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Progress takes time

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Many of you know that my DH is experiencing some health issues - actually, several different health issues have come along in a very short time frame. None of them, individually, are life threatening - just difficult to deal with. All these things coming together has triggered his anxiety, that had been managed quite well for the last few years, to skyrocket. We have seen three different doctors for three separate issues keeping his primary care doctor appraised of each event.

My thought, knowing this wonderful man as well as I do, is that the anxiety has triggered most of these issues (that, and the fact that he did not listen to his wife when she told him he needed to EXERCISE!). That last issue is a very painful back caused by a Sacroiliac Joint injury - probably brought on by the excessive shoveling he had to do this winter. But that issue has to be on hold until we resolve a couple other problems, which means he is in a lot of pain AND feels lousy.

In addition, about 10 days ago he began having trouble swallowing and started eating less and less. This is also likely a result of the anxiety. He has been prescribed a new anti-anxiety medication but we are only 2 weeks in so I anticipate another couple of weeks before it stops causing dizziness and sensory issues (he LOVES science fiction but he can't seem to watch that kind of programming right now).

Today he and I had yet another chat about how he wants to proceed with things (you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink - same with husbands, at least mine). He said he's tried and tried to control his anxiety and why isn't he getting better.

WHAT I replied! A week ago he looked like he had died but forgot to lie down. He was pale, he didn't smile, and he sat in the recliner (yes, Daisy recliner) for hours at a time just looking out the window or resting his eyes. He could barely take his medications and his food intake was a couple small glasses of milk, a very small bowl of cereal for breakfast and lunch, and while he tried to have some creamed soup for dinner he wouldn't be able to get much down. He was so weak in the mornings that I had to get my walked up from downstairs and it took the the two of us to get him up.

Today I am looking at a much different person. He smiles - and I have always loved his smile. He even laughed a bit while we were watching a Hallmark movie. He had a medium-sized bowl of cereal this morning, some cream of chicken soup for lunch, AND he took a second helping of mashed potatoes for dinner. He is drinking one Ensure each day along with at least three glasses of milk. He's gotten up by himself the last two days and he's even gone downstairs into his art studio to take care of a few things. Yesterday we had a visit from my daughter and little Jake and while DH didn't want to hold him (feeling too weak) he did play with him from afar.

I have seen the tiniest bits of progress each day this week and I couldn't be more pleased. I had to remind him that although all these issues have surfaced in a rather short period of time, it took months, and maybe years, to get here. It may take more than a week to heal!

For myself, I have been scaling down my expectations. This spring we were going to get a couple loads of dirt to spread around our old tree (her roots are popping out all over), to fill in the garden a bit (the bunnies won), and I wanted to add some dirt to the back of our yard so I can plant some wildflowers (I already have the seeds). Well - that may be too aggressive for a woman who is trying to take care of her DH, do all the chores he usually does along with some additional chores because he has been ill, and still find some time to do my own exercise, relax a bit and just enjoy life.

I dream of having a beautifully landscaped back yard with flowers and flowering shrubs lining the stone path - but then I have also dreamed of living on a horse ranch with my trusty horse Buttermilk (Dale Evens horse). Some dreams just aren't going to happen. My dream now is to get my DH healthy so he and I can enjoy life!

Oh - and I have to say one thing to all you wonderful Spark Friends. Without you I would be so lost. I have received so much support over the past couple of weeks and I thank you all for being the amazing people you are!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My heart goes out to you as you not only do double duty with the chores, but also take on caregiving to your very anxious husband. It's funny because one of my parents doesn't notice a difference in anxiety with meds and yet the change is remarkable. It does sound like Tom is already doing better and it takes longer to get the full effects of the meds.

    I need to do some weeding and never get around to fulfilling my garden dreams, but every summer I do something new and am proud of that. A wildflower garden does sound stunning!

    Have a wonderful week! Hope Tom, continues to improve.
    419 days ago
    It's always good to see improvement in our loved one's health. You have such a sweet, supportive spirit.
    We have roots popping up just above the surface from willow trees we had removed a couple years ago. It is impossible to get rid of them. It's a problem when the mower blade hits them. Maybe the solution is to add soil on top. Thanks for the idea.
    421 days ago
    Tom is so lucky to have you there, first to take care of him and then to remind him of the progress he's making that he himself can't see. I guess when you're used to being healthy all the time, to have several things happen at once can be so disheartening. I have a feeling that with your care and support, he'll be back to feeling well before too long.

    It is very hard to make garden dreams come true, especially when you're doing it all on your own. I say this as I am looking out at my weed-filled garden. Really need to get out there, but it takes so much time and energy. I WILL do it, though, just to get a little closer to my image of what I want it to be. I hope Tom will get better soon so that you'll have more time and energy to get out there in the garden!
    421 days ago
    You are a Sparkly person and yu have helped me also!Spark friends are the best!--So happy that yer Himself is doing better!--It is difficult to get these men to exercise-- little by little I tell my himself--short intervals are good-- ---- Keep it up---- So nice to hear from yu-Lynda
    422 days ago
    Good news on DH's progress. It's difficult when we have to carry the entire load with minimal help.
    Hope his health continues to improve. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    422 days ago
    Oh GOOD news...every little step towards the positive helps! I'm happy you are so dedicated to this wonderful husband...I know you are so very patient and kind and he needs that now.

    You might try diffusing some essential oils around the house. They truly do lift the spirit since they come from flowers who have the highest vibrational level on earth.

    Also try television with humor..laughter is the balm of the soul! I'm praying for you both my friend! emoticon
    422 days ago
    That is such wonderful news! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    422 days ago
    Glad he's improving. Don't forget to take care of you too. emoticon
    422 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Sounds like he is indeed improving surely but slowly. Keep up the great work and be gentle with yourself. I hope it continues to get better!! Sending hugs and prayers!
    422 days ago
    Glad to hear such good news... progress!! emoticon
    423 days ago
    So glad husband is improving some. It can be hard to see it when you're the one with the issues, which is my situation. The shoe is on the other foot in my house, dear husband has been taking such good care of me.
    423 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    Kathy, I am pleased that you are seeing an improvement in your husband. Yes dealing with so many issues is so hard. Been there. Still there now but it definitely is better. Last summer I thought he was not going to get through it. It is a pretty scary place to be watching your spouse deteriorate. I know how hard this has been foe you. One day at s time.
    One thing about hard work is that it will still be there when you are ready to tackle it.

    Thank goodness for our Spark friends!
    423 days ago
    Totally wonderful to hear about your DH's progress. It is always going to seem soooooo slow, but you're seeing it. Prayers continue.

    HUGS my dear. And yes, many dreams in a lifetime just need to be altered.
    423 days ago
    So glad to hear that progress is happening! You are helping and I know this takes love and patience. Wishing you both better days soon! emoticon
    423 days ago
    Kathy, I'm so happy that there is progress with your hubby. It sounds like you're going through what the two of us did after my Dad's passing. It's hard trying to figure out the yard work, but I'm trying not to let it stress me this year. I was wondering if you knew of any volunteers that do yard work for a small fee? Sometimes there's boy scouts or clubs like that they will do the work.
    423 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    So good to hear your DH is starting to make some improvement, every little bit is encouraging. I sure hope each day gets better for him. When one spouse is ill the other picks up helping to do jobs the other does, and can make for long days.
    423 days ago
    I had an anxiety issue that caused me swallowing problems. I could not swallow unless I had fluids to force it down. It was very scAry. I hope he gets better soon
    423 days ago
    Good to hear your hubby's starting to feel better... which helps you feel better too. emoticon
    423 days ago
    Thank you for this update. So encouraging! And, yes, I agree that exercise could help. We already know that exercise is a great stress reliever, so I'm basing my agreement on exercise helping him on that knowledge. Keep at it.
    My father was in a nursing home and LOVED his physical therapy sessions. In fact, even though he really wasn't eligible for the sessions at times, they kept him coming because they said he was a great cheerleader for the sessions. He told ALL the people most of the time that you have to stay mobile. If you lose your ability to move you lose everything. And he did as he preached: walked--with a walker--several times a day.
    423 days ago
    Glad to here that DH is improving, I just hope it continues until he is his self 100%. And he is so lucky to have you Kathy, you have pulled him thru a rough patch, so you should be proud of both of you. I know what it is like to be a care giver, it is a full time job with few rewards, except when they get better. And most times without even a thank you, so I will say it Thank You for stepping up and helping him get to appointments, encouraging him, and stand beside him.
    423 days ago
    423 days ago
    Praying that his positive progress continues
    423 days ago
    You are blessed to have each other. I know anxiety well unfortunately, and I think for men the physical issues seem to go hand in hand. You may not be interested, but consider this book by JP Moreland, FINDING QUIET. Audible version available.
    423 days ago
    praying for his progress to continue

    423 days ago
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