tonight, Alex was in a bad way. His dad will stay the night if necessary, as his head is worse again, a lot worse. The nurses gave him more morphine, and something to ‘knock him out’. They seem not unduly concerned. But his dad is staying nonetheless, and I will go as soon as I am free tomorrow.

I want him home, I miss him so, my heart’s racing pace never subsides, and I expect it will not subside till a scan shows it is finally going in the right direction. As I repeatedly say, it’s all this waiting. Nothing else matters. And with no conclusive ‘yes it’s started to be reabsorbed’ proof, emotionally I am wrecked, tired, wrought, alone.

I have eaten better today, a message from a friend helped me realise I really do need to eat, despite. Everyone’s messages have been of great comfort, and in fact I have little contact with this friend  since school, so I was jolted into action, and am trying not to make any more excuses. I am eating little, mainly rice cakes, bananas, drinks of soup/tea/milk and a small evening meal. It’s not regular, I never know where I will be from one minute to the next. I find I am eating out of duty, it’s a chore, it hurts to swallow, my heart seems to be blocking it’s descent. But I do know I must.

Everyone’s messages are of optimism and of great comfort, and there are times when I feel it may be OK, but I struggle to keep myself afloat, I teeter on a thread. Waiting. Because no one actually can tell me ‘yes, he WILL be fine’, and that’s all I long to hear…

Life without you by my side is so hard my angel. May God give you rest, peace and heal you, may you be you, once more, may this time be one of life’s traumatic lessons, that we both come through together, stronger, closer to God, to what life is really all about.

I shall not sleep till your dad is home, I need to hear again how you are, I need constant reassurance. The nausea I feel constantly subsides a little when I know you finally sleep.

I need to keep writing, pouring out my anxieties, thoughts, doubts, my hurt, but my eyes burn with tiredness, and my mind finds it hard to focus. I shall try and rest a bit now till your dad’s here…

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

You were supposed to be coming home...

Pressing frantically at the button calling the lift to take me up to the 4th floor where you lie, my hands tremble. Externally and internally I am finding it hard to keep a grip on a positive attitude today, my strength is waning today. But I take deep breaths as I walk down the corridor, to sit with you and wait for the results of your scan. Today I feel as though there will be some kind of definitive answer to your ‘state’ and am desperately fighting the negative thoughts gnawing away at my resolve to be positive. My haste to get to you, my racing heart, pounding head from the infernal pain I feel are coursing through my body. I see you, I am by your side again at last. I cuddle your head and whisper ‘how you feeling, baby?’ I know the answer, you’re head hurts, your pale face and sweating body answer me.

The waiting is the worst part, the feeling of being in limbo, not knowing what really is normal, not normal, what to expect. Everything concerns me, demands all my abilitites to not scream out my frustration.

The Dr comes in, at her half smiling pursed lips, my heart blocks my throat. It’s not the news we were hoping for, expecting. I am not bringing you home, not yet. The scan showed ‘no change’ it’s not worse, so that’s good, but why has it not even diminished a bit? Some positive sign given? Why?

This last week, I have relived my whole lifetime it seems, it has taken that much time, eternities this week has lasted. I wait till she leaves, caress your head and lean into you tears rolling onto the cold hard hospital sheets. Hoping to rid myself of some of the pressure of this pain I am in. You start to feel worse, I panic, run and call a nurse, who says he just needs to sleep, this is the best healing for the brain. She gives you morphine, a tranquiliser and paracetamol and I pass the next 3 hours mopping your brow, holding your head where it hurts and trying to comfort you, trying to help you sleep. Finally, we both fall asleep.

The Dr explains they will try and get you up and about  a bit and ‘see how you go’. Then Thursday they’ll reassess. More waiting. More sleepless nights, more kilos dropping off me. I am eating, at least trying to stomach things every now and again. Keeping my strength up mentally and physically, but today I am spent. If you show signs of improvement, you can go home under constant surveillance, but at least you’d be here. But I would be too worried, I think, to be the one trying to asses if you’re normal, if it’s normal, I think you need longer in there. You cope for a little while every now and again, and this lifts me. Then you reach a point where you need to shut down, and the pain, the sweats kick in. I am there again, hurting, feeling useless, trying to comfort you to not much avail.

I am struggling today, if truth be known. I’ve broken down several times. I have not been able to have much of a grip on myself, my emotions, I was just so hoping the scan result would have been good.

I am struggling. The smile which dared to creep back to my lips the other day has been torn away once more, and I again, am in limbo, waiting, waiting, hopelessly waiting. I know once again the darkness of distress.

I want to be able to think ‘it’s all going to be alright’ and believe this. I just wanted the results to be good. They’re not bad, they tell me, but the ‘at least it’s stable’ is of little comfort to my breaking heart.

I try to disregard my anxiety, you’re no worse, after all, but this is so long, so lonely. I push  all thoughts out as I watch you and hold your pale clammy head, an exhausted Alex smiles up at me. Trying to be strong, it’s just that he needs rest he assures me. But I have never seen you like this. So charismatic, so dynamic, so determined and strong in your relationship with God, your role you play amazingly and self-sacrificially to being Father to our kids and to me as your wife. I struggle the time I am with him to not let the terror grip me; battling alone the doubts my mind catapults at my heart,

God give me strength, God give him your strength and peace.

You are not coming home yet; I will not be sleeping in your arms. I’m struggling today honey. It’s late, the Dr has given me something to help me sleep, and your mum and dad are here to help out, make me eat, watch the kids now.

I’m sorry to be this way today, it’s kinda hitting home a bit, and I am tired. I don’t want sleeping pills, I just need your strong arms wrapped around me, as we sleep every night, and as we have done since our first date.

I miss you, Alex, I miss you too much, it hurts so much and I am so lonely despite people surrounding us with love and support. Because it’s you I want, you I need.

Tomorrow is a new day. I have lots of things I have to tackle in the morning, but I will be in at lunchtime, and stay as long as I can.

Although being here, the fact of not being next to you is of little importance, I, me, my soul, spirit and heart are with you, for eternity.

I love you x

Monday, 10 October 2011

My heart is torn once again...but in it all, there may be some VERY good news!

I wrote this blog (below) Sunday night, feeling ‘contented’, I did not however put it up today, however, because this morning I call Alex, he is not well. I rush into Hospital, and he appears to have had a relapse, I chase around trying to find out what’s going on. The day is spent there, speaking to Doctors who tell me it is 'probably' normal, but no conclusive ‘he’ll be fine’s. I thus, again, find myself, my heart, once again in torturous pain. They give him some morphine for the pain, and with me stroking his head, he manages to sleep. I have just called him again (I had to leave, to pick up the kids) and the sleep has vastly helped. They will rescan him tomorrow morning (not Thursday), and if signs show his blood clot is beginning to dissipate, he may even be allowed to come home tomorrow afternoon! So although I still feel on edge, jumpy at the phone’s every ring, I feel reassured once again tonight, and will now put up the blog I wrote yesterday, and may well even be in my man’s arms once again TOMORROW night!...

I walked the dog last night, for the first time in nearly a week. As I wander down the lane, trees, bamboo and grass determined to own this lane, I come out at a field. This is the time of year they cut all the maize down, the field I walk up into reveals a large bright moon, the trees surrounding it are turning their breathtaking beautiful colours, the dusk light is pale peach, orange and pink and I am engulfed by the energy surrounding me of nature, the beauty of creation. I stand for a few minutes, allowing the tranquillity to seep into my body, my eyes absorbing it all, my mind calms for the first time since Tuesday. And I thank God for hearing my cries, others’ prayers, and I wander back up the lane smiling.

I do not know how I have managed this week, but the ‘normality’ of life is demanding my attentions again, and I actually cooked dinner for the kids for the first time in almost a week. It's also the first meal I have eaten in nearly a week. I eat, a small amount, but a meal nonetheless. I have done some washing too, even folded some clothes. I soak in my first bath for 5 days (no comments please until you have been in my shoes!) and am gradually accepting things will be getting back to ‘normal’.

It’s a strange readjustment, from going on empty, on automatic pilot, to consciously being able to make a few decisions, wandering around with purpose in what I am doing, rather than aimlessly pacing, not knowing why I am where I am, what I am supposed to be doing. In fact today, I have felt the exhaustion, utter, utter exhaustion. I have been emotionally vacuumed dry, hence the relief of allowing myself to believe it may be alright for the first time in days, my body has crashed, and I am no longer numb.

I see Alex today and lie on the hospital bed nest to him, he strokes my head today, and I shed some tears of relief, I can finally count on being in his arms once more, I can finally let myself be reassured that the scan on Thursday will be showing the clot is on it’s way to being reabsorbed back into the body, and that he will back with his family, in our bed on Friday night.

I have decided all the kids can stay in school for this week all day for the 4 days they are there, with no (well, not much) guilt, as visiting hours are 12 till 8, this way I will be able to go in and see Alex in the afternoons, and maybe even relax a bit in the mornings, gradually getting our laundry back in order! He asked me to bring him in some clean underwear, to which I reply that it might be tricky, as I have done not ONE load of washing since Tuesday! There are none clean! And rooting through the mountainous pile of dirty laundry in the garage may tip me over the edge…So his dad (who has been down since Thursday, as luckily my in-laws are still in France till the end of October) buys him some new underwear to tide him over whilst his useless wife gets back into the swing of things!

I walk hand in hand with Alex this afternoon to the end of the corridor to see the kids, we gulp back emotions, and the excited chatter as the kids update him on all that’s going on, after a while gets too much for him, but who wouldn’t it?! And I help him back to his bed. Monty is overjoyed and can’t wait to burst out that he scored a goal in their football match yesterday, and his team won 1-0!

So things are slowly getting there, my heart still leaps in my mouth at every phone call, but I suppose that’ll slowly lessen too.

I imagine it may be a while till I am back blogging properly, but you never know, it is my diary, my way of expressing myself, a comfort to me, so I doubt it’ll be too long before my blog gets back to normal too!  

Thank you once again for all the love and support and help you have shown us, we are SO very overwhelmed and grateful, and I for one, have been carried by the knowledge that there is a world of people out there, there for us, supporting us, caring about us and praying for healing.

Tamsyn x

ps I am now off to have another bath, I may even shave my legs in anticipation of my husband's return!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

This week, from my perspective...

It’s funny how long time takes when your world feels like it will end. Everything stops, everything, your heart, your mind, you continue because you must, but you do not know how you are doing it. Your arms move, your legs walk, you do the school run, but for me that’s as far as it went. We have been eating nothing but pasta, omlettes and bought soups since Tuesday. The laundry I could not even look at, the animals fed at 1 am, as I still paced about, everything had stopped.

I was getting by on auto pilote, my friends were concerned by the weight I have lost. But how can I eat when my soulmate is where he is? I know I must, I try, barely stomaching drinking cold soup out of the carton, retching a bit on anything solid, I stick to tea and soup and bananas. Well there’s worse diets! But I do it because I know that although my world is on hold, I have to be strong for you and the kids.

It’s funny, an event like this rearranges ALL priorities. We busily go about our lives, ‘fulfilling’ ourselves by the things we like to do, our routines, our hobbies and so on. But when it comes to it, when it really comes to it, something of such magnitude stops the clock. The washing’s ignored, spilling out from every corner, the cooking becomes opening cartons and reheating, one’s self, forgotten. Because none of this actually matters.

I have been going to and from the hospital 3 times a day, 20 minutes there and 20 minutes back again, arranging kids’ care, dressing them in unironed clothes, hair unbrushed, toothbrushes forgotten about. But still trying to keep some normality for them, doing the school run, head low, not wanting the world to see my swollen red eyes, my pale tear stained face, my unwashed hair.

Other mummies rally round my head spins with proposals of babysitting, taking them to play at theirs, feeding them, taking them to school. It’s all too much, I cannot make the simplest of decisions, I just break down as my mind goes blank, is it real? All this? Pleading with myself to 'wake up and it'll all have been a dream'. So many kind offers, but I cannot cope. The decisions are made for me, they organise me, the kids, and free me to be with Alex in hospital when I can. I am someone who finds it very hard to ask things of people, but I have learned this week, that people WANT to help, they WANT to be useful, they ARE there for you and do not begrudge it, quite the opposite, as I usually think. Normally, hence, I carry on doing it all myself, but even I, this week, have just quietly agreed to kids being looked after, trying not to feel hopelessly guilty about not being with them, meeting their needs, trying not to worry, they are with friends having a ‘good time’, and all I can think about is Alex.

I wanted to keep it as normal as possible for the kids, I smile and cuddle them, telling them ‘yes, daddy’s fine, sweetheart’ but break down when they cuddle me tightly back. They feel everything kids, they ‘get’ it. I explain ‘daddy’s poorly, he is in hospital, but he’ll be fine, they make you better in hospital’. But my tear filled eyes and fake brave face they see through.

This morning I visit you, you are still 'out of it' but whisper to me to come over, you grab my bum! And say 'Wow, that's that's the first time I have felt your booty in DAYS!' And I cry, you made a joke! You said something the Alex I know says all the time! Although you're still very weak, and doze off again after a few minutes...

I went to Hospital this evening again and tonight I do not recognise him, he sits up in bed, smiles, and chats away for an hour or so, the drips no longer in his arms, the heart monitor no longer present. How can this be? This morning even, he couldn’t speak much, too tired, head hurting still. It’s me, this time who says very little, I guess seeing you this way, the blanket I have put on my emotions, my routines, my life, is lifted, and I suddenly feel complete and utter exhaustion. You seem to be ‘back’.

I arrive home and tell the kids that tomorrow we are going to go in and see daddy (at his request, he has not even been able to contemplate this before). We are at the tea table, Monty and Lola double over, bodies heaving with tears and uncontrollable sobs. Bless their little hearts, they have ‘got’ it all along…

So tomorrow we are ALL off to see him, he will be able to walk down the corridor to the part where children are allowed. How is this? How can you so suddenly have turned the corner in this way? OK, you're not healed, you still have to stay in under close observation till your scan, but look at you! God IS there, he does hear our pain, our prayers, and he DOES respond.

To all of you out there, the hundreds and hundreds of people who have been reading my story, our story, the thousands of people who have been praying, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. Your love, prayers and thoughts have carried me through this unimaginably intense week. Tonight, I am daring to believe it WILL be alright, you ARE coming home on Friday, and due to all this, we will continue, my baby, to grow from strength to strength, hand in hand, soul enveloping soul, love engulfing each others' daily lives.

Oh Alex, what a week…! When you see all the messages, when you read the kind words, from friends, and people whom we have never even met. When you see the support we have been offered, you will be weeping, as I have been! I can assure you of that.

This is normally my Thought For The Day today, but honestly, if there’s something I can say to everyone from this week’s experience, it’s that, if we could all be a little more grateful for the smaller things, basic comforts we have, we would have less of a need to ‘keep on searching’ and thus be SO much more fulfilled with that which we DO have…

Thank you everyone, from the bottom of our hearts and souls for the support, help, and love and prayers. It looks like his corner has been turned, and I WILL have my man back!

Tamsyn x

Quick update, he overdid it completely yesterday! Did not have a very good night, head pain etc...BUT he still seems MUCH better.